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

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Round tsuba with interlacing rings and leaves

Glossary (2)

nunome-zōgan, tsuba

  • nunome-zōgan

    Decorative application of metal sheeting (generally of gold or silver) where the iron ground is first cross-hatched and the metal burnished on.

  • 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)

    Symmetrically pierced, with slight modelling, as a large pattern of slender interlacing rings within the stout border; the latter covered on each face with leaves and tendrils in silver nunome.

    Signed: Yoshū Matsuyama ("of M. in Iyo province") Moriyama [Japanese text] Shōami Kanemichi [Japanese text], and, on the back, Morikuni [Japanese text] kore wo saku, with date Kiōhō XII (1727), 6th month.

    Apparently Moriyama is a surname of Kanemichi, one of the artists responsible for the guard, the other being Morikuni. Shōami is, after all, an art-name (of Buddhistic flavor) first, and a surname afterwards.

    Wada (p.69) quotes various dated guards by Morikuni, of Yenki III (1746), Kiōhō XI (1726), etc. Kanemichi, however, he does not mention.

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