Great Sunnobi Tantō  短, (O-Tanto) with rare Skull Horimono blade Hosokawa Samurai family Antique Koshirae
Tanto depicted a Christian (Kirishitan 吉利支丹) symbolism

A very rare and fine forged

Zugaikotsu 頭蓋骨

Great Edo O-Tanto (short Wakizashi)


Hosokawa Samurai family fine antique now restored Koshirae






An intricate type of combined Choji/Midare with a delicate scale of tones in a complex rare work that denotes the quality of the tempering.

Hada (surface grain):

It is shown as Masada and Mokume combined



Zugaikotsu 頭蓋骨 (Skull) . Handwork traditional carved style



Recent made by a Togishi master


Blade measures:

Nagasa: 35,1 cm.
Sori: 0.7 cm.
Moto-haba: 3,2 cm.
Saki-haba: 2,1 cm.
Moto-gasane: 0.8 cm.
Saki-gasane: 0.6 cm.

Total length (Nakago included): 46,8 cm.

Cutting edge; 35,9 cm.




Koshirae condition: Excellent. Newly restored by a Koshiraeshi master


Wood: Honoki

Fuchi/Kashira: Leaves and Hosokawa Kamon (Hosokawa Japanese Christianity Samurai family heritage unusual variant)

Menuki couple: Skull

Same: Ray Skin

Ito: Gold and Black Natural Silk



Forged iron traditional opon work Edo period

Maru-Gata shape. Rays and radial design



Completely restored and covered with a new pure Gold plated



Wood: Honoki

Lacquer technique: Urushi lacquered Gold and Ishime

Koiguchi/Kurikata and Kojiri: Black buffalo horn

Sageo: Silk


Koshirae length: 52,6 cm.



About the Tsuba and the rare Christian symbolism of this O-Tanto:

This type of Tsuba is usually related to the hidden Christians (Kakure Kirishitan) at the time of the persecutions in Japan by having cross-shaped radial alternated with the rays of divine power, in any case it would be also Buddhist symbol a syncretism.

The same could be said of the skull that could have a Christian symbol ("memento mori") or equally Buddhist.
This piece is shown with strong religious symbolism.

Hosokawa Kamon (on the Fuchi Koshirae): Hosokawa Japanese Christianity Samurai family heritage


The Japanese sword that exceeds 30cm is considered a Wakizashi. but it is more a western consideration for the measurement systems and above all for the use. The terms Tanto, Wakizashi and Katana are literally definitions of somewhat indeterminate measure. Both would be a very short sword, in the West dagger. Wakizashi short sword and Katana long sword. There are more definitions.
The use also defines the previous concepts, Wakizashi and katana were used mainly for cutting blows and the pointed Tanto.
That is why a very large Tanto (O-Tanto) even if it exceeds 30 cm in a few can continue to be considered by that name. It would also be correct to call it Wakizashi, we are in the vague line of denomination that should be defined more by the use than by the measure itself. In this pieze could denomine O-Tanto or short Wakizashi.



Ref.: O-Tanto Wakizashi 098


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Nihonto: Katana - Wakizashi - Tanto

Kodogu: Tsuba - Menuki - Fuchi - Kashira - Kozuka

Kakemono or Kakejiku: Japanese art

Rare Japanese items

Japanese swords already sold

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