KAIKEN

GASSAN SADAKAZU

c. MEJI 1868/ SHINSHINTO

JOJOSAKU

SUGATA: HIRA-ZUKURI

MEI: GASSAN SADAKAZU TSUKURU

DATE:  MEJI YO NEN SHOKA (1872)

NAGASA: 12.19cm ( 4.875" )

OVERALL: 17.5cm ( 7" )

MIHABA: 1.72cm (0.688")

KASANE: 0.469cm (0.1875")

SORI: MU-ZORI

NAKAGO: UBU

MEKUGI ANA: ONE

YASURIME: KESHO

MUNE: KAKU

HADA: AYASUGI

HAMON: NOTARE BASED ON SUGUHA

BOSHI: KO-MARU

HORIMONO: NONE

HABAKI: ONE PIECE GOLD FOIL

 GASSAN SADAKAZU

KAIKEN

The Kaiken was a very small Tanto. They were carried by the wives and daughters of Samurai and used for self defense and likely as a status symbol among the elite, as many were very well made and mounted.

The assumed role of the kaiken as a tool used for suicide is unfounded. The Dagger used for ritual suicide or Seppuku was required to fall within a prescribed criteria. For Women's Ritual Seppuku or Jigai (severing the Carotid Arteries), the the Blade was a prescribed length of 9 sun, 5 bu (11.3" or 28.78cm). The other requirements were that the blade be mu-zori or straight backed, Hira-zukuri or flat sided and it was required to be housed in a very plain all white wooden tsuka and saya, which resembled a white shirasaya.

The Kaiken would only have been used for suicide in a last ditch effort to prevent a loss of face. Say, to avoid the humiliation of rape.

Kaiken were generally concealed in the sleeve of the Kimono or tucked discreetly into the Obi. For this reason, they were typically mounted in Aikuchi mounts. Aikuchi means "Flush Mouthed". This is reference to the fact that they were mounted with no Tsuba. The Fuchi sits flush against the Koiguchi or mouth of the saya.
As such, the flat profile was easily concealed .

GASSAN SADAKAZU (1834 - 1918)

c. Meji 1868 / Shinshinto Period

Gassan Sadakazu was a pupil of Gassan Sadayoshi. He was designated as Imperial Court Artist on Meji Sanjukyunen (1906). He  began forging swords at age 14 and continued until just prior to his death at age 84, a career spanning seventy years. Gassan Sadakazu was extremely skilled  and forged swords with hada and hamon from along the lines of the Dens, Bizen, Soshu, Yamashiro and Yamato. He was also very skilled at carving Horimono.

BLADE

This Kaiken Tanto though tiny in size at 4.875 inches, is very well forged in the classic Ayasugi Hada of the Gassan Tradition. The hamon is Notare based on Suguba. The signature is well cut and it is dated 1872. 

KOSHIRAE

The Koshirae begins with a red lacquered saya with yamagane or copper Kurigata. The Tsuka is done in high quality Same with no tsuka-ito. The only adornment are the two gold Dragon Menuki. The mekugi pin is Ivory. The Fuchi, Kashira, and Koiguchi are Gold Foil.

 

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