A tanto attributed to Uda Hirakuni of the Echigo Province.
The founder of Uda School started in the Yamato Uda Province during the Kamakura Period. Later the school was moved to the Echigo Province by Kunimitsu.
During the early Muromachi period, Uda Kunimune worked as a top wordsmith in the Uda School, along with other noteworthy smiths, Kunihusa, Kunitsugu and Hirakuni.
Uda Hirakuni was a student of the Kunimune.
There are four generations of Uda Hirakuni listed in the Meikan: Eikyo (1429-1441); Meio (1492-1501); Bunki (1501-1504); Tenmon (1532-1555); and Tensho (1573-1592). The best of whom is listed with a double circle, Meio (1492-1501). Another smith is pictured in Nihon Toko Jiten – Koto Hen, Bunki (1501-1504), as Chujosaku. Toko Taikan rates the first two generations as 4,000,000 yen; 3,500,000 yen; and the fourth 3,000,000 yen.
The Uda School was said to have been influenced by the teachings of the Great Norishige, one of the Masamune Jutetsu (10 Great Students). One can see Norishige’s residual influence in this tanto.
This is beautifully forged hirazukure tanto. The jigane is blackish, a trait related to the tamahagane used in this province. The hada is an itame nagare, becoming matsukawa like in areas, with masame along the ha and shinogi. Matsukawa is a type of hada commonly associated with Norishige. There are also chikei and nado in this tanto. The hamon is notare midare, composed of konie. There is an area of kinsuji and nado. It comes mounted in quality shirasaya. The red copper habaki with nekogaki, is also very good.
Uda Hirakuni Tanto:
Nagasa: 9 sun (27.3 cm).
Motohaba: 2.36 cm.
Kasane: .53 cm.
Nakago: Ubu, Mumei.
All in excellent condition.