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Chinese pierced sword guard logo

Qing openwork saber guard

A fine sword guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty. It were fine Chinese dāo hùshǒu like this example that became the prototypes for an entire genre of Japanese tsuba with strong Chinese influence. It's nice to find a 100% Chinese example from time to time, like this one.
Yari logo

An interesting Japanese yari

Signed Yasutsugu, with sayagaki referring to the Tokugawa family.
Inome logo

Inome (猪目)

"Boar's eye", a heart-shaped pattern commonly used in Japanese art.
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.
Aoi-gata tsuba

Aoi-gata (葵形)

Japanese word for a sword guard shape. Literelly "hollyhock shape".
Nanban tetsu

Nanban tetsu (南蠻鉃)

Literally: Southern barbarian steel.
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.
Kusarigama

Kusarigama

Language: Japanese

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.
Shibuichi logo

Shibuichi (四分一)

A copper-silver alloy used to make Japanese sword mounts.
Hisayuki fuchi kashira

Fuchi kashira by Hisayuki

A beautiful signed Japanese ferrule and pommel plate.
Ship tsuba

Classic Choshu ship tsuba

The work nice and crisp, the execution has a naturalistic charm to it.
Ono school ship tsuba

Ono school ship tsuba

Description

A classic Japanese ship tsuba with a motif called “kazeho” (風帆) or “b

Ezo style tsuba

Ezo style tsuba

Introduction

What are today known as "Ezo fittings" are a style of Japanese sword mounts that are character

Asian Export Tsuba

Eight-lobed openwork tsuba

Description

A fairly unusual piece, of eight-lobed design.

Japanese tsuba

A Japanese nanban style tsuba

Description

An interesting little sword guard, of fairly simple form with designs carved i

Asian export sword guard logo

Asian Export sword guard

A large imported "Canton" sword guard with paired dragons chasing a jewel.

Nanban futakoromono

Nanban kogai & kozuka set (futakoromono)

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

A Japanese kusarigama

The Japanese kusarigama is a variation of the gama, a scythe-like weapon that was likely inspired

Chinese encyclopedia

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Things Chinese, 1719

Description

A Japanese volume from the 唐土訓蒙圖彚 or "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Things Chinese", it was publi

Nanban kozuka

A nanban kozuka / kogatana

Description

Japanese sword fittings that exhibit foreign influence are today commonly classified as nan

Chinese guard logo

Converted Chinese guard

A purely Chinese guard and not a very ornate one.

Asian export sword guards logo

Nanban tsuba & Asian export sword guards

For long, "nanban tsuba" literally "Southern barbarian sword-guards" have been a catch-all classification for sword guards for Japanese swords (tsuba), that show foreign influence.
Asian export sword guard

Chinese export sword guard

An iron openwork guard two dragons chasing a flaming pearl.

Nanban tsuba with christian orb

A nanban tsuba with Christian orb

A near round tsuba with beaded rim depicting two dragons in vegetal scrollwork.

Japanese nanban tsuba

A nanban tsuba

A rather good example of a Japanese-made nanban tsuba.