Japanese - Knife in Fan-Shaped Case, 19th century

Japanese

Knife in Fan-Shaped Case, 19th century

Lacquered wood with metal blade , 30.2 cm (11 7/8 in.)

Commentary

This style of dagger, traditionally known as a tanto dagger in Japanese culture, originated and evolved throughout Japan’s feudal period. It was worn primarily by men and women of the Samurai social class. Concealing the tanto dagger in a fan-shaped case first appeared in the early to mid-19th century. Folding fans were customary items in Japanese gatherings and provided an unassuming method of concealment.Isabella kept this one in her desk in the Macknight Room.