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

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Tsuba depicting the witch of Adachi-gahara looking at the Buddha

Glossary (4)

sentoku, shakudō, shibuichi, tsuba

  • sentoku

    A kind of brass made from an alloy of copper, zinc, and tin.

  • shakudō

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

  • shibuichi

    alloy of copper and silver, patinated to a dull grey-green 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)

    Rounded oblong; edge heavily hammered up; on the front, to right, in very high incrustation of sentoku, is part of the half-naked figure of the Witch od Adachi-ga-hara (robe and eyes gold, knife-blade shibuichi with silver edge); she looks over her shoulder, snarling, at the apparition of the young Buddha, represented in half-figure on the left in engraving, his head, hands, halo, and the visible parts of his inner robe encrusted in gold, his hair in shakudō, the lotus pattern on his sleeves inlaid in engraved gold. At the back, in very low relief, is the corner of a house with a window through which part of a cucumber-vine is seen (the single fruit and two leaves gilt); clouds below. Signed: Kenzui (as EAX.10981] kizamu [Japanese text] ("carved"), and dated Anyei II (1773), 8th month.

    The signature is obviously a forgery, as is also the (appropriate) date. The guard, good as it is in actual workmanship, belongs to the flamboyan "export" work to which reference has already been made under [EAX.10955].

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