Get antique Tsubas at a special offer price!
This item is a set of 5 antique Tsubas. Each Tsuba is stored in a wooden box.
T-129: Mokkou-shaped brass Tsuba that has Kozuka and Kougai holes. Bamboo shoots are depicted realistically on each side. The hammer hit its edge; therefore, it looks thick. This type of decoration is called the Uchikaeshi-Mimi in Japanese. As bamboos have a high fertility rate, people might have appreciated this motif. This Tsuba is recognized by The Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, which is known as NBTHK.
T-207: This Tsuba uses the Inome Sukashi technique. The Inome pattern is engraved with openwork to four corners of Tsuba. This design has been being used since ancient times, and it is similar to the heart mark. As its name implies, a boar’s eyes are the origin of this pattern. Boar is called Inoshishi, and the eye is called Me in Japanese. It is believed that the Inome pattern works as an amulet to protect us from evil spirits or fire. Also, it is said it brings good luck. This pattern is often found in traditional Japanese architecture, such as shrines or temples. It is used in Gegyo (decoration under the roof, where the roof is joined) or metal fittings for hiding timber joints.
The Karakusa (唐草, arabesque) pattern is inlaid with brass. The Karakusa means climbing plants in Japanese. Ivy has vitality, and it thrives strongly; therefore, this plant pattern represents prosperity and longevity.
The Hozuki (鬼灯, Physalis alkekengi) is also designed. This plant is regarded as a kind of good-luck item in Japan. When its name is written in Kanji (a type of Japanese character), it is expressed as “light of Oni (鬼, Japanese monster with the human body).” Some people believe it will protect them from evil spirits. Also, the Hozuki is treated as a good omen to hope safety and good health.
Heianjo-style was established in Yamashiro (Kyoto Pref.). It is mainly made of iron with brass inlay. Its design was simply family crest or arabesque patterns in the beginning. However, after that, they started making different shapes of Tsuba and started using gold, silver, or copper for inlaying.
T-293: An antique Tsuba made from iron. The Take (竹, bamboo) design is engraved. Bamboos grow neatly towards the sky, and it is strong so that this motif represents nobility and strength. According to a Chinese legend, the Houhou (鳳凰, Fenghuang) eats the fruits of bamboo; therefore, bamboo has been considered a sacred plant. Also, as it keeps its green color even in cold winter, people have thought the bamboo pattern shows eternity and longevity. The Take pattern is one of the familiar designs for Japanese people since ancient times.
T-339: Yotsu-Mokkou-shaped Tsuba made from iron. The Mokkou (木瓜) shape, its origin is a shape of eggs that are rest in a nest. When a quince (it is written 木瓜 in Japanese) is cut into round slices, its cross-section looks similar to this shape; therefore, it was named Mokkougata Tsuba. The Yotsu-Mokkougata (a combination of four Mokkou shapes) Tsuba is often seen as this Tsuba is categorized.
The Karakusa pattern is engraved on the entire part. It is a design in which stems and leaves of vines are twined and make curves. Kozuka and Kougai holes are framed with wave patterns. Based on Nanban Tsuba’s origin, we speculate it was also a popular motif.
Nanban Tsuba was produced in Nagasaki and Hirado area in the Genroku era (1688-1704). This style’s Tsuba usually has 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. We hope you will enjoy this Tsuba’s foreign atmosphere.
T-342: Circle-shaped Tsuba made from iron. A glossy black metal (probably copper or iron) is applied to Kozuka and Kougai holes. Kiku (菊, chrysanthemum) and Sakura (桜, cherry blossom) are designed. It seems small silvery dots depict water. Droplets of water drip on petals and show us scenery after the rain.
A long time ago, the chrysanthemum was used as a medicine for obtaining a long life in the continent. And it was brought to Japan with this thought in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemum is one of the flowers which symbolizes fall, and people have appreciated it very much since ancient times. As its petals form radially, the chrysanthemum has been likened to the sun. That is why this flower pattern is treated as the symbol of perpetual youth and longevity or good health.
Cherry blossom is one of the seasonal things of spring, and it has been loved for a long time. Its pattern is designed for sword mountings and Kimono (traditional Japanese costume) or furnishings. It has believed that the god of grain exists in cherry blossom. Therefore, this flower pattern has been treated as the symbol of a rich harvest. People held a traditional custom under cherry blossom trees to pray for a bumper year in ancient times. It is the origin of the cherry blossom viewing picnic today.
Chrysanthemum and cherry blossom, both of are classical Japanese patterns. We imagine that many Samurais loved these motifs.
Since each of them has different designs, you could collect a variety of Tsuba at once. We hope that this affordable item will be a part of your great collection.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
|Edo period||Brass||8.6cm × 7.8cm × 0.45cm||2.7cm × 0.8cm||180g|
|T-207||NO SIGNED||Edo period||Iron||8.0cm × 7.9cm × 0.3cm||3.1cm × 0.7cm||125g|
|T-293||NO SIGNED||Edo period||Iron||7.9cm × 7.8cm × 0.3cm||3.0cm × 1.0cm||91g|
|T-339||NO SIGNED||Edo period||Iron||7.8cm × 7.1cm × 0.3cm||2.7cm × 0.6cm||96g|
|T-342||NO SIGNED||Edo period||Iron||8.1cm × 7.9cm × 0.5cm||3.0cm × 0.9cm||127g|
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 (T-129) on May 28th in the first year of Reiwa (2019). 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.
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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. 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.