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Old 2nd September 2022, 05:39 PM   #1
Drabant1701
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Default Japanese Ainu dagger for comment

I bought this dagger recently, and I have concluded that it is a japanese ainu dagger. Its a bit outside my usual field of interest so i am interested if there is someone more knowledgeable in this field that can share some more information about it such as age, meaning of decoration and such.
Thanks for reading!
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Old 2nd September 2022, 11:45 PM   #2
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Hi, nice piece. In my opinion, more vintage than antique. But i tend to be conservative...
The flower is a chrysentemum, national symbole.
The other one is a shintō gods symbol. Or a "kamon", clan emblema (gamō clan if im good).
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Old 2nd September 2022, 11:54 PM   #3
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For the kanji, i Will ask my wife
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Old 3rd September 2022, 01:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBG163 View Post
For the kanji, i Will ask my wife
It will be interesting to compare. I read as Ishimaru - last name. But Japanese is not my language.
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Old 3rd September 2022, 01:47 AM   #5
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In the Ainu language, these knives are called "puriki makir" - a beautiful or ornate knife. They were part of the festive costume. Old knives are a rarity, for a long time the Japanese authorities pursued a policy of assimilation of the Ainu and forbade them to maintain their cultural traditions. To my knowledge, less than twenty craftsmen now make traditional knives, and they use mostly Japanese-made blades.
Two Japanese symbols are depicted on the scabbard - a chrysanthemum with 16 petals and three commas inscribed in a circle "mitsudomoe". Chrysanthemum of this type is the emblem of the imperial family, until the end of WW2, its use by private individuals was strictly prohibited. My guess is that 1945 may be the earliest date for this knife.

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Old 3rd September 2022, 02:14 PM   #6
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For my wife it's Ishimaru or 石庄 depending the hand writings.
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Old 3rd September 2022, 02:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your replies, very interesting information. When I saw it on the action site I thought it was some kind of north african dagger, but when I saw the japanese letters it was pretty clear it was not. Post 1945 seem like a good asumption due to the fact that the imperial seal was prohibited before that, but it also shows less wear then an older example would exibit. Also the blade is razor sharp, so its most likely a dagger meant to be used. Its a really nice dagger and im glad I added it to my collection.
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Old 3rd September 2022, 09:20 PM   #8
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This is definitely a good buy! Congratulations!
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Old 3rd September 2022, 11:19 PM   #9
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Great example of a most esoteric weapon from an intriguing people.
For those who would like to look further into this:
"Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People", by W.Fitzhugh, Smithsonian, 1999
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Old 4th September 2022, 06:29 PM   #10
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Here are the measurements of the dagger if anyone needs them for reference:

Lenght 26cm, 29cm sheathed
Blade is 14.5cm
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Old 4th September 2022, 07:48 PM   #11
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Default Ainu dagger

As a long term lurker, it is a joy to see an Ainu kakiri. I am sure that this is a Showa era piece, certainly made for the collector's trade - rather than for use as a working belt knife. It is certainly well-crafted and handsome, tho I see it as a bit over the top. A key feature of makiri was the scabbard that was carved hollow, rather than made of two halves that were carved and glued. Often that involved opening a section of the back edge - as well as a hole in the tip and at the opening, of course.
Darn nice!
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Old 5th September 2022, 09:15 PM   #12
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Here a (not very good) picture of 4 daggers in the national museum in Edinburg h.
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