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Language: Japanese


Aoi-gata (葵形) literally means "hollyhock shape". This style of tsuba was since ancient times mounted on tachi (太刀), large swords that were worn edge downwards, slung from a belt, mainly by cavalry. It is also known as tachi-mokkō-gata (太刀木瓜形) or "Tachi cross shape".1

Often, there is what Westerners would call a heart shape in each corner. These are called inome (猪目) or "boar's eye". It refers to the bravery with which a wild boar tends to charge its attacker.

Aoi gata tsuba

Three tachi style tsuba in aoi-gata.
Left: A classic example, with no hitsu-ana, apertures for by-knife and hairpin.
Middle: An Asian export guard hitsu-ana indicating it was meant for handachi, or "half tachi" mounts.
Right: A nanban example, with Chinese-inspired openwork and Japanese hitsu-ana.


A tachi sword. Metropolitan Museum, New York. Accession number 07.109.5.
Blade 13th century, by Naganori. Mountings 18th to early 19th century.
Gift of the family of Dr. Francis E. Doughty, 1907

1. Markus Sesko; Koshirae, Japanese Sword Mountings, Lulu, Inc. 2014. Page 78.

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Made in Canton, China, for the Japanese market.


Both blades signed, its koshirae fine maki-e lacquer work. Ito school tsuba and Mino Gotō style mounts. …

Price on request

Considered one of the best makers of naginata, he worked for the household of Fukushima Masanori.

Price on request

Made in the 16th century, for the warrior monks of the Hozo-in temple in Nara.

Price on request

A masterpiece of the genre. The Yagami school were excellent carvers of iron.


Fine work and one of the very few enamelled tsuba by this maker.