Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Crash Course in Tanto Shapes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,584

    Crash Course in Tanto Shapes

    Here's a crash course in tanto. No, not "Tonto", i.e. The Lone Ranger's faithful Native American sidekick. I'm talking about the Japanese knife style that has so many modern makers awed. But what awes most Americans and sells like hotcakes is actually an inelegant execution of the historical tanto. That's not to say that the better makers of mass produced knives are ugly, but the "Americanized Tanto" is finding a fashion statement for itself.

    Personally, when I go knife shopping, be it Benchmade or Cold Steel, CRKT, etc. I tend to actually avoid tantos because I can find no practical purpose for them for my own use. I generally prefer somewith with a graceful curve to the edge because the abruptly changing triangular point does not aid me in what I use for a knife, which is primarily cutting -- cutting boxes, cutting cheese (yes, I cut cheese with my tactical folder while watching TV), spreading cheese, cutting string, etc.

    That's not to say the American tanto doesn't have its place, but the purpose of this post is to contrast the American tanto with the Historical Tanto, to show you some of the misconceptions made by marketing language in mail order catalogs, and to show you what was preferred in Japanese history.

    Enjoy!
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,584

    v 1.2

    .
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Adrian
    Maestro of the Bolognese School (Spaghetti sauce, not fencing!)

    Click HERE for the SFI comic strip "Bloodgroove"!

  3. #3
    Nara period Kiriha-zukuri:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  4. #4
    Kata-kiriha-zukuri closely resembling Hira-zukuri with a "chisel edge" on one side:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Tantô were made in various shapes, including some very "experimental" ones.

    The - by far - most common shape is Hira-zukuri; the attached photo shows the types that are usually encountered:
    (from right to left since it's from a Japanese book )
    1 + 4: Hira-zukuri (early and late type respectively)
    2: Moroha-zukuri
    3: Osoraku-zukuri
    5: Kissaki-moroha-zukuri
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    Another type sometimes found, the Kanmuri-otoshi-zukuri (which looks like Shôbu-zukuri on first glance):
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  7. #7
    In my line-up of Tantô shapes it's hard to see details of the Kissaki-moroha-zukuri; here's a better picture. It is also often referred to as "Kogarasu-maru-zukuri" for the famous Tachi that was named so.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
    Thread originally posted on the General Forum; copied and edited for the Nihontô forum.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •