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A Super Early Samurai Sword Katana Tsuba, Kanayama and Ono School

A Super Early Samurai Sword Katana Tsuba, Kanayama and Ono School

Kanayama and Ono school tettsu tsuba, Circa 1400
Kanayama Tsuba exhibit a well forged iron with a hammered surface with prominent Tsuchime similar to Owari Tsuba but with stronger Tekkotsu visible in the rim and surface. The origin of Kanayama tsuba is still not a hundred percent clear, but most sources name a city close to Nagoya in the Owari province. In the early Edo period Ono Tsuba developed out of the Kanayama school and continued their tradition with various designs but a bit smaller in size.
The Kanayama school
Beginning in mid Muromachi to the end of Genroku (ca. 1400 to 1710). For purposes of study, the period of production is divided into three sections: the first period is the Muromachi age, second period is Momoyama age, and the third period are the pieces made in Kyoto during the Edo age. Normally round, sometimes oval.
the tsuba's seppa dai is a very good shape, squarish at top and bottom. Usually Thickness 3 to 5.09mm. this tsuba is 5 mm thick . It appears slightly large for the size of the tsuba and slightly more oblong than those found on Owari tsuba.

Many tsuba of the school have thin, raised square peripheral rims (later examples have rounded rims) with 'tekkotsu' visible.
Design Characteristics:
This school would seem to be the earliest to use ji-sukashi (positive silhouette). Most of the designs are plain, direct, and abstract, consisting largely of straight or curved lines that produce a feeling of great dignity. The openwork is so extensive that the remaining metal portions are very fine and slender.

Antique Japanese koshirae [Japanese samurai sword mounts, tsuba and fittings] are considered as fine object d'art in their own right, and have been collectable as individual items or sets, since the Edo period. They were often removed from swords, mounted in small cases, and respectfully admired for display as items of the highest quality workmanship, and symbols of the noble samurai, in their own right. Some koshirae collectors never actually have any interest in the blades themselves, and individual pieces can attain values of tens of thousands of pounds, and there are many multi million pound collections, in and out of museums, comprising of some of the finest examples of Japanese un-mounted sword fittings from the samurai historical period.

70mm across

Code: 24045

675.00 GBP


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Bizen Osafune Ju Yokoyama Sukenaga with Choji Midare Hamon

Bizen Osafune Ju Yokoyama Sukenaga with Choji Midare Hamon

Shinshinto antique samurai sword from the the school of the famed and great Yokayama master sword smiths, named blade of master Sukenaga.

The Yokayama school is considered by many to be one of the very best schools of sword making. The mounts are all original with dark blu-black silk ito wrap, the koshirae fittings are beautiful, Higo style, in coarse iron decorated with relief shellfish with small highlights in gold and silver. And the sukashi tsuba is an early iron tettsu o-sukashi tsuba decorated with samurai clan kamon, with a stunning large piercing of a distinctive patterning. It has deep thick hand crenellated cut twin seppa overlaid with gold. The saya is original edo period ishime stone finish lacquer, with it's matching bottom mount. The hamon on blade is absolutely stunning, an even choji. Bizen Osafune Ju Yokoyama Sukenaga,The unique choji midare was invented by Sukenaga.
Later on it was rated highly as the unique Yokoyama school hamon.

The Bizen Yokoyama school comes from the ancient lineage of Ko-Bizen, renowned for its masters. An essential feature from these Bizen forges comes from a local component, the steel called “Tetsu Bizen” (the steel from bizen), which was very pure and high quality. The sand was also very abundant being nearby the sea. Also the Asahigawa and the Yoshigawa rivers, with a very pure water, fed the forges. Furthermore the very woody surrounding forests supplied the ovens with coal. All these factors and the geographical situation, on the “Sanyodo” road, made this location the Mecca of the forge with such ideal conditions. Added with “Bizen”, Sukekana did carved the known name of the Osafune village, in the vicinity of the Okayama town, and more precisely, between Bizen and Setouchi, along the Yoshii river. There is a “Bizen Osafune” sword museum in Setouchi. The condition of the sword is very good indeed, and the fittings are very fine. Of all the weapons that man has developed since our earliest days, few evoke such fascination as the samurai sword of Japan. To many of us in the, the movie image of the samurai in his fantastic armour, galloping into battle on his horse, his colourful personal flag, or sashimono, whipping in the wind on his back, has become the very symbol of Japan, the Empire of the Rising Sun. And, truly, to the samurai of real life, nothing embodied his warrior's code of Bushido more than his sword, considered inseparable from his soul.

Indeed, a sword was considered such a crucial part of a samurai's life that when a young samurai was about to be born, a sword was brought into the bedchamber during the delivery. When the time came for an old samurai to die and cross over into the White Jade Pavilion of the Afterlife his honoured sword was placed by his side. Even after death, a daimyo, or nobleman, believed he could count on his samurai who had followed him into the next world to use their keen blades to guard him against any demons, just as they had wielded their trusty weapons to defend him against flesh-and-blood enemies in this life. In a samurai family the swords were so revered that they were passed down from generation to generation, from father to son. If the hilt or scabbard wore out or broke, new ones would be fashioned for the all-important blade. The hilt, the tsuba (hand guard), and the scabbard themselves were often great art objects, with fittings sometimes of gold or silver. The hilt and scabbard were created from the finest hand crafted materials by the greatest artisans that have ever lived. Often, too, they told a story from Japanese myths. Magnificent specimens of Japanese swords can be seen today in the Tokugawa Art Museum's collection in Nagoya, Japan.
40.5 inches long overall, blade tsuba to tip 29 inches long,

Code: 24044

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A Good Shinto Edo Period Hidari Mitsudomoe  '3 Comma' Iron Tetsu Sukashi Pierced Tsuba

A Good Shinto Edo Period Hidari Mitsudomoe '3 Comma' Iron Tetsu Sukashi Pierced Tsuba

This is the Hidari Mitsu Tomoe mon, meaning "Left Threefold Tomoe" The mitsudomoe is closely associated with Shinto shrines, in particular those dedicated to Hachiman, the god of war and archery. Hachiman in Shinto cosmology and ritual, as for example at Hakozaki Shrine, is repeatedly connected with the number three. In Shintoist thinking, this number is taken to represent the three aspects of the four mitama or 'souls' (the other, the kushimitama being considered far rarer. Fragmentary sources suggest that the First Sho dynasty, who founded the Ryukyu Kingdom, used the symbol if not as their family crest. American historian George H. Kerr claims that King Sho Toku adopted the mitsudomoe as the crest of the royal house after his successful invasion of Kikai Island in 1465. The Second Sho dynasty, who ruled the Ryukyu Kingdom from 1470 to 1879, adopted the mitsudomoe as its family crest. Since it was the royal family crest, its usage was once severely restricted.

According to the story the origin of the Hidari-Gomon takes place in feudal Japan, when the feudal lords and their private armies of samurai fought fiercely for land ownership. It was during a time of constant war in Japan. During these wars, Okinawa was defeated and dominated by the lord of Kagoshima, who imposed conditions on the Ryukyuan people. He proclaimed without exception that the people should go unarmed and that those who were found carrying weapons should be executed. Also, as a tribute of war, he proclaimed that Ryukyuans should submit an annual tax of rice to Kagoshima.
For many years the Ryukyu people religiously fulfilled the terms of the lords agreement. At the time rice was plentiful and no one went armed because a way of fighting had been developed in Okinawa which did not require the use of weapons. We now know this as Karate. Karate was developed because the Ryukyuan King did not want his people to be defenceless and he began secretly sending members of his guard to China, where he knew various forms of bare-hand fighting were being taught. Gradually, karate was being formed, the weapon was the body of the fighter, and it did not conflict in any way the terms imposed by the lord of Kagoshima. 73 mm wide.

Code: 24042

475.00 GBP


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A Very Good Shinto Period Samurai Ryo-Shinogi Yari Pole Arm by Hisatoshi

A Very Good Shinto Period Samurai Ryo-Shinogi Yari Pole Arm by Hisatoshi

With jumonjiyari saya. An Edo Period Samurai Horseman Ryo-Shinogi Yari Polearm on original haft, circa 1670.
With original pole and iron foot mount ishizuki. Four sided double edged head. The mochi-yari, or "held spear", is a rather generic term for the shorter Japanese spear. It was especially useful to mounted Samurai. In mounted use, the spear was generally held with the right hand and the spear was pointed across the saddle to the soldiers left front corner. The warrior's saddle was often specially designed with a hinged spear rest (yari-hasami) to help steady and control the spear's motion. The mochi-yari could also easily be used on foot and is known to have been used in castle defense. The martial art of wielding the yari is called sojutsu. A yari on it's pole can range in length from one metre to upwards of six metres (3.3 to 20 feet). The longer hafted versions were called omi no yari while shorter ones were known as mochi yari or tae yari. The longest hafted versions were carried by foot troops (ashigaru), while samurai usually carried a shorter hafted yari. Yari are believed to have been derived from Chinese spears, and while they were present in early Japan's history they did not become popular until the thirteenth century.The original warfare of the bushi was not a thing for "commoners"; it was a ritualized combat usually between two warriors who may challenge each other via horseback archery and sword duels. However, the attempted Mongol invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281 changed Japanese weaponry and warfare. The Mongol-employed Chinese and Korean footmen wielded long pikes, fought in tight formation, and moved in large units to stave off cavalry. Polearms (including naginata and yari) were of much greater military use than swords, due to their much greater range, their lesser weight per unit length (though overall a polearm would be fairly hefty), and their great piercing ability.Swords in a full battle situation were therefore relegated to emergency sidearm status from the Heian through the Muromachi periods.

Code: 24041

1395.00 GBP


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A Good Shinto Aikuchi Tanto Samurai Dagger with a Fine Blade

A Good Shinto Aikuchi Tanto Samurai Dagger with a Fine Blade

The blade has a fine Hamon with a full, back edge temper, and a running itami grain hada. With giant rayskin bound hilt and black speckled dark red lacquer saya. flying geese kozuka, carved buffalo black horn fittings. Shinto period, circa 1620.

Tanto first began to appear in the Heian period, however these blades lacked artistic qualities and were purely weapons. In the Early Kamakura period high quality tanto with artistic qualities began to appear, and the famous Yoshimitsu (the greatest tanto maker in Japanese history) began his forging. Tanto production increased greatly around the Muromachi period and then dropped off in the Shinto period. Shinto period tanto are quite rare. Tanto were mostly carried by Samurai; commoners did not generally carry them. Women sometimes carried a small tanto called a kaiken in their obi for self defence.It was sometimes worn as the shoto in place of a wakizashi in a daisho, especially on the battlefield. Before the 16th century it was common for a Samurai to carry a tachi and a tanto as opposed to a katana and a wakizashi. all the fittings and lacquer are original Edo period, the old saya lacquer has some usual wear marks, and the kozuka [small utility knife handle] has a small area of age denting.
Overall length in saya approx 16 inches, blade 11 inches.

Code: 20925

2475.00 GBP


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A  Superb Edo period, Pure Gold, Silver, Onlaid Tettsu and Shakudo Samurai's Segemono Pouch Button

A Superb Edo period, Pure Gold, Silver, Onlaid Tettsu and Shakudo Samurai's Segemono Pouch Button

Small silver button stud to the reverse. Depicting a most glamorous Japanese Geisha and her attendant. Sagemono was fashion item in the samurai Edo period (1603-1868). Sagemono signify Netsuke, Inro and Kiseru. Traditional Japanese garments-robes called kosode and kimono-had no pockets; however, men who wore them needed a place to store their personal belongings, such as pipes, tobacco, money, seals, or medicines. Their solution was to place such objects in containers (called sagemono) hung by cords from the robes' sashes (obi). The containers may have been pouches or small woven baskets, but the most popular were beautifully crafted boxes (inro), which were held shut by ojimes, which were sliding beads on cords. Whatever the form of the container, the fastener that secured the cord at the top of the sash was a carved, button-like toggle called a netsuke.
Most types sagemono were created for specialised contents, such as tobacco, pipes, writing brush and ink, but inro were suited for carrying anything small.
18 mm round.

Code: 24036

265.00 GBP


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A Most Handsome Shinto Katana Signed Mutsu Daijo Fujiwara Kaneyasu

A Most Handsome Shinto Katana Signed Mutsu Daijo Fujiwara Kaneyasu

Late 17th century sword, bearing signature that approximately translates to "of the Fujiwara Clan, the Daijo (a honourific lordship title) of Mutsu Province, Kaneyasu [made this]''. With all original Edo period koshirae [sword mounts], including a superb lobster scale cinnabar lacquer saya. Higo school silver inlaid tettsu fuchi kashira and iron plate tsuba. very interesting menuki of a panel separated and placed over two bows, decorated with relief kanji. Beautiful blade with a gradually undulating gunome hamon. An impressive sprauncy sword almost certainly made for a mounted samurai considering its power and dimensions.

Of all the weapons that man has developed since our earliest days, few evoke such fascination as the samurai sword of Japan. To many of us in the, the movie image of the samurai in his fantastic armour, galloping into battle on his horse, his colourful personal flag, or sashimono, whipping in the wind on his back, has become the very symbol of Japan, the Empire of the Rising Sun. And, truly, to the samurai of real life, nothing embodied his warrior's code of Bushido more than his sword, considered inseparable from his soul.

Indeed, a sword was considered such a crucial part of a samurai's life that when a young samurai was about to be born, a sword was brought into the bedchamber during the delivery. When the time came for an old samurai to die and cross over into the White Jade Pavilion of the Afterlife his honoured sword was placed by his side. Even after death, a daimyo, or nobleman, believed he could count on his samurai who had followed him into the next world to use their keen blades to guard him against any demons, just as they had wielded their trusty weapons to defend him against flesh-and-blood enemies in this life. In a samurai family the swords were so revered that they were passed down from generation to generation, from father to son. If the hilt or scabbard wore out or broke, new ones would be fashioned for the all-important blade. The hilt, the tsuba (hand guard), and the scabbard themselves were often great art objects, with fittings sometimes of gold or silver. The hilt and scabbard were created from the finest hand crafted materials by the greatest artisans that have ever lived. Often, too, they told a story from Japanese myths. Magnificent specimens of Japanese swords can be seen today in the Tokugawa Art Museum's collection in Nagoya, Japan.

The tsukaito [hilt binding] is perished [as can be seen in the photos] and is going to be traditionally rebound in traditional silk ito. Blade 29 inches tsuba to tip

Code: 24040

7550.00 GBP


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A Very Fine Yasutsugu School Katana, circa 1675-1684 Likely the 4th Generation, Signed, with Aoi Mon, Namban Tetsu Oite  Bushu  Edo  Echizen  Yasutsugu

A Very Fine Yasutsugu School Katana, circa 1675-1684 Likely the 4th Generation, Signed, with Aoi Mon, Namban Tetsu Oite Bushu Edo Echizen Yasutsugu

With a stunning bi coloured lacquer saya hand decorated with a wonderful light feathering and a scrolling silver saya jiri bottom mount. The mounts [fuchi kashira and menuki] are gold and shakudo decorated of the chrysanthemum. The story of the Yasutsugu lineage starts with the birth of the first generation, Ichizaemon, who is believed to have been born around the middle of the sixteenth century. His place of birth was in Shimosaka of Shiga-gun in the province of Omi. Omi is next to Mino and contains Lake Biwa. Yasutsugu was born into a sword making family headed by his father, Hironaga, reputed to be the last descendent of Yamato no Kuni Senjuin. Though his father was from Omi, he was trained in the Mino tradition.Around the 11th or 12th year of this same period of Keicho (1606-1607), Yasutsugu’s fame reached the point that he was called to Edo (Tokyo) to share his forging skills with Tokugawa Ieyasu. About this time Yasutsugu was given the privilege of using the character “Yasu” (康) from Tokugawa Ieyasu’s (徳川家康) name. Thus, from that point on, he changed his name to Yasutsugu. About the same time (some feel it was a few years later) he was given the additional privilege of carving the Hollyhock crest (Aoi mon) on his blades. These privileges were given in perpetuity to Yasutsugu and his descendants. Thus the Yasutsugu swordsmiths became the kaji of the Tokugawa Family.
Yasutsugu worked in Echizen and Edo as was the custom with the Tokugawa family in those days. It was much like the practice of Sankin Kodai (alternate year attendance) that was required of the Daimyo of the country. He died in seventh year of Genna (1621) probably in his 70’s.

Upon the death of the first generation Yasutsugu , the family mantle was taken up by his son, Ichinojô.
Nidai Yasutsugu made swords in the same style as the first generation. Some say that his ability was nearly the equal of his father’s. While all do not agree, there seems to be a consensus that he was without a doubt a close second
The two branches of the Yasutsugu school continued for many generations. The Edo school continued through eleven generations. It is generally agreed that the only two smiths of the last eight generations that were of note are the fourth our sword and the eleventh generations. The fourth generation had the advantage of being trained by the third generation, a quality smith. In addition, the fourth generation left several works in which he collaborated with the well-known smith, Izumi (no) Kami Kaneshige. The fourth generation’s working period was from 1675, the third year of Enpo to 1684, the first year of Teikyo era.
Interestingly, the steel used to produce this sword was in part sourced from Europe, likely from
Dutch traders. This steel was known as “Namban tetsu”, (lit. Southern Barbarian steel). It would
have been expensive and unique to produce swords with steel from faraway lands in the late
1600s. Thus the nakago (tang) is chiselled with the words Namban tetsu.

it is mounted with An Antique Edo Period Iron Large Tsuba Inlaid with Silver Aoi Leaves
The Tsuba can be solid, semi pierced of fully pierced, with an overall perforated design, but it always a central opening which narrows at its peak for the blade to fit within. It often can have openings for the kozuka and kogai to pass through, and these openings can also often be filled with metal to seal them closed. For the Samurai, it also functioned as an article of distinction, as his sole personal ornament. The tsukaito is being rebound and the saya's mouth restored.

Overall length in saya 38 3/4, blade tsuba to tip 27 3/4 inches long

Code: 24038

12950.00 GBP


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A Samurai’s String of 25 Edo Period Graduating Ojime Beads, Made For a Samurai’s Inro or Tobacco Pouches Netsuke Cords, Transformed  into a Necklace

A Samurai’s String of 25 Edo Period Graduating Ojime Beads, Made For a Samurai’s Inro or Tobacco Pouches Netsuke Cords, Transformed into a Necklace

25 hand carved bone or marine ivory [or possibly both] graduating sized ojime beads, in the form of intricate three dimensional flowers, and combined with 17 rice grain shaped beads. Today Antique Japanese Ojime beads remain highly collectable as pieces of art, as the amount of detail that went into the components of each Sagemono [hanging cord of inro or kizeru tobacco pouch] provides a further example of the exquisite beauty of Japanese art – alongside their calligraphy, block printing, ceramics, lacquer work, and paintings to name but a few. Ojime are handcrafted decorative beads which originated in Japan as early as the 16th century. Strictly speaking the word bead is superfluous as Ojime itself means cord fastener bead. They are typically under 1 inch in diameter with a vertical hole from top to bottom, and are made from fine metals, ivory, hornbill ivory, precious stones, jade, lacquer, tortoise shell, glass, coral, bone, stag antler, boar tooth and tusk, nuts and seeds, as well as other natural materials. As will become evident, aside from being decorative, they have a very specific role to perform in traditional Japanese attire and as such they go a long way towards defining the concept of adornment, namely that which is useful as well as beautiful.Although the Japanese did not have an appreciation of jewellery in the European sense, they did have a long tradition of craftsmanship, artistry, decoration and adornment. Over time these small sets of accessories became highly refined and sophisticated. It was in the Meiji Period (1868 to 1912) that the Inro became an indicator of wealth and taste and the Ojime evolved into a functional but beautifully crafted object incorporating symbolism, mythology, poetry and other themes from everyday life.

An inro is a traditional Japanese case for holding small objects, suspended from the obi (sash) worn around the waist when wearing a kimono. They are often highly decorated with various materials such as lacquer and various techniques such as maki-e, and are more decorative than other Japanese lacquerware. Approx 27 inches long, measured straight, in total, 13 3/4 inches long once in necklace form

Code: 24033

425.00 GBP


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A Superb, Ancient Koto Katana, Circa 1390 to1420 with a very fine suite of  Signed Jakushi Matching Iron & Gold Koshirae, Tsuba and Fuchigashira

A Superb, Ancient Koto Katana, Circa 1390 to1420 with a very fine suite of Signed Jakushi Matching Iron & Gold Koshirae, Tsuba and Fuchigashira

600 to 630 year old mighty blade, 29 inches long tsuba to tip in beautiful condition. This is a most impressive ancient sword from the great warring period of Japan Samurai endured for almost 700 years, from 1185 to 1867. Samurai families were considered the elite. They made up only about six percent of the population and included daimyo and the loyal soldiers who fought under them. Samurai means one who serves."
The Sengoku period [ Sengoku Jidai, "Warring States period") is a period in Japanese history of near-constant civil war, social upheaval, and intrigue from 1467 to 1615.

The Sengoku period was initiated by the Onin War in 1467 which collapsed the feudal system of Japan under the Ashikaga Shogunate. Various samurai warlords and clans fought for control over Japan in the power vacuum, while the Ikkō-ikki emerged to fight against samurai rule. The arrival of Europeans in 1543 introduced the arquebus into Japanese warfare, and Japan ended its status as a tributary state of China in 1549. Oda Nobunaga dissolved the Ashikaga Shogunate in 1573 and launched a war of political unification by force, including the Ishiyama Hongan-ji War, until his death in the Honnō-ji Incident in 1582. Nobunaga's successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi completed his campaign to unify Japan and consolidated his rule with numerous influential reforms. Hideyoshi launched the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592, but their eventual failure damaged his prestige before his death in 1598. Tokugawa Ieyasu displaced Hideyoshi's young son and successor Toyotomi Hideyori at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and re-established the feudal system under the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Sengoku period ended when Toyotomi loyalists were defeated at the siege of Osaka in 1615.

The Sengoku period was named by Japanese historians after the similar but otherwise unrelated Warring States period of China.
The late saya bears 4 deep relief gold aoi gold mon hiramaki-e [low relief lacquer], the triple hollyhock leaf, of the Tokugawa, on a fine black lacquer ground. the tsuka requires a replacement black silk re-bind

Code: 24034

6550.00 GBP


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