Menu Close

Tsuba: Handguard

Tsuba is a kind of Japanese sword mounting. It was initially equipped with a Japanese sword for practical reasons. It protected its user’s hand when he grabbed his sword or prevented its user’s hand slipping towards the blade part when he hits his enemy. However, Tsuba attached importance to its decorativeness. It had been developed as an essential sword outfit that combines utility and beauty since the Edo period. Western swords also have guards, but especially since modern times, many of them are connected with handles; therefore, they look different, compared to Japanese handguards, Tsuba. People expected that Tsuba fulfills two roles: practicality to attack enemies and to protect users. And Tsuba shouldn’t have been lost its good looks. In each area, Tsuba had been enhanced its artistry through the efforts and ingenuity of numerous Tsuba artisans.

Showing 1–20 of 135 results

  • $1,032.96

    Certificate: NBTHK Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Wild Boar Signature:乙柳軒味墨(Miboku) Age:EDO period Material: 四分一(Shibuichi), mixture of silver and copper A Shibuichi Tsuba sloping four corners shape with a KODUKA hole. A wild boar is engraved and inlaid with gold on the face. Its creator Shozui Hamano(1696-1769), was a pupil of Toshinaga Nara. He used his “Go” (like artist name) such as Miboku. Eyes of boar are also used as a pattern for metalworks called “Inome Monyou” in Japanese. This pattern looks like a heart mark and works as an amulet. It’s believed that it would protect us from evil spirits. This Tsuba is recognized by The Society for…

  • $281.72

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Geometric Patterns Tsuba Set Signature:NO SIGNED Age:EDO period Material: Iron Iron Tsuba set oval shape with KODUKA hole. Tsuba A and B, both of them are decorated with openwork. Tsuba A is the combination of circle and triangle, Tsuba B is the continuous semicircle pattern. According to a theory, triangle pattern will protect us from evil spirits.  Size Thichness Nakagoana Weight A 6.6cm×6.3cm B 6.9cm×6.1cm A 0.25cm B 0.2cm A 2.7cm×0.9cm B 2.8cm×0.7cm A 70g B 70g You can enlarge all the photos to see the detail of the item. T000187

  • $131.47

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Grapes Signature: NO SIGNED Age: Edo period Material: Iron An iron Tsuba Aori shape with a KOUGAI hole Grapes are engraved on the surface. As it bears many bunches of fruits, the grape pattern represents fertility, life, longevity, and rich harvest. This fruit pattern is often designed with squirrel and used for pottery or costume for Noh (a kind of classical Japanese dance-drama) since the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600) in Japan. It’s also a good omen pattern. This Tsuba is more significant than many other Tsuba, which we treat in our online shop. You would enjoy its weight and texture of the iron. Size…

  • $65.73

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Geometric Pattern on Mokkou Tsuba Signature:NO SIGNED Age:EDO period Material: Shakudo (mixture of copper and gold) A Shakudo Tsuba Mokkou shape with a KODUKA hole. Mokkou shape, its base form was eggs in nests. As a cross section of Mokkou looks similar to this design, it’s named Mokkou shape later. The same geometric is engraved, it might describe some plants.  Size Thichness Nakagoana Weight 6.3cm×5.5cm 0.2cm 2.5cm×0.8cm 64g You can enlarge all the photos to see the detail of the item. T000011

  • $309.89

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Heianjo-style, Mitsudomoe Karakusa Hane Zu Signature: NO SIGNED Age: EDO period Material: Iron This circled iron tsuba is designed with Mitsudomoe pattern shaped openwork. Mitsu-Domoe pattern is the combination of three Tomoe patterns. There are some theories about the origin of Tomoe pattern. It’s said that Magatama(comma-shaped accessory) is its origin. Tomoe pattern represents water so, it’s believed that this pattern will prevent fire accidents. Mitsu-Domoe patterns can also be found as family crests.  Karakusa and some Hane are inlaid on both sides of this Tsuba. Karakusa means climbing plants, and Hane means wing in Japanese. Ivy has vitality, and it thrives strongly;…

  • $206.59

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Nanban-style, Dragons and the Orb Signature:NO SIGNED Age:EDO period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba has a circle shape with KODUKA and KOUGAI holes. There is a small tin ball in the gem, and it moves if you shake this Tsuba. You can listen to its sound. Two dragons are chasing to catch the orb between them. Their long and narrow tongues are characteristic. Arabesque pattern is engraved as a whole so that dragons look like they’re swimming in the sea. Dragon is a mythical animal, and it rises high up into the sky. Therefore, the dragon pattern represents glory or development. Nanban Tsuba…

  • $375.62

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Nami Chidori Sukashi Signature: NO SIGNED Age: Edo period Material: Iron An iron Tsuba with KODUKA and KOUGAI holes Waves and several birds are engraved by openwork. Nami means waves, and Chidori means plovers. Nami Chidori pattern represents happy marriage and family safety. It’s a kind of good omen design that has been enjoyed since the Nara period (648-781). Waves are compared to the world, meaning it describes the determination of overcoming difficulties with partners even if they’re small and big waves. Also, a plover pattern is used as a prayer for the victory or achievement of a goal. If you focus on…

  • $0.00

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Kinai-style, Kai Dukushi Sukashi Signature:記内(Kinai) Age:EDO period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba circle shape with KODUKA and KOUGAI holes. Various seashells are engraved by openwork. This pattern is called “Kai Dukushi Mon” in Japanese. Bivalves especially clam, its shell cannot be combined with any other clam’s shell therefore its pattern represents happy marriage. Kinai Tsuba was established in Echizen(Fukui Pref.), and Kinai school flourished very much. Their creations were called “Kinai Bori” or “Echizen Bori” and highly valued. The first Kinai was especially good at Dragon pattern depiction. Myochin Tsuba and Akao Tsuba were also well-known in Echizen. Kinai family got married with…

  • $112.69

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Flying Wild Gooses Signature: NO SIGNED Age: Edo period, Bakumatsu (1853-1868) Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba circle shape with a KOZUKA hall. Five wild gooses are engraved with openwork. Wild goose is a migratory bird which represents fall. Its pattern is also called “Karigane” and used for family crests. The design that describes wild gooses are flying diagonally is named “Gankou Mon”. This bird is engraved by not only a realistic figure, but also a very simplified shape: Hiragana (a kind of Japanese letter) “he” shape that sometimes makes also wild goose.  Size Thichness Nakagoana Weight 6.9cm×6.2cm 0.4cm 2.7cm×0.8cm 67g You can enlarge…

  • $0.00

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Myochin-style, Four Pigeons Signature:明珎宗友(Myochin Munetomo) Age:late EDO period(1781-1867) Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba made in the Edo period. Four pigeons are engraved on each side. As pigeon has been treated as the messenger of Yahatano-Kami (one of the Japanese gods), lots of Samurai admired this bird. They thought pigeon is the symbol of victory. Their eyes are inlaid with gold. Originally, Myochin family’s occupation was armor production. They took over its technique from the early Kamakura period until the Meiji period. Myochin Tsuba is typically made from iron. Its smiths often used Nanban iron, which was imported from India, China, or European countries.…

  • $103.30

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Kasukara Mon Marugata Tsuba Signature: NO SIGNED Age: Edo period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba circle shape with KODUKA and KOUGAI holes. Both sides of this Tsuba are decorated with beautiful Karakusa Mon (Mon means pattern in this case) Karakusa is called arabesque in English. Karakusa pattern is made of vines. As these plants have vitality to grow up, Karakusa pattern represents prosperity and longevity. Also, it’s said that Karakusa pattern has the meaning; it will overcome any difficulties and prosper forever. This Tsuba is smooth to the touch thanks to its iron quality.  Size Thichness Nakagoana Weight 6.1cm×7.2cm 0.4cm 2.7cm×0.7cm 110g You…

  • $328.67

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Rabbit looking up the Moon Signature:NO SIGNED Age:EDO period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba has four sloping corners shape with a KODUKA hole. The rabbit looking up the moon is engraved. The moon hid behind clouds a little. The combination of the moon and autumn plants, waves, animals such as rabbits or deers is often expressed. It is a kind of typical motifs that symbolizes fall. Several dots are inlaid with gold, and it makes a mystical atmosphere. The surface of a mountain and plants are engraved on the backside. This Tsuba’s edge is surrounded with rope shape decoration so that it has…

  • $309.89

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Sage and Turtle Signature:井上通高(Inoue Michitaka) Age:late EDO period(1781-1867) Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba circle shape with a KODUKA hole. This tsuba might describe a scene of a tradition or legend. An elderly man seems to be a mountain hermit and an animal that looks similar to turtle or soft-shelled turtle are engraved on the front. Mountains and the mountain path are engraved on the back side. Its creator, Michitaka Inoue, he was the second of Inoue school. They worked for Mouri family. He was especially good at circle shape iron Tsuba with plants, flowers and animals patterns by “Nikubori Jisukashi” technique. Size Thichness…

  • $338.06

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Shoami-style, Kai Dukushi Signature:正阿弥(Shoami) Age:EDO period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba circle shape with KODUKA and KOUGAI holes. This Tsuba is designed with “Kai Dukushi” pattern. This pattern is a combination of various seashells. It’s often designed with seaside scene or wave pattern. Bivalves especially clam, its shell cannot be combined with any other clam’s shell therefore its pattern represents happy marriage. Shoami school worked as smiths for Ashikaga Shogunate family. Shogun means the top of Samurai(Japanese soldier) who ruled the entire Japan. Mainly, they have two styles. The first pattern is circle shaped iron Tsuba with openwork, and another type is with…

  • $234.76

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Deep in the Mountain Signature:NO SIGNED Age:EDO period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba oval shape no KODUKA hole neither KOUGAI one. This Tsuba is quite large and heavy compare to other many Tsuba which we treat in our online shop. Nakago Hitsu(center hole of Tsuba to put a sword) looks thick, so its center is thicker than the surrounding area. At a small lodge, people that seems to be monks and farmer are standing close to the river. Mountains and a temple are engraved in the distance and covered by clouds so that it makes mystic atmosphere. On the back side, it might…

  • $422.57

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Mitsu-Domoe Openwork Signature:NO SIGNED Age:EDO period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba circle shape. Mitsu-Domoe Mon is engraved with openwork. Mitsu-Domoe pattern is the combination of three Tomoe patterns. There are some theories about the origin of Tomoe pattern. It’s said that Magatama(comma shaped accessory) is its origin. Tomoe pattern means water so that it’s believed that this pattern will prevent fire accidents. Mitsu-Domoe pattern is also found as family crests. Gold inlaid lines might describe waves.  Size Thichness Nakagoana Weight 8.4cm×8.4cm 0.4cm 2.9cm×0.8cm 150g   T000188  

  • $93.91

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Nanban-style, Two Dragons Signature:NO SIGNED Age:EDO period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba oval shape with KODUKA and KOUGAI holes. Dragon is a mythical animal and it rises high up into the sky. Therefore, dragon pattern represents glory or development. It’s a beast that is a symbol of auspicious signs. Its body is likened nine animals: antlers are deer, head is camel, eyes are demons, neck is snake, belly is Mizuchi(mythical animal in Japan which looks like snake and have a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought that Dragon would…

  • $131.47

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Full Moon Signature:NO SIGNED Age:EDO period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba oval shape with KODUKA and KOUGAI holes. A human taking a boat looks like he(or she) is doing the laundry. Mountains and a full moon are engraved in the distance and inlaid with gold. Moon pattern is often designed with rabbit, deer, autumn plants or waves and these patterns symbolize fall. Some plants and rocks are engraved on the back side. Size Thichness Nakagoana Weight 7.0cm×6.5cm 0.25cm 2.9cm×0.8cm 135g   T000172  

  • $685.51

    Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Nara-style, Japanese Apricot Blossoms Signature:NO SIGNED Age: Edo period Material: Brass A Brass Tsuba sloping four corners shape with KODUKA and KOUGAI holes. Japanese apricot blossoms and a creature are engraved and inlaid with gold, silver or Shakudou(mixture of copper and gold). The flowering of Japanese apricot blossoms announces the arrival of spring. People appriciate its adorable petal shape, scent and characteristic branches. Japanese apricot blossom pattern represents patience, vitality or prosperity of future generations. Nara school is one of the most important metal carving schools in Japan. They did well  in downtowns and tried to introduce new unique designs so that their…

  • $539.96

    Certificate: NBTHK Made in Japan Free Shipping Worldwide Title: Myochin-style, Matsu Sukashi Signature:NO SIGNED Age: Edo period Material: Iron An Iron Tsuba Mokkou shape with two holes which describe pines. Pine needle is connected with another needle at the root, so this pattern represents strong alliance, partnership or eternal love. Originally, Myochin family’s occupation was armor production. They took over its technique from the early Kamakura period until the Meiji period. Myochin Tsuba is typically made from iron. Its smiths often used Nanban iron which was imported from India, China or European countries. This Tsuba is recognized by The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, which is known as…