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Yagami school nanban tsuba

Yagami school nanban tsuba

The Yagami school were excellent carvers of iron, known for their 1000 monkey designs.
Hirado Kunishige tsuba logo

Enamelled Hirado Kunishige tsuba

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

Hirado Kunishige (平戸市國重)

A group of Japanese sword fitting makers working on the island of Hirado.
Katana with horse themed koshirae logo

Katana in horse theme koshirae

Blade signed Sesshū-jū Fujiwara Hiroyoshi, active in the 1670s-80s.
Three wise monkeys tsuba logo

Three wise monkeys tsuba

Japanese sword guard depicting three wise monkeys conveying the message see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
Shimosaka o-tanto

Shimosaka o-tantō

N.B.T.H.K. Hozon with a set of Nanban-style koshirae with signed tsuba.
Important Juyo Ko-Hoki Sadatsuna logo

Important Ko-Hōki Sadatsuna katana

12th-century blade. 33rd Shinsha Juyō Token with sayagaki by Tanobe.
Jumyo katana logo

Jumyo katana with fine koshirae

The very detailed mountings are decorated with designs of Japanese spiny lobsters.
Musashi Taro Yasukuni katana logo

Katana by Musashi Taro Yasukuni

Signed, ubu. Complete with tasteful koshirae and Hozon papers.
Musashi Taro Yasukuni logo

Musashi Taro Yasukuni (武蔵太郎安国)

A Japanese swordsmith who lived between 1650-1730.
Shihozume kitae logo

Shihōzume-gitae (四方詰め鍛え)

Japanese word for a sword construction with a high carbon edge, low carbon core, medium carbon sides and a separate back.
Honsanmai gitae logo

Hon-sanmai-gitae (本三枚鍛え)

Japanese word for a sword construction with a high carbon edge plate under a soft core, flanked by medium steel.
Sanmei gitae logo

Sanmai-gitae (三枚鍛え)

Japanese word for a sword construction with a center high carbon edge plate.
Wariha-gitae logo

Wariha-gitae / wariba-gitea (割刃鍛え)

Japanese term for a sword construction with an inserted edge made of higher carbon steel.
Hyoshigi gitae logo

Hyoshigi-gitae (拍子木鍛え)  

Japanese term for a sword construction with an edge made of higher carbon steel.
Maru gitae

Maru-gitae (丸鍛え)

Japanese word for a basic blade construction consisting of one type of steel.
Japanese sword construction methods logo

Construction methods of Japanese swords

This article will describe several methods by which the Japanese joined higher and lower carbon steels into their blades.
Shin jugomai kobuse logo

Shin jūgomai kōbuse-gitae (真十五枚甲伏鍛え)

Japanese sword construction that is was found inscribed on some tangs.
Kobuse logo

Kōbuse-gitae (甲伏せ鍛え)

Japanese word for a sword construction with high carbon steel outer jacket around a softer core.
Kanetuhu-etuhu point of knife or sword

Kanetuhu / Etuhu

Ainu words for the point of a knife or sword.
Notak logo

Notak

Ainu word for the edge of a sharp tool like a knife.
Back of knife

Mekkashike

Ainu word for the back of a knife, or sword. Also the ridge of a mountain or house.
Makiri saya

Makiri-saya

Ainu word for the scabbard of a utility knife called makiri.
Makiri nip

Makiri-nip

Ainu word for a knife handle.
Ibehe ainu

Ibehe

Ibehe is an Ainu word for a knife or sword blade.
Nioi

Nioi (匂)

Japanese word for fine martensite crystals in the blade's temperline.
Nie logo

Nie (沸)

Japanese word for martensite crystals that form in blade under certain conditions.
Yoki wazamono logo

Yoki Wazamono (良業物)

Japanese term for a sword with the third highest rated cutting ability.
o-wazamono logo

Ō Wazamono (大業物)

Japanese term for a sword with the second highest rated cutting ability.
Saijo o wazamono

Saijō Ō Wazamono (最上大業物)

Japanese term for a sword with the highest rated cutting ability.
Wazamono logo

Wazamono (業物)

Japanese term for a sword that is tested to cut well.
Tametsugu signature logo

Tametsugu (為継)

A Japanese swordsmith in the Shōshū tradition.
Tametsugu logo

Sōshū sword with tachi koshirae

Tokubetsu Hozon, attributed to Den Tametsugu. With fine itomaki no tachi koshirae.
Itomaki no tachi

Itomaki no tachi (糸巻太刀)

Japanese term for a type of tachi koshirae.
Koshirae logo

Koshirae (拵)

Japanese term for the mountings of an edged weapon.
Makiri blade logo

Makiri-ibe

Ainu word for knife blade.
Ainu emushi sword with sash

Ainu sword with sash

With deeply carved scabbard, complete with fine guard embroidered sash.
Ainu tanto logo

Rare Ainu kuttom-ushbe

A luxury Ainu knife styled after the Japanese tantō.
Unusual Ainu knife

Unusual Ainu knife

Resembling a makiri but with the blade's edge on the opposite side.
Ainu makiri knife logo

Ainu knife

Of a typical style used in Hokkaido in the 19th century.
Slender Ainu makiri knife logo

Bark wrapped Ainu makiri

A slender makiri with a bark wrapped scabbard.
Finely carved makiri dagger

Fine Ainu makiri

An exceptionally well-carved Ainu knife.
Ainu items group

Knives and swords of the Ainu

19th-century ethnographers noticed that they had no iron production and relied solely on trade for articles like knives and swords. However, archaeologists found iron working facilities in 1988 and 1990.
Kuttom-ushbe logo

Kuttom-ushbe

Ainu word for a long knife worn in the belt.
Ainu sword logo 2

Emushi

Ainu word for sword
Ainu makiri knife logo

Makiri

Ainu word for a knife.
NBTHK papers

NBTHK Japanese 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.
Kunikiyo wakizashi with horimono tested by Yamano 2 body cut

Kunikiyo wakizashi, Yamano test cut

A wakizashi by master Kunikiyo, tested by the most famous sword tester of 17th century Japan.
Kunikiyo logo

Kunikiyo (國清)

A line of Japanese swordsmiths working in Echizen.