Reijin Kanna

Vintage Japanese 70mm kanna.

This kanna blade is marked with hand engraving Reijin Tokajin. I do not know who the actual blacksmith is, but the name translates as "Beautiful East" and this often is a reference to Tokyo, so it may be a Tokyo blacksmith. At the upper right of the blade is also marked Tokusen which means "special made". The laminated sub blade is also marked Reijin. Tome Osae, or signed matching sub blades are usually a sign of quality in blade sets, and shows that the blacksmith felt dedicated to present his product with the tome osae. This is NEW/OLD stock that has not been used but has instead just sat as dead storage since the 1960s in a closed up store.

I do not know if the hard steel (hagane) of the blade is white or blue steel but the soft base (jigane) is antique iron called kamaji. The hard carbon steel tested out to be in the Rockwell 61-62 range. This blade should be a relatively easy blade to sharpen and I imagine will take an extremely sharp edge.

There is some light oxidation on the blade edges that was generated from the blade sitting in the wood dai while in storage, but this area is out of the cutting area as you can see in the photos and will not affect the performance of the blade in any way. There is also a bit of rust on the front side in the soft iron that does not affect the kanna either. The blades will need to be tapped out flattened and sharpened to the owners specifications.

The Japanese white oak dai is marked on the front Saburo-saku Meijin-bori which translates as "made by Saburo" and"carved by special craftsperson". It is a itame or horizontal grain block that has a tsutsumi ledge in the blade mortise that supports the blades bevel, and is a feature that is typical of higher grade dai. The dai has been partially adjusted to fit the blade and the blade advances down the blade chute to within 5mm of the sole has the sole. The owner will need to finely tune this last 5mm and I will provide some instruction to do so in this short article conditioned or flattened. I have flattened the dai sole but it will still need to be conditioned with the wave pattern used in a finishing plane.