Katana Koshirae for Samurai Sword (Koshirae-09)
Oval-shaped antique Tsuba that has Kozuka and Kougai holes. A Shirasagi (白鷺, egret) standing under the weeping willow tree is depicted. Egret is a popular motif, especially for potteries, because of its beautiful white feathers and elegant appearance. This egret seems to look for something at its feet. The color decorations with gold, silver, and copper, are remaining in good condition. It makes an ornamental look for this work.
The scabbard is painted with glossy black brown lacquer. Finely circle-shaped patterns decorate the side close to the handle part. This type of Saya (scabbard) is called Ichibu Kizami Saya (一分刻鞘). It might be adopted not only for the beauty of appearance but also for the practicability for the slip resistance.
The handle is covered with stingray skin to reinforce the handle and not slip when its owner holds it. The black thread includes the handle with the Hishi-Maki technique, a kind of Tsukamaki method.
The Kiri (桐, paulownia) is designed for this Fuchi Kashira (pommel). Although some parts have already been flaked off its gold painting, it seems this Fuchi Kashira was initially colored with golden metal (probably gold or brass).
In many cases, this plant pattern is composed of three standing straight inflorescences and three leaves. The number of blooming flowers at each inflorescence means the ranks of this design. It is also famous that one of the most popular Samurais in Japan: Toyotomi Hideyoshi used the Kiri pattern for his family crest. According to a theory, Hideyoshi used Omodaka (沢瀉, arrowhead) pattern as his family crest. However, Oda Nobunaga, a well-known military commander in the Warring States period, permitted Hideyoshi to use Kiri design. This plant pattern was once used by the imperial family and national leaders of the time. Today, this plant pattern is used as the crest of the Japanese Government. Also, a tradition says that Houou (鳳凰, Fenghuang, a kind of sacred beast) rests its wings at the paulownia tree; therefore, some people regarded this holy bird as a sacred plant.
The Koi (鯉, domestic carp) is the motif of this Menuki (hilt decor). According to an ancient Chinese story, lots of fish tried to climb the waterfall called Ryumon (竜門, dragon gate) in the rapid stream of the Yellow River. As a result, only Koi climbed up and became a dragon and ran through the sky. This is the reason why “Koi-no Taki Nobori” (鯉の滝昇り, domestic carp climbing waterfall) became a symbol of success in life. The Ryumon legend is associated with this story. By living confidently and making efforts, people hoped for their children to grow up to become magnificent people. Samurai families then might have used this fish motif wishing their sons to be promoted to high-ranked Samurais.
This item is the Kougai which is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hairstyle. Or, since this Kougai could be separated into two parts, it could be used as chopsticks. A trefoil plant pattern is carved at the handle part. It might be a family crest of its owner.
You would find a heart mark-shaped hole at the tip on the handle side. This design is called the Inome (猪の目) pattern, used since ancient times in Japan. As its name implies, the eyes of the boar are the origin of this pattern. Some people believed that the Inome design would work as an amulet to protect them from evil spirits or fire. Also, it is said it would bring good luck. This pattern is often found in traditional Japanese architectures such as shrines or temples and used Gegyo (懸魚, decoration under the roof, where the roof is jointed) or metal fittings for hiding timber joints.
【NTHK Kanteisho Certificate】
NTHK, also known as Nihon Touken Hozon Kai (the Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Sword), is one of the oldest Japanese sword appraising organizations in modern-day Japan. They authenticated the sword mounting (Koshirae) on March 18th in the third year of Reiwa (2021). They appraised it as the Kanteisho class. 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.
According to the certificate, this Koshirae is categorized as Toppei Koshirae (突兵拵え). Toppei Koshirae is a type of Koshirae for actual battles in accordance with the style to incorporate the Western-style training in the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
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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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.
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