Blade for a Dagger (Tantō)

Swordsmith: Blade inscribed by Rai Kunitoshi (Japanese, active ca. 1290–ca. 1320)

Date: ca. 1315–16

Culture: Japanese

Medium: Steel

Dimensions: 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)

Classification: Daggers

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Andrews Izard, 1991

Accession Number: 1991.373a, b


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.