Title: Akikusa Akimushi Zu
This Kozuka is made from the Shibuichi (四分一). It is an alloy of copper and silver. It contains about 25% silver (a quarter of copper), which is why this alloy was named Shibuichi (it means quarter in Japanese). It is also called the Oborogin (朧銀) because it has a beautiful silver-gray color.
The Akikusa (秋草) means autumn plant, and the Akimushi (秋虫) means autumn insect in Japanese. Please look at the front of this Kozuka. You would find the Asagao (朝顔, morning glory) and the Batta (バッタ, grasshopper). In Japan, morning glory blooms in the summer; however, it is treated as a season word of fall. This is because of the difference between Japan’s old calendar and the new calendar. So, this Kozuka is decorated with motifs that symbolize autumn and gives you a sense of this season. The maker’s expert skill made this emotional work.
According to the signature, this Kozuka’s maker is Tobari Tomihisa (戸張 富久, ?-1825). He was one of Goto Mitsutaka (後藤光孝, the 13th Goto Enjo)’s pupils. Later, he left the Goto school and became independent, and wielded his skills in his hometown. He interacted with Sakai Hōitsu (酒井抱一), who is known as famous Japanese painter of the Rinpa (琳派) school. A theory says that Tomihisa sometimes used Hōitsu’s sketches. Tomihisa enjoyed the Haiku (俳句, Japanese short poem) and appreciated refinement. You would feel as if this work reflects his personality.
*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 Aug 25th in the second year of Reiwa (2020). 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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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. Time of delivery is estimated as accurately as possible by the carrier but does not take into account any delays beyond our control such as by inclement weather, post office holiday seasons.
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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 Kozuka and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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