Language: Japanese
Source: In common use

The kozuka (小柄) refers to the handle of a small utility knife that is carried in the scabbard of Japanese swords and daggers. It was used for whatever the main blade was too big or too precious for. The whole knife is called kogatana (小刀), but in collector's circles, the whole is often called kozuka. Like with Japanese sword guards, tsuba, there is quite a collecting culture around the handles alone.

 

Nanban kozuka

A nice kozuka with nanban style decoration.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2017.

 

They were typically worn on the side of the scabbard facing the body when the sword was worn, and part of their hilts would stick through a hole in the tsuba () or "guard" called kozuka-hitsu-ana (小柄櫃孔).

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Japanese sword guard depicting three wise monkeys conveying the message see no evil, hear no evil, speak no…

€1500,-

The very detailed mountings are decorated with designs of Japanese spiny lobsters.

Price on request

A fine and unusually large tsuba. Attributed to Hizen by the NBTHK.

€3200,-

Executed in "nanban style" openwork with chiseled and gold-encrusted peonies.

€350,-

A peculiar tsuba with a depiction of Bodhidharma and two dragon chasing a pearl.

€420,-

Its outer surface is decorated with interlocking swastikas and family crests.

€460,-