Title: Imono-Shi-style, Shingen Zu
The Nade Kaku Gata (撫角形, quadrilateral-shape with rounded corners) Tsuba made from brass. Each rope pattern retains its shape firmly, and this rope-shaped pattern covers the entire of this work. If you focus on around the Nakago-Ana (茎穴, center hole), you will find there are small flower patterns. We hope you will enjoy these details too. Also, as you could see this Tsuba’s thickness in pictures, this Tsuba is heavier than many other Tsubas. For those who obtained this Tsuba, please imagine the weight; when it was put into the sword’s handle.
The old Shingen-style Tsuba initially had a large Mokkou shape, and the chrysanthemum pattern was engraved with the Sukashi-Bori (openwork) technique. However, unfortunately, many of them are almost no longer exist. Existing Shingen Tsubas are typically circle-shaped and made from iron. Fine wires of copper or brass are coiled or braided like a basket. Also, there is another type of Shingen Tsuba with the brass wire decorations, which look as if centipedes are walking around Tsuba’s edge. That is why the Shingen Zu (信玄図) is also called as the Mukade Zu (百足図).
Due to its many legs, people considered that centipedes would lead to many customers. Also, as it runs very fast, it is connected with the idea that merchants would sell items quickly. Besides, centipedes move the only foreword, not backward: therefore, Samurais compared centipedes to warriors’ brave and heroic figures. During the Sengoku period (戦国時代, the Warring States period, 1467-1615), it is said Samurais regarded this insect as the symbol of victory because of its high aggression. Based on these ideas, the centipede pattern was treated as a lucky charm by Samurai and storekeepers.
There are some theories about the origin of Shingen Tsuba. For example, it was made based on the taste of Takeda Shingen (武田信玄), who is one of the most famous Samurais in the Warring States period. But there is no sure proof about it. Another theory says that Shingen Tsuba was given its name because its shape is similar to the Shingen Bukuro (信玄袋, a small string bag made from cloth).
This Tsuba is recognized by the NTHK certificate. According to its certificate, this Tsuba was made by the Imono-Shi (鋳物師, casting).
*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：NTHK Kanteisho Certificate
NTHK, also known as NPO Nihon Touken Hozon Kai, is the oldest organization for sword authentication of Japanese swords in modern times. It was established in 1889 during the post-Samurai era. They authenticated the Tsuba on Apr 18th in the third year of Reiwa (2021). 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. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. 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 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 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.
-Arrange in modern style
We want to propose to you 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.