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Query builder

Tsuba (Sword guard) with inlaid design of egrets and reeds(attached to 1973/2.88)

Accession Number
1978/2.12

Title
Tsuba (Sword guard) with inlaid design of egrets and reeds(attached to 1973/2.88)

Artist(s)
Japanese

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1615-1868

Medium & Support
iron with gold and silver inlays

Dimensions
3/16 in. x 2 11/16 in. x 2 15/16 in. ( 0.4 cm x 6.8 cm x 7.4 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert T. Weston

Subject matter
Tsuba (sword guard) is inserted between a sword handle and blade to protect hands from sharp blades. The center hole is where the sword is placed. A smaller hole on the left is to place an ornamental stick, kozuka. Another hole on the right is to insert kougai, spatula-like sticks which are said to be used for itching hair underneath hats or helmets.

Physical Description
This tsuba is a flat iron plate with quatrefoil design. It has three holes: one for blade (middle) flanked by oval-shape hole (for kougai) and oval with bump shape (for kozuka). Egrets and reeds decorate the surface, distributed in a curve that climbs counter-clockwise from the bottom left register, culmiating in the top left with a lone egret in flight. Egrets on the bottom of the piece perch on the ground or nest in the golden reeds.

Primary Object Classification
Arms and Armor

Primary Object Type
sword guard

Additional Object Classification(s)
Metalwork

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
samurai
swords

2 Related Resources

Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)
Samurai
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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