Title: Hyoutan Namazu
Catfishes carry golden gourd on their back. Its surface has a smooth texture, and it remains in good condition. The Namazu (鯰) means catfish, and the Hyoutan (瓢箪) means gourd in Japanese. This combination has been treated in Zen Buddhism’s following question and answer: the Hyounen Zu (瓢鯰図). It is thought this theme came from the proverb that means to succeed having difficulty. It has also been favored as a theme of ink paintings since ancient times.
Catfishes have a large head and mouth, two beards, and a slimy body without scales. This fish is nervous and delicate, so they react sensitively to small shakes and violate or jump. For that reason, after the middle ages in Japan, people thought that a catfish was the cause of earthquakes because they could feel even tiny shakes that nobody could realize. A theory says the catfish pattern was often described in the Edo period. We would say this has been one of the familiar motifs for Japanese people for a long time.
There are minor damages due to aging; however, it remains in good condition. We hope this work will become a part of your great collection.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
What is Menuki?
Menuki is a kind of metal fitting of the Japanese sword, which was initially put into the handle’s hole. It covers Mekugi (nail) so that the blade of a sword will be fixed. Originally, Menuki was used to hold Mekugi, but they became separated over time. And then, Menuki had developed its practicality and beauty for the decoration of the Japanese sword.
Menuki became more decorative than in early modern times. Since it had been attached under the Tsukamaki (the handle of the Japanese sword wrapped by thread), Menuki played an essential role in making it easier to grip the sword’s handle.
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.
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. Also, you don’t need to make an account on Stripe for the checkout. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, CHF 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 Menuki and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
Would you like see some more Menuki for sale? Please check the link below. We hope you can find your favorite Menuki.