Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Mokkō-shaped tsuba with demon mask and dolphins

Glossary (3)

kozuka, shakudō, tsuba

  • kozuka

    The handle that holds the small knife called the kogatana.

  • shakudō

    alloy of copper and gold, patinated to a dark blue-black colour

  • tsuba

    Japanese sword guard.


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • The A.H. Church Collection of Japanese Sword-Guards (Tsuba) by Albert James Koop

    The A. H. Church Collection of Japanese Sword-Guards (Tsuba)

    Brass with iron panels. Generally mokkō with pointed side lobes; slightly cupped; a demon-mask above and below and a pair of affrontés "dolphins" on either side with boldly scrolling tails; oblong seppadai cut with a pattern chiefly of radiating V grooves. This framework, in brass, encloses two long oval side panels in iron pierced with dragons and undercut scrolls; kozuka-hole lined with shakudō.

    Japan Society, London, Loan Exhibition, 1905, no.Q.20. Several examples of this type of guard, which is an imitation of those on certain European small-swords, of the 18th century, are known, one, slightly better than this, being in the V. and A. M. Another, (where?), has the cypher of the Dutch East India Company among its ornament. Compare the next [EAX.10815].

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