Although the value of the Japanese sword is determined by the blade, the sword mountings (koshirae) such as the scabbard, the hilt or the hand guards also have their value, because of the materials used, due to the craftsmanship or due to the artistic value of the design.
I photographed here a beautiful tsuba guard, an essential fitting for most types of Japanese swords, because besides the hand protection, it is used to control the sword’s balance.
The tsuba has also a very important decorative role, sometimes being also used as… lucky charm, inscribed with auspicious elements. During the Edo Period, a period of peace when the main role of the sword was aesthetic, the construction of tsuba reached a high level of sophistication, the most expensive being adorned with relief gold decoration…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: