Filter results
NBTHK papers

NBTHK sword papers

An introduction to NBTHK Japanese sword certifications and rankings.
Winged dragon tsuba

Winged dragon tsuba

A fine and unusually large tsuba. Attributed to Hizen by the NBTHK.
Fine Burmese silver repousse sword scabbard

Fine Burmese silver sword scabbard

It represents the best of Burmese silversmithing with repousse work in high relief.
Kinai tsuba logo

Fine Kinai dragon tsuba

Made by the Kinai group of Echizen, who originated as horimono carvers.
Nanban style ship tsuba signed Hishu Kanesada logo

Signed nanban style ship tsuba

Signed by an artist named Kanesada from Higo.
Tetsugendo Seiryuken Eiji tsuba

Seiryūken Eiju dragon tsuba

Tetsugendo school. Round plate with discoid cross-section, chiseled with dragons.
Peony karakusa tsuba

Peony karakusa tsuba

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

Sawasa style iron guard

Unusual piece with depiction of a foreign figure.
Chysanthemum tsuba

Iron chrysanthemum tsuba

Large example with gold and silver overlay.
Dragon gate guard logo

Unusual dragon gate guard

Asian sword guard of unknown origin, modified in Japan.
Canton tsuba

Japanese tsuba in Canton style

Also known as Kwanto-gata, with two facing dragon chasing a pearl.
Daruma tsuba logo

Daruma tsuba

A peculiar tsuba with a depiction of Bodhidharma and two dragon chasing a pearl.
Kunihiro wan-gata tsuba

Wan-gata tsuba by Kunihiro

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

Silver overlaid talwar hilt

Never mounted, still with the shop's wooden stopper.
Rooster fight kozuka logo

Rooster fight kozuka

Executed in gold and silver on a shakudō nanako base, with golden back.
Compass rose guard logo

Cast iron compass rose guard

A peculiar cast iron sword guard, probably from the South China Seas area.
Nanban kogai and kozuka called futakoromono

Nanban kogai & kozuka set (futakoromono)

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

Ainu sword hilt

Made of wood, with a silver ornamental fitting of remarkable workmanship.
Kankyuto

Kankyûtô (貫級刀/貫首刀)

Japanese word for a samurai tool.
Kankyuto logo

An Edo period kankyûtô

A double-edged samurai tool with morbid origins.
Kozuka

Kozuka (小柄)

Japanese name of a small utility knife worn in sword and dagger scabbards.
Nakago kozuka logo

Signed nakago kozuka

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

Tsuba (鍔 / 鐔)

Japanese name for a sword guard.
Chinese loukong export guard

Chinese lòukōng sword guard

The archetypical Chinese sword guard that gave rise to the Japanese genre of "nanban tsuba".
Jian guard logo

Hūshǒu (護手)

Chinese for the handguard of a weapon.
Chinese pierced sword guard logo

Qing openwork saber guard

A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.
Qing om a hum mantra saber guard

Chinese hùshǒu with lantsa script

A Chinese sword guard from the 18th century with a Buddhist mantra in lantsa script.
Qing hozon papers logo

Chinese sword guards in Japan

The Chinese saber guard is called dāo hūshǒu (刀護手), or hùshǒu pán (護手盤) in Chinese. This literally translates to "saber handguard" or "disc handguard". At some point, the Japanese got quite a taste for them. Over the years a number of them have turned up from Japanese sources that exhibit alterations that indicate they were used by Japanese on their swords.
Early chilanum hilt logo

Early chilanum hilt

An old bronze hilt in the shape of chilanum hilts.
Kogai

Kōgai (笄)

The Japanese term for a hair arranging pin that was worn in Japanese sword scabbards.
Wari kogai

Wari-kōgai (割笄)

The Japanese term for a hair arranging needle that can be split to form a pair of chopsticks.
Wari kogai logo

A Japanese wari-kōgai

Iron chopsticks that combine as a kogai, with silver inlaid Paulownia mon.
Sword guard

"South China Sea Guard"

Most likely used by the multi-cultural crews of pirate fleets that roamed the South China seas.
tachi-mokko-gata

Tachi-mokkō-gata (太刀木瓜形)

Japanese term for a cross-shaped tsuba often used on tachi swords.
Aoi-gata tsuba

Aoi-gata (葵形)

Japanese word for a sword guard shape. Literelly "hollyhock shape".
Kiyou Toujin tsuba

Kiyou-Toujin Tsuba

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

Tachi tsuba of nanban tetsu

A rare 17th-century sword guard made of foreign steel.
Aviz tsuba

House of Aviz tsuba

A Japanese sword guard with the cross of the House of Aviz.
Hisayuki

Hisayuki (久隨)

A Japanese maker of sword mounts, active in the Edo period.
Alluva

Alluva

Sinhala for side plates on a sword.
Sinhalese knuckle guard

Ath häde

Sinhala for "knuckle guard".
Knuckle guard

Ath väsma

Sinhala term given by Deraniyagala for "knuckle guard".
Korean guard

A Korean sword guard

Adjusted for use on a Japanese sword.
Kiyou Toujin tsuba

Kiyou Toujin tsuba (崎陽唐人鐔)

Japanese style sword guards made by Chinese craftsmen in Nagasaki.
Asian export sword guard

Asian export sword guard

An interesting pierced iron Asian export sword guard that is part of a small group of guards that were made with a mu

Saber guard logo

Dāo hūshǒu (刀護手)

Qing Chinese for "saber guard".
Iron ship sword guard

Iron ship sword guard

A chiseled iron sword guard depicting a Dutch ship with a figure on its stern.
Asian export sword guard

Sinhalese export sword guard

A large circular Asian export sword guard with elaborate decor carved in relief on both sides.
Hisayuki fuchi kashira

Fuchi kashira by Hisayuki

A beautiful signed Japanese ferrule and pommel plate.
Asian Export Sword Guard

Asian export sword guards

Sword guards that were made across Asia, specifically with export in mind.