The World's Largest Public Domain Media Search Engine
Sword Guard (Tsuba), Japan

Similar

Sword Guard (Tsuba), Japan

description

Summary

The elements of a Japanese sword were intended to be seen both as functional and as works of art. The most prominent Japanese sword element is the tsuba, the disk-shaped metal guard that separates the base of the blade from the grip. The tsuba (鍔, or 鐔) guard at the end of the grip of bladed weapons, like the katana and its various variations, tachi, wakizashi, tantō, naginata etc. Tsuba prevents the hand from sliding onto the blade during thrusts as opposed to protecting from an opponent's blade. Tsuba contributes to the balance of the weapon and to the protection of the hand. The average katana tsuba is 7.5–8 centimeters (3.0–3.1 in), wakizashi tsuba is 6.2–6.6 cm (2.4–2.6 in), and tantō tsuba is 4.5–6 cm (1.8–2.4 in). Tsuba were made by whole dynasties of craftsmen whose only craft was making tsuba. They were usually lavishly decorated, passing from one generation to the next. Japanese families with samurai roots sometimes have their family crest (mon) crafted onto a tsuba. During the Muromachi period (1333–1573) and the Momoyama period (1573–1603) Tsuba were more for functionality than for decoration, being made of stronger metals and designs. During the Edo period (1603–1868) there was peace in Japan so tsuba became more ornamental and made of less practical metals such as gold. In a duel, two participants may lock their katana together at the point of the tsuba and push, trying to gain a better position from which to strike the other down. This is known as tsubazeriai (鍔迫り合い), lit. pushing tsuba against each other. Tsubazeriai is a common sight in modern kendō. In modern Japanese, tsubazeriai (鍔迫り合い) has also come to mean "to be in fierce competition."

date_range

Date

0175 - 0550
collections

in collections

create

Source

Metropolitan Museum of Art
copyright

Copyright info

Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication ("CCO 1.0 Dedication")

Explore more

arms and armor
arms and armor
arms
arms
edged weapons
edged weapons
furniture
furniture
guards
guards
iron
iron
iron and iron alloy
iron and iron alloy
metal
metal
swords
swords
asia
asia
sword guard
sword guard
the howard mansfield collection gift of howard mansfield
the howard mansfield collection gift of howard mansfield
japan
japan
sword furniture tsuba
sword furniture tsuba
japanese
japanese
sword
sword
guard
guard
tsuba
tsuba
high resolution
high resolution
ultra high resolution
ultra high resolution
3d object
3d object