The Tsubaki (椿, camellia) flower is the motif of this Menuki. The flowers are colored with gold and silver paints, and the leaves and branches have copper-brown color. Petals, bud, leaves, each part has an elegant shape so that this Menuki has a graceful appearance.
Since this plant is an evergreen tree that keeps its green color throughout the year, it is called the Tokiwa Gi (常盤木) and has been treated as an auspicious motif. The Tsubaki was said to be the most auspicious tree before Japanese apricot blossoms were introduced from the continent. In the Heian (平安, 794-1185) period, it was cherished as a noble flower among aristocrats.
According to a theory, the way flowers fell off was unfavorably received among Samurai families because it was seen just like a head had fallen off. However, on the other hand, Tsubaki has been appreciated as a plant that produces various byproducts. Tsubaki has been used for multiple things, such as oil, cosmetics, and medicine; we would say that this flower has been very familiar to Japanese people’s lives since ancient times. Also, some people believed that the Tsubaki would protect people from epidemics or evil spirits. As mentioned above, the Japanese name of camellia is written as 椿. And this letter is composed of 木 (tree) and 春 (spring). So, this flower was considered a plant that waits for the arrival of spring. We could imagine how people named this flower in an attempt to give it a good meaning.
*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.
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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 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.