Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Blade for a Dagger (Tantō)

Blade inscribed by Rai Kunitoshi (Japanese, active ca. 1290–ca. 1320)
ca. 1315–16
L. 13 5/8 in. (34.6 cm); L. of cutting edge 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm); W. of blade at hilt 15/16 in. (2.4 cm); Wt. 7 oz. (185 g)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Andrews Izard, 1991
Accession Number:
1991.373a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 378
Rai Kunitoshi, who worked in Kyōto, was among the most famous swordsmiths of the late thirteenth to early fourteenth century. This dagger, one of his masterpieces, exemplifies his best-known blade-making style.
Signature: Signed: RAI KUNITOSHI.
Elizabeth Kuriyama, Yokosuka, Japan (until 1946; her gift to Robert Izard); Mr. and Mrs. Robert Andrews Izard, Rye, New York (1946–1991; their gift to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 1991–2002," September 4, 2002–January 18, 2004, no. 51.

Yamanaka, Albert. "The Rai School Swordsmiths of Yamashiro Province." Bushido. 3, no. 1 (1981). pp. 39–48.

Yamanaka, Albert. "Results of the Vol. 2 No. 4 Mystery Blade Contest." Bushido. 3, no. 1 (1981). pp. 36–37.

Yamanaka, Albert. "Rai School Genealogy Chart." Bushido. 3, no. 1 (1981). p. 38.

Ogawa, Morihiro. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1991–1992." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 50, no. 2 (Autumn 1992). p. 89, ill.

Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Morihiro Ogawa. Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions, 1991–2002. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002. p. 54, no. 51, ill.

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