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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A beautiful signed Japanese ferrule and pommel plate.


The only set of its type known to me in both private and museum collections.

Price on request

A Japanese style sword guard made in 17th century Nagasaki Chinatown.


A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.


A by-knife for a Japanese sword, with a hilt shaped like a sword tang.


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