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

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Tsuba depicting Shōki and a demon

Glossary (5)

Shōki, kozuka, sentoku, shakudō, tsuba

  • Shōki

    Zhong Kui, or Shōki in Japanese, is a figure from Chinese folklore who appeared to the ailing 8th century Chinese Emperor Xuanzong in a dream and dispatched the demons that were haunting him. Shōki promised the Emperor that he would rid the world of demon

  • kozuka

    The handle that holds the small knife called the kogatana.

  • 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

  • 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)

    Thick; nearly square, with rounded angles; edge very regularly hammered up; in sunk relief, with iroye incrustation, is a large figure of Shōki (see 935) [EAX.10935], who stands leaning on his drawn sword and looking down at a terrified oni (engraved) who has stolen his fan; the lower part of the oni is represented at the back, the idea being that, while halfway through the kodzuka-hole, the demon has been made a prisoner by the insertion of the shakudō plug; also at the back are clouds in katakiri. Signed: Shigechika [Japanese text]. (Unrecorded.)

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