Title: Yūrei Zu Tsuba
This Tsuba is recognized by The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, which is known as NBTHK. Its engraved inscription is written as follows: Mori (森, maker’s name) and the Kaou (花押, his stylized signature).
About the design, its theme is the Yūrei Zu (幽霊図). Yūrei means ghost in Japanese, and the Yūrei Ga (幽霊画) is a kind of Japanese-style painting and Ukiyo-e (浮世絵, a picture of the floating world). This painting style was widespread from the Edo period to the Meiji period. It is said that the Yūrei Ga requires complicated techniques among all paintings. The Yūrei Ga depicts ghosts and other objects in the world of the dead. Various Yūrei Gas were drawn, such as those with scary horror or humorous designs. It has been established as a genre of painting subject from a variety of styles and a large number of works.
The Yūrei Ga tends to have a negative impression when conveyed in this way. However, it could also be perceived as an auspicious motif. For example, many ghosts in Yūrei Gas do not have legs. There is also the idea that it is promising because it is associated with the word “Asi ga Nai (足が無い, no legs)”, that is, “Shuppi ga Nai (出費が無い, no expenses)” in Japanese. Another view says that Yūrei Gas were drawn for memorial service or amulet against thieves and evil spirits. In addition, in some areas, people displayed it to pray for rain.
A long-haired ghost whose gender is unclear is depicted on this Tsuba. We feel the sad emotion from its downcast eyes. There is never an aggressive and violent atmosphere, just quietly, quietly standing there and looking miserable. On a moonlit night when the crescent moon shines, the appearance of the ghost standing quietly under a willow tree tells us a strong sense of loneliness. You would find a Hitodama (人魂, a spirit of a dead person returning as a small ball of fire) at the feet of the ghost. The screen composition and careful sculptural expression create an elegant atmosphere, and this Tsuba seems to be a single painting.
We think the backside of this Tsuba depicts the same scenery as the front. The three objects lying on the roadside are probably hats. We imagine these were hats worn by Samurai who lost their lives on this battlefield. If so, this ghost might be mourning the fallen warriors on the battlefield, or perhaps this ghost is himself a Samurai who passed away in battle, lamenting the impermanence of this world. We hope you will add this delicate and beautiful piece to your great collection and cherish it.
*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 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 Tsuba on Jun 19th in the 2nd year of Reiwa (2020). They appraised it as Hozon Tousougu, the Tsuba 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.
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. 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.
We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can ship your order by EMS. 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.
【Antique Japanese Tsuba and Export process】
After receiving the full payment from you, we will apply for its export permit from the Board of Education to legally export the Tsuba to other countries. It normally takes around 2 to 4 weeks to receive this permit. And we would like you to expect at least 1.0 – 1.5 months for your order to arrive at your given address after you ordered.
【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】
While 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 openwork, engravings, and gold/silver inlays. There were many schools that trained Tsuba makers, and each of them has different characteristics. You would enjoy knowing these differences and find your beloved style.
-Arrange in modern style
We want to propose the way that you could enjoy the Tsuba as jewelry. By stringing a cord into the center hole of the Tsuba, it could be worn as a necklace. This modern way would show you a new charm of Tsuba. Here are the examples of neckless.
【Give the Tsuba as a special gift】
Are you looking for a special gift for a person who is interested in Japanese culture? We recommend you to give an antique Tsuba as a present for your significant other. Tsuba is an integral part of the Samurai sword, which was once a primary weapon for Samurai. Each Tsuba is a unique item and has a different design. We hope it would be a memorable gift. Now it is time for you to share the beauty of a piece of Samurai history with your family members or friends, for instance. Also, gift wrapping is available for Tsuba; it is for free. Here is an example of wrapping. For more information, please feel free to contact us. It is always our pleasure to serve you.
Would you like see some more Tsuba for sale? Please check the link below. We hope you can find your favorite Tsuba.