Title: Nanban-style, Ryu Hou Zu
Mokkou (木瓜) -shaped Tsuba made from iron. Ryu (龍, dragon) and Hou (鳳, the male of Fenghuang) are engraved. Ryu Hou Zu is a popular design because both of these creatures have been believed as sacred beasts. According to a theory, the dragon pattern was treated as the symbol of the emperor. Moreover, the Fenghuang pattern was regarded as the symbol of empress. By depicting them together, it represents bliss, auspiciousness, and longevity.
Dragon is a symbolic beast of auspicious signs. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is Mizuchi (蛟, a 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 the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance. The dragon pattern has been appreciated as the all-purpose auspicious pattern.
Houou (鳳凰) is a member of four fantasy animals which is called “Shirei (四霊)” with Kirin (麒麟, Qilin), Kame (亀, Turtle) and Ryu. It was considered an auspicious sign in ancient China, and it was believed that Houou would show up when the brilliant emperor appeared. People appreciate its graceful shape in Japan.
Nanban Tsuba is a circle shape or Mokkou shape. Dragons, foreign letters, or arabesque designs are often engraved and inlaid with gold or silver on the thin iron.
This Tsuba 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 Tsuba?
Tsuba is the hand-guard of the Japanese sword. High-class Samurai wore his katana sword with its beautiful sword mountings such as Tsuba. Tsuba’s front design tends to be more decorative as this part was often seen by other Samurais when he was walking on the streets.
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.
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 USA 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. (USA, Australia only)
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 delays in shipping. If you like to know the detail about shipping, please feel free to ask 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 Tsuba and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
How to appreciate Tsuba
Although Tsuba is a small component of Japanese sword mountings, we would say it is one of the most conspicuous parts. Also, unlike the blade itself, Tsuba has a low risk of handling. Furthermore, it does not require a large space for storage. Thus, Tsuba is relatively easy to collect. Here we would like to propose a few ways to enrich your Tsuba experience after purchasing your favorite Tsuba.
Inspect and feel the artistry of Tsuba. You will be amazed by the maker’s work quality to make it look a great work.
-Find the right place to display
Tsuba would look great when displayed in the best way. Find the best place in your house, your office, or anywhere you like, so that Tsuba would be appreciated as much as you like.
※These photos are the example of Tsuba stand and how to place the Tsuba.
-Learn the details
Tsuba reflects quite a lot of detailed features of its maker. Sometimes you can find the maker’s signature on Tsuba. Tsuba makers tried adding elaborate artistry to Tsuba. Many techniques were invented to achieve this goal, such as openworks, engravings, and gold/silver inlays. There were many schools that trained Tsuba creators, and each of them has different characteristics. You would enjoy knowing these differences and find your beloved style.
What is included
This item will be packed in a wooden box.
You will also receive the certificate (original) with this Tsuba.
Would you like see some more Tsuba for sale? Please check the link below. We hope you can find your favorite Tsuba.