A rare hirazukuri O-Tanto by Hideaki 秀昭 (Horii Toshihide) with horimono.
Hideaki was born with the name of Horii Kanekichi in 1886, but made swords using several different names. In 1905, He began is swordmaking career under Hori Taneaki, during which he used the name Kaneaki. During this period, both Taneaki and Kaneaki were sponsored by Takease Oko, whom was the founder of the Nihon Token Hozon Kai (NTHK). In 1912, the NTHK bestowed Kaneaki the "Hide" 秀 character, thus changing his name to Hideaki. In 1933 with the birth of the Prince Akihito, out of respect for the new born prince Hideaki removed the AKI 昭 character and added TOSHI 壽, thus becoming Toshihide 壽秀. He continued to work until his death in 1943 (age of 58). He was considered as one of the most important smiths during the Taisho and Showa eras.
This tanto is of excellent work and quality, a breathtaking jihada of itame-mokume with an abundance of ji-nie, and a beautiful nie-deki gunome midare temper. Well carved Horimono (engravings) on both sides of the blade. On the omote, there is a horimono of a "Hoko", which is a ceremonial instrument of Buddhism. On the ura, the horimono are a another instrument of Buddahism, "Gomabashi" (two sticks), and a Sancrit letter of"Hijiri Kannon", which is a Buddhist God of Moral. Dr. Wada who used to work for the Horii family, said that the use of Mid-Autumn date is very rare and that Hideaki rarely used Hoko or Gomabashi horimono, so this tanto must have been a special ordered tanto. This tanto is accompanied with a solid silver habaki.