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

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Tsuba in the shape of a bird and with karahana, or Chinese flowers



  • 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; of conventional bird outline; rough surface, encrusted in silver and gold with 10 karahana badges and light scrolls.

    Signed: Ki no Munemasa [Japanese text] and inscribed Hachimantarō no Hatomaru on-tachi no tsuba wo utsusu ("copying the guard of the Hatomaru or Dove sword of Hachimantarō.").

    This may be by Myōchin Munemasa II, XXVIth Master of the school, first half of the 18th century. The decoration is perhaps a later addition and in any case cannot have formed part of the ancient guard referred to, concerning which very little is known. Hachimantarō is the famous warrior Minamoto no Yoshiiye, late 12th century. Other copies of this guard are known (three in the Victoria and Albert Museum), plain or variously decorated, and bearing various signatures (not always genuine!) and often the same inscription as given above.

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