Title: Mitsugashiwa Mon
A Kozuka made from Shakudou. Shakudou contains copper and a small amount of gold; therefore, this Kozuka has bluish-purple black color. Its base is decorated with the Nanako-Ji technique. The groundwork was hit by Nanakoji-Tagane (chisel for metalworking), so small dents cover the background. Each little dot looks like a fish egg.
Mitsugashiwa Mon is designed on this Kozuka. This pattern is a combination of three Kashiwa (daimyo oak) leaves. Its leaves were used for putting foods in the past. So, it was used as a dish when we offer food to God in Japan. Kashiwa and Shinto rituals have close relations; therefore, there are some shrines where Kashiwa trees are planted. Kashiwa pattern was often used for family crests of priests in the Muromachi period (1336-1573). It is said that this pattern symbolizes fortitude. A lot of Samurai also loved it and used it for their family crests.
The creator of this Kozuka is Inabanosuke Yoshioka. His family worked for the Tokugawa Shogunate family in the Edo period. The first of Yoshioka school, Shigetsugu Yoshioka, was called for Ieyasu Tokugawa, and this family prospered until the reign of the 9th Tokugawa Shogun. Generally, their works were not signed because they presented these works to Shogun. The Yoshioka family heads were granted an audience with the Shogun when the new head succeeded to the household headship. It means the Yoshioka family was a prestigious family at that period.
This Kozuka is recognized by The Society for 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 Kozuka?
Kozuka is the small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu (groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword). Many Tsubas (handguard) have two holes to put Kozuka and Kougai (equipment for appearance) next to Nakagoana (a hole of the Tsuba to put sword), so that Samurai didn’t need to draw his sword out of the scabbard when he wanted to use Kozuka or Kougai. Initially, Samurai used it for cutting wood or attacking enemies in an emergency. It is said that Kozuka was used as a craft knife rather than a weapon.
The decorative designs of Kozuka were more emphasized than its practical use in the Edo period when Samurai society enjoyed one of the most peaceful times. And there were many ornamental Kozuka and Kougai created by Japanese metalworkers.
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 Kozuka on Jun 28th in the 24th year of Heisei (2012). They appraised it as Hozon Tousougu, the Kozuka 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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【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 Kozuka and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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