OAs 04974 a, b

Please find more information about the object below the image.

Producer unknown to us

Combat knife (Aikuchi)

Asia, Japan

Prior to 1882

Steel, forged

Heinrich Botho Scheube (doctor, lecturer)

Purchased by the museum from Scheube in 1909

OAs 04974 a,

The Aikuchi is a special form of the Japanese Tantō (combat knife), but without a handguard. Its scabbard is wrapped in embossed and dyed leather. A complementary knife (Kogatana) that was originally kept in the scabbard has been lost. The handle of the weapon is wrapped with pearl ray skin.

The collector of this object, Botho Scheube, worked as a physician and lecturer at the Kyoto Medical School from 1877 to 1881. During this time, he amassed a collection of nearly 700 pieces of Japanese art and items pertaining to the Ainu culture.

The collection was stored at the Leipzig ethnological museum from 1891 to 1909, when it was finally acquired by the museum with the financial support and donations of wealthy citizens.

Dietmar Grundmann