Title: Kyo-Kanagushi-style, Juka Sougyuu Zu
This Fuchi Kashira is made from the Yamagane (山銅). Its surface is decorated with the Nanako-Ji (魚子地) technique. It is made by hitting the Nanako-Ji Tagane (魚子地鏨, chisel used for this technique), and it makes delicate fish egg-shaped protrusions as you see in this work.
The Juka (樹下) means under the tree(s), and the Sougyuu (双牛) means two cows in Japanese. If you focus on the Kashira part, you will find that two cows spend time under the tree. Some flowers and one of these cows are colored with gold paint. A cow is also depicted at the Fuchi part. This cow appears to be hiding behind a rock near the leather for a brief rest.
Cows have been familiar with human life since ancient times. They are indispensable in multiple situations: food, labor force for farming, or carrying goods. People have thought this hard-working animal’s figure symbolizes integrity. According to a theory, that is why the cow was added to the twelve signs of the Japanese zodiac.
In addition, the Japanese name of cow “牛” is also written as “丑.” There is the letter “紐,” which means string in Japanese. Now you would notice that “丑” is used in the “紐” letter. Therefore, there is an idea that considers “丑” has the meaning such as connect (tie) or take (grasp). Based on these ideas, Samurais might have associated this animal design with the meaning such as “form a connection” or “grab the victory” and incorporated its design for sword mountings.
This Fuchi Kashira is recognized by The Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, which is known as NBTHK.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
What is Fuchi Kashira?
Fuchi Kashira is a kind of metal fitting of the Japanese sword, which improves the handle’s strength. Fuchi Kashira is a combination of two parts; Fuchi and Kashira. Fuchi was put next to Tsuba (hand-guard), and Kashira was put on the grip bottle. Fuchi Kashira had developed not only its practicality but also beauty for the decoration of the Japanese sword.
Why is it that the sword mounting was important for Samurai?
The sword mountings of the Japanese sword have many kinds of decorations such as handguards (Tsuba), sword hilt (Menuki), pommel (Fuchi Kashira). The Japanese sword worked as a weapon and as an object to show who he was. For example, it shows their personalities and beliefs. You could say that it is like decorations for smartphones today. We recommend you zoom in on the pictures of the sword fittings. When you do so, you can see the skill of Japanese metal engraving techniques. They are mainly made of iron and copper with inlays of gold, silver, and bronze. When it comes to handguard (Tsuba), each one has a different outline and weight. These sword fittings that have lived with Japanese swords of the same age might be worth as much as the Japanese swords. They are inconspicuous parts of the Japanese sword. Nevertheless, if you are knowledgeable or particular about it, you will become a connoisseur of the Samurai.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate
NBTHK, also known as Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai (the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword), is one of the oldest Japanese sword appraising organizations in modern-day Japan. They authenticated the Fuchi Kashira on Jun 27th in the 26th year of Heisei (2014). They appraised it as Hozon Tousougu, the Fuchi Kashira worth preserving for Japanese society. The purchaser will receive this original certificate as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
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*Please keep in mind that due to the spread of COVID-19, there might be possible delays in delivery. If you like to make sure if EMS shipping is available to your country, please contact us.
【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.
It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of Fuchi Kashira and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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