Kokubo’s Ten Rules of Tsuba Collecting


A good overview of this history can be read here: This article is only aimed to give a short overview of the main medals and insignia the Dutch received and used during the conflict. The Cross was instituted on 23 July to be awarded to members of the N. This first contingent saw the hardest fighting of all and even lost its commander and several other officers and men when the staff was overrun by the Koreans A total of 3, Dutch soldiers served in Korea, the last unit returning to the Netherlands at the end of Those that went more than once would have the number of awards on the sword bar, like the 2 in the example below. The 3 and 4 also exist but are very rare.


Kanji for Tsuba Tsuba – A brief history The history of the Tsuba dates back nearly as far as the sword. It is not known exactly when they were first created but we do know that removable Tsuba have been found in burial mounds that date back as far as – AD. These early designs became the predecessors for all other tsuba designs for the next years. The Tachi were worn by the Samurai and designed for use on horseback whilst the Uchigatana were worn by common foot soldiers and were more for self defense purposes.

Most tsuba should just be left alone. Any tsuba that is already in good condition should absolutely be left as is. The need to leave our mark shows itself in the habits of collectors who routinely over clean, polish and in the worst cases actually strip the guards they encounter to bare metal in order to apply a new color of their own liking.

The first limitation is in the subject itself. It is about identifying tsuba from schools which did not usually sign their pieces, as were the case with most early schools, and not identifying the maker of an unsigned tsuba who usually signs, which is the case with most Edo period kinko. As we know in fact very little about the reasons why occasionally they did not, and I have found a contradiction to every explanation forwarded, I shall further limit myself to the main schools of tsubako.

The smaller and lesser schools, as well as the unrecorded independent will be left aside to keep this discourse within reasonable limits. Two other limitations are not of my choice. The second is ‘not knowing’. The exact attribution of early cast tsuba, the true distinction between ko-kinko, ko-Goto, ko-Mino, etc. The third is that this article being meant to be used as a guideline for beginning collectors, especially on the subject of sukashi schools which are the most difficult, I refer to classic styles and average sizes each school being averaged in that respect over 20 to 30 tsuba.

Real tsuba vary around the given figures, and worse there are always exceptions to a general rule, the more general the rule, the more exceptions are likely to be met.

Japanese sword mountings

White braid band a little grubby Patent leather black peak with brass edge. The pistol has a good working action. It has an overall grey patina. A good solid pistol but there has been some pitting- please see photo. In my opinion this does not detract from a desirable Colt New Line, especially as it has matching serial numbers and is a scarce two digit number.

This replaces the bottom front furniture on the AK and also clamps to the bayonet lug.

Japanese Sword For The Collector. started in with the goal of providing a trusted source for Japanese sword collectors to study and .

Any tsuba that is already in good condition should absolutely be left as is. The need to leave our mark shows itself in the habits of collectors who routinely over clean, polish and in the worst cases actually strip the guards they encounter to bare metal in order to apply a new color of their own liking. Remember that the supply of genuine old tsuba can only get smaller.

Please be very cautious. The simplest and safest first step is to wash your tsuba in mild soap and water. Use hand soap, not detergent or cleanser. Over years of careless handling a tsuba can pick up quite a bit of plain old dirt. You may also see various surface coatings of modern to antique original wax, shoe polish, paint, old lacquer, etc. My preference is to leave old lacquer in place, unless it is associated with serious corrosion.

The most straightforward method for an iron guard is to boil it in distilled water for 20 minutes or so. This will remove most films without altering the metal or removing any lacquer that may be present. The more aggressive the cleaning solution the greater the risk of permanently damaging the guard. Boiling water is good enough. When the tsuba comes out of the water, the good news is that all of the oils and waxes that were hiding rust will be gone.

Japanese Edo Period Kaku

This Tsuba dates to the Muromachi or more likely the Momoyama period. This tsuba is constructed in the “Sanmai” technique and is made from Yamagane or unrefined copper. This “Sanmai” technique consists of three layers sandwiched together.

The term ‘Ōnin tsuba’ or even Ōnin-tsuba (per Markus Sesko) was invented by tsuba collectors in the beginning of the 20th century. For some unclear reason this term was applied to two distinct spices of brass inlaid tsuba: one with the ten-zōgan and another with the suemon-zōgan.

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Japanese sword mountings

If you would like us to send you an email whenever we add new stock please enter your email address below and click GO. The phrase basket-type hilts refers to a large group of hilts which provide a degree of protection to the hand and wrist. Basket-hilted swords have featured prominently among British military edged weapons over the past five centuries, from the Wars of the Roses in the mid fifteenth century to the period immediately after the second Boer War of the early twentieth century.

In setting out to give a full account of the hilt type, and the many variants within it, the first necessity has been to provide an appropriate terminology to employ in cataloguing and describing individual examples. The book, well illustrated with black and white illustrations, falls into several parts, dealing successively with general aspects of various hilt types and discussion of typological methodology, the three major groups of basket-hilted swords, the diverse group of incomplete basket hilts, ‘mortuary’ hilts, and hilts closely related to ‘mortuary’ hilts.

The “Great Game” rivalry didn’t end until the Anglo-Russian Convention of , and the Tsuba Russians would work well for the s until then, since the Russian Army fought the war in uniforms dating .

The names used were: Do we use different words to describe the same thing? For the sake of clarity, I decided to spend some time and research the issue. First half of the 20th century In Henri L. The signature Koike Yoshiro is rather rare, sometimes the names Saburo Daiyu and merely Yoshiro are also found. Late 16th or early 17th century. Matsukawa Bishi crests ; Yaguruma six errow ends , Tosa oak leaves , Maru ni tachi omodaka sagittaria , Mutsu aoi.

Three paulownia crests also in brass; traces of old gilding all over the brass. Joly published also a private printing in copies another tsuba book: Naunton [4] , Esq. Under that heading are classified all true inlays of brass on iron, whether flat or relief, made originally at Fushimi in Yamashiro during the period circa , and modifications thereof. On such pieces his name is found, sometimes genuine, sometimes forged, or merely the name Yoshiro, or that of later workers like Saburo Daiyu.


Het wolwerk van Oosterhout in de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw; Uit de schaduw van Breda, op de schouders van Tilburg, kort gehouden door Holland. Clay pipes from Denmark. The archaeology of the clay tobacco pipe IV. BAR International Series 92, p. Clay pipes from the man-of war Kronan.

Japanese sword mountings are the various housings and associated fittings (tosogu) that hold the blade of a Japanese sword when it is being worn or stored. Koshirae (拵え?) refers to the ornate mountings of a Japanese sword (e.g. katana), koshirae are used when the sword blade is .

But I disagree with the sample army list that TMWWBK gives for the Russians which seems to perpetuate the idea of largely under trained and unenthusiastic masses only held together by the threat of punishment. From my reading, the Russians in Central Asia showed a fair amount of initiative and dash, similar to the French Army of Africa during the same period.

Now if there’s one thing the Russians excel at, it’s use of the bayonet. Maybe shoot a little inferior to British, but get the same melee benefit — or, as it would work out, negating the British benefit. Wrong mess, old chap, suggest you toodle along the lines to one of the more louche establishments. For MWWBK I’m thinking Russian regulars should be fierce but poor shots, to encourage them to get stuck into melee, and probably ‘unenthusiastic’ read as ‘poorly drilled’ to make them less responsive to anything other than simple orders.

You might even want to give them ‘Attack’ rather than ‘Fire’ as a free action, to further encourage historical tactics and training. The “Great Game” rivalry didn’t end until the Anglo-Russian Convention of , and the Tsuba Russians would work well for the s until then, since the Russian Army fought the war in uniforms dating from the s. Tsuba does a nice job covering infantry and even some artillery, with some casualty and character packs. Unfortunately there’s no Russian cavalry yet, but there is Japanese cavalry, so it may be in the pipeline.

Here’s a sample pic: PST Yeah, but the white tunics with red trousers are much cooler! Let’s see…that’s project

Early Soft Metal Tsuba

Early Iron Tsuba Hoju Tsuba For many years, the earliest surviving blades and fittings were treated as archaeological material of no interest and no relevance to the study of the Japanese sword. Thankfully, recent exhibitions at the Tokyo National Museum and the Sano Art Museum have presented these pieces in the proper context of the history and development of the Japanese sword. The first iron guards of distinctly Japanese style are represented by the tear drop shaped Hoju tsuba that were mounted on chokuto style tachi with straight blades.

Hoju style tsuba, mumei, ca. The 8 perforations is a typical style of decoration for these early guards. The shape and number of openings is somewhat variable within this basic type.

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The tsuba is heavily effected with green tarnish. This is caused by salts in the earth effecting the bronze when the item was buried. There is a crack on the upper left hand side of the tsuba also. Seveal areas on the face of the tsuba show remnants of gold gilt. Raised rims, which are not seen on the iron examples, are common and were probably needed to give rigidity to the plate. Of course there are examples without raised rims, as per this item. It is written is several books that gilded tsuba were for formal wear and posssed by the upper class and the iron tsuba were for general use in battle etc but this may only just be an assumption as it is impossible for us to really know what was happening years ago.

Further speculation argues that the majority of these swords and fittings were made in either China or Korea and this is very much a possiblity. Sword production in Japan cannot be proven before approximately AD though I am sure there must have been some replication of imported items before that time so it is likely these Chokuto and their fittings were brought in from other countries. Another suggestion has the many farmers and other civilians who were drafted to fight battles making their own weapons and copying the designs worn by the ruling and military classes.

This may be a possibility but I doubt whether any of these items would have found there way into a burial mound. At the time, gilt bronze was also used extensively in horse trappings and later in Buddhist objects.

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