Title: Sacred Beasts
This item is the set of a Kozuka and a Wari-Kougai. Wari-Kougai is also called Saki-Kougai; it is a kind of Kougai. It looks similar to chopsticks. Initially, Samurai used Kougai to comb their hair or to clean out earwax. So, it was an item for taking care of their appearances. However, the demand for decorative sword mountings increased in the Edo period, and Wari-Kougai was in vogue as ornamental metal fittings.
Dragons are designed on both items: Kozuka and Wari-Kougai. Dragon is an imaginary creature that is found in ancient Chinese traditions or myths. And it’s a beast that is a symbol of auspicious signs. Its body is likened nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is Mizuchi (mythical animal in Japan which looks like a 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 reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance. In ancient China, dragon pattern was used for closing of emperors so that its shape or even the number of nails were strictly defined. On the other hand, in Japan, the Dragon pattern does not have the role of either detailed rules to represent classes. But still, it maintains its meaning as the all-purpose auspicious pattern.
*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 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.
Kozuka and Kogatana
Wari-Kougai / Saki-Kougai
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.
We accept payment through Stripe (Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. After confirming your payment, we will apply for an export permit. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
We normally ship via EMS (Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. It usually takes at least 5-14 days to deliver the package after you place an order. We will use DHL instead for those who ordered from Canada or Australia as EMS temporarily stops shipping to these countries due to COVID-19. We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can ship your order by either EMS or DHL (Australia, Canada only). If you prefer other shipping carriers, please contact us.
We will inform you of the order’s tracking number via email. Please make sure you fill out your valid email address correctly.
*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 Kozuka and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
Would you like see some more Kozuka for sale? Please check the link below. We hope you can find your favorite Kozuka.