Condition: Excellent

Book of Sword Fittings | Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum | 1996

This small hardcover book represents Sword fittings, as well as sword guards, Inro and netsuke, represent wonderful miniature works of art from the Edo and Meiji period. As far as what has been written, no other metalwork such as Japanese sword fittings exist elsewhere in the world: They are accurate, delicate and elegant. The essential techniques for making metalwork- such as alloying , sculpturing, inlaying, coloring and so forth developed mainly in Silk Road countries. Once these technique were introduced to Japan, they were refined and cultivated by Japanese metal workers and produced far finer results. The pinnacle of these techniques was reached between the end of the Edo and the beginning of the Meiji period (late 19th/century), and sword guards, (Tsuba), and pairs of hilt ornaments, (Menuki), are the best examples.

Sword Guards and fittings are a uniquely Japanese art, expressed within a limited small space and using numerous difficult craft techniques. This is a “rare” book illustrating the diverse creations of the identified and respected Japanese metalsmith.

Japanese sword fittings, generally called Tosogu, are normally composed of a sword guard, (Tsuba), a small knife, (Kozuka), a skewer, (Kogai), a pair of hilt ornaments, (Menuki), and metal collars at the blade end of the hilt, (Fuchigashira). Sword fittings incorporated various metlas such as gold, silver, shakudo, suaka and shibuichi have been characterized as miniature decorative art in Japan since the Middle Ages. It is also know that many of them often depicted subjects related to Noh plays and classical literature; these were part of courtiers’ noble taste and admired by many medieval warriors. This is an exceptional ‘out-of-print’ book representing the collection of the Kiyomizu Sannenzaka Museum and in new condition. Forward and Afterword in English, the rest in Japanese. Beautiful, full-color images.

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