Absolutely stunning iron tsuba in a rarely seen decagon shape depicts a finely carved figure of the mighty demon queller Shoki with his sword inlaid in silver. His stern gaze is fixed somewhere in the distance suggesting the presence there of a poor Oni trying to escape from imminent punishment. According to Japanese folklore, Shoki wards off evil and illness and protects the male heir to the family. Decagon in its turn symbolizes "wholeness" – the gift of power and protection. Perfect dark brown patina. Very smooth polished surface. A beautiful and strong example of Japanese metalwork.
Signed: Bushu-ju Masaharu (H 03902.0), Musashi province, late Edo period
NBTHK Hozon (with English translation)
Material: Iron, Shakudo fukurin
H71.9 mm, W67.5 mm
Seppa-dai 4.8 mm
Nakago-ana H26.3 mm, W8 mm
Two Hitsu-ana, Kogai hitsu-ana plugged with Shakudo and features two holes called Tsuba-dome-ana or Saya-dome-ana. A thin wire was laced through these holes and attached to the Kurigata with the sole purpose to remind the wearer not to draw the sword when it was not necessary.