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Hamano Shôzui - Kashira with the Face of a Man - Walters 511137 - Mark A

Hamano Shôzui - Kashira with the Face of a Man - Walters 511137 - Mark...

The face of a man dominated this kashira. At the lower left, his hand is raised to his cheek. He is either Boddhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, or a Buddhist holy man ("arhat").

Ichikawa Teruchika - Kashira with Cherry Blossoms Floating on Waves - Walters 51908 - Top

Ichikawa Teruchika - Kashira with Cherry Blossoms Floating on Waves - ...

Cherry blossoms and leaves are shown intermixed with waves. Cherry blossom season is widely celebrated in Japan, and cherry blossoms have come to be a symbol of the country. This kashira is part of a set with W... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Rooster, Chicken, and Hollyhock - Walters 5112593B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Rooster, Chicken, and Hollyhock - Walters 511259...

The tsuka is wrapped with a white silk cord that holds in place the two menuki. One menuki is in the shape of a rooster and the other is in the shape of a chicken. The hollyhock kashira matches the fuchi mounte... More

Hamano Masayoshi - Kashira with Samurai - Walters 511037

Hamano Masayoshi - Kashira with Samurai - Walters 511037

A samurai is in full armor. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1036.

Japanese - Tsuak with Salamander and Ants - Walters 5111692B - Mark A

Japanese - Tsuak with Salamander and Ants - Walters 5111692B - Mark A

The scabbard is designed to look like stick of wood. On the tsuka, a salamander appears to be crawling through the wood. His head and upper body appear on the front, and his lower body is on the reverse. Small ... More

Japanese - Kashira with a Hawk and Sparrow - Walters 51912

Japanese - Kashira with a Hawk and Sparrow - Walters 51912

A hawk is depicted sitting on a pine tree branch. At the upper left is a swallow in flight.

Japanese - Kashira with Green Hot Pepper - Walters 511025

Japanese - Kashira with Green Hot Pepper - Walters 511025

A green hot pepper is depicted in malachite. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1024.

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragons and Tigers - Walters 5112143B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragons and Tigers - Walters 5112143B - Detail A

On either side of the tsuka, dragons are depicted swimming in waves. Dragons were associated with water and are often depicted in clouds or waves. The kashira is in the shape of a seated tiger. This is part of ... More

Ôtsuki Mitsushige - Kashira with Benkei - Walters 511053

Ôtsuki Mitsushige - Kashira with Benkei - Walters 511053

The 12th-century warrior Benkei is shown holding a torch and a halberd. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1052.

Japanese - Tsuka with Autumn Flowers, Plum Blossoms and Nightingale - Walters 5112483B - Mark A

Japanese - Tsuka with Autumn Flowers, Plum Blossoms and Nightingale - ...

The kashira depicts a nightingale on a flowering plum tree branch with its beak open in song. The subject is a reference to a poem by the Chinese poet Hakurakuten (Ch. Bai Juyi [Po Chü-i]) (772-847). In the poe... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Gods of Good Fortune - Walters 5112523B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Gods of Good Fortune - Walters 5112523B - Detail...

The kashira and menuki on this tsuka depict some of the seven gods of good fortune. On the kashira is the scholar Jurôjin. He holds a scroll and is accompanied by a crane. Each of the menuki depict Hotei, leani... More

Yanagawa Naotoki - Kashira with Chinese-style Lion - Walters 511438

Yanagawa Naotoki - Kashira with Chinese-style Lion - Walters 511438

A Chinese-style lion ("karashishi") is depicted with gold details. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1439.

Japanese - Gold Kashira or Kojiri - Walters 511141

Japanese - Gold Kashira or Kojiri - Walters 511141

The gold background is worked in the "ishime-ji" pattern which resembles stone.

Japanese - Kashira with Shôki the Demon Queller - Walters 511023

Japanese - Kashira with Shôki the Demon Queller - Walters 511023

Shôki the Demon Queller is depicted standing with a sword. The legend of Shôki originated in China. Shôki was an aspiring scholar in China who committed suicide when he failed the examinations to become a gover... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Clouds and Chinese Immortals - Walters 5111883b - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Clouds and Chinese Immortals - Walters 5111883b ...

The kashira is decorated with the same stylized clouds as the matching tsuba and fuchi. Each menuki is in the shape of a standing Chinese figure. One holds a book and the other bears a halberd. These are probab... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Emperor, Dragon and Tiger - Walters 5112323B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Emperor, Dragon and Tiger - Walters 5112323B - D...

The seated figure in a cart on the kashira might be the Chinese general Gentoku (Ch. Liu Bei [Liu Pei]). He was an important figure in the 2nd century and his story is part of the legend "The Romance of the Thr... More

Japanese - Kashira Remounted as a Box Lid with Taoist Immortal Koreijin - Walters 571330B - Back

Japanese - Kashira Remounted as a Box Lid with Taoist Immortal Koreiji...

This kashira from a Japanese sword was refashioned into a lid for the box made out of its matching fuchi (Walters 51.1330A). The Taoist immortal Koreijin (Ch. Gu Lingren) is shown with his white tiger.

Kikugawa Hisahide - Kashira with Fudô Myô-ô - Walters 511101

Kikugawa Hisahide - Kashira with Fudô Myô-ô - Walters 511101

Fudô Myô-ô, the Immovable One, is depicted standing amongst rocks and bamboo. Behind him is a mandorla of flames. Fudô Myô-ô is one of the five Kings of Light who protect the Buddhist faithful. His fierce expre... More

Hamano Noriyuki - Kashira with a Chinese Archer - Walters 51943

Hamano Noriyuki - Kashira with a Chinese Archer - Walters 51943

A Chinese warrior is shown standing beneath a tree branch. He holds a shield in his right hand and a bow on his left. Arrows are in a quiver on his back. This is part of a set with Walters 51.942.

Japanese - Kashira Remounted as a Box Lid with Taoist Immortal Koreijin - Walters 571330B

Japanese - Kashira Remounted as a Box Lid with Taoist Immortal Koreiji...

This kashira from a Japanese sword was refashioned into a lid for the box made out of its matching fuchi (Walters 51.1330A). The Taoist immortal Koreijin (Ch. Gu Lingren) is shown with his white tiger.

Japanese - Kashira with a Cricket - Walters 511139

Japanese - Kashira with a Cricket - Walters 511139

A cricket is depicted crawling along the lower edge of the composition.

Japanese - Kashira with Shôki the Demon Queller - Walters 511127

Japanese - Kashira with Shôki the Demon Queller - Walters 511127

Shôki the Demon Queller is depicted standing with a sword on his back. The legend of Shôki originated in China. Shôki was an aspiring scholar in China who committed suicide when he failed the examinations to be... More

Tadatsugu - Kashira with Heron and Iris - Walters 511003

Tadatsugu - Kashira with Heron and Iris - Walters 511003

A heron in flight is shown at the top of the composition. Below is a gold iris growing in water. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1002.

Japanese - Kashira with Bridge and Maple Trees - Walters 51985

Japanese - Kashira with Bridge and Maple Trees - Walters 51985

A bridge is depicted surrounded by maple trees. A watchtower is on the right. This is part of a set with Walters 51.984.

Japanese - Kashira with Monkeys - Walters 51917

Japanese - Kashira with Monkeys - Walters 51917

Two monkeys are depicted in gold and copper. The lower monkey wears a vest. The upper monkey is holding a peach. Peaches are a symbol of immortality. Monkeys are often anthropomorphized in Japanese art. This ka... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Gate Guardians - Walters 5112413B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Gate Guardians - Walters 5112413B - Detail A

Two fierce guardian figures ("ni-ô") are placed at the main south gate to Buddhist temples. In Japan, they are called Misshaku Rikishi and Kongo Rikishi. They are differentiated by their pose. Misshaku Rikishi ... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Orchids and Chrysanthemums - Walters 5112433B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Orchids and Chrysanthemums - Walters 5112433B - ...

The kashira is decorated with orchids growing near rocks. Each menuki is in the shape of two chrysanthemums with leaves. One flower is shown in profile and one is shown facing forward. This is part of a mounted set.

Japanese - Tsuka with Peonies and Phoenixes - Walters 5112372B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Peonies and Phoenixes - Walters 5112372B - Detai...

The kashira depicts large blooming peonies with gold details in the center. Both menuki are in the shape of a "hô-ô" bird with a branch of plum blossoms in their beaks. "Hô-ô" are mythical birds often compared ... More

Yoshichika - Kashira with Chrysanthemum - Walters 511007

Yoshichika - Kashira with Chrysanthemum - Walters 511007

An open chrysanthemum flower is shown with copper details. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1006.

Hamano Shôzui - Kashira with Crane - Walters 51959

Hamano Shôzui - Kashira with Crane - Walters 51959

A crane is depicted looking towards a shallow bowl of water. Cranes are an auspicious motif and a symbol of longevity. This is part of a set with Walters 51.958.

Ishiguro Masachika - Tsuka with Floral Scroll and Diamond Crests - Walters 5112472B - Detail A

Ishiguro Masachika - Tsuka with Floral Scroll and Diamond Crests - Wal...

The kashira is decorated with a floral scroll motif and diamond crests ("mon"). The metal plates framing the mekugi pins also has the floral motif and the pin ends are in the shape of the diamond crest. This cr... More

Japanese - Kashira with Dragon in Clouds - Walters 511131

Japanese - Kashira with Dragon in Clouds - Walters 511131

A dragon is depicted amongst filigree work indicating clouds. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1130.

Japanese - Kashira with Geese and Reeds - Walters 511043

Japanese - Kashira with Geese and Reeds - Walters 511043

Two geese are shown in flight at the upper section of the composition. Below them is a stream with reeds growing on its bank.

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragons - Walters 5112553B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragons - Walters 5112553B - Detail A

Each of the two menuki is in the shape of a dragon. The kashira depicts a third dragon on a background of stylized flowers in octagon lozenges. This is part of a mounted set.

Japanese - Tsuka with Plants and Insects - Walters 5111463B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Plants and Insects - Walters 5111463B - Detail A

The kashira is decorated with incised chrysanthemums and raised butterflies. One menuki is in the shape of a dragonfly. The other shows water plants in a stream. This is part of a mounted set.

Katsumasa - Kashira with the Chinese Immortal Jofuku Riding a Crane - Walters 511111 - Top

Katsumasa - Kashira with the Chinese Immortal Jofuku Riding a Crane - ...

The Chinese immortal Jofuku (Ch. Su She) is shown riding on the back of a crane and holding a book. Jofuku was sent by the emperor to discover the elixir of youth. He took with him many Chinese books. These boo... More

Kikugawa Hisahide - Kashira with Flowering Vine - Walters 511039

Kikugawa Hisahide - Kashira with Flowering Vine - Walters 511039

Flowering clematis vines surround a large leaf. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1038.

Sasayama Tokuoki - Kashira with Tiger and Stream - Walters 511119

Sasayama Tokuoki - Kashira with Tiger and Stream - Walters 511119

A tiger is shown drinking from a stream that runs along the bottom of composition. This is one of a set with Walters 51.1118.

Japanese - Kashira with Daikoku - Walters 51939

Japanese - Kashira with Daikoku - Walters 51939

One of the seven gods of good fortune, Daikoku, is peering out at the viewer from inside a bag of treasures. At the bottom of the bag is a silver rat. Rats are associated with Daikoku as a reminder that treasur... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Chrysanthemums and Dragonflies - Walters 5112573B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Chrysanthemums and Dragonflies - Walters 5112573...

The menuki are in the shape of dragonflies. They are surrounded by chrysanthemums. The kashira is densely filled with chrysanthemums and leaves. This is part of a mounted set.

Japanese - Tsuka with Lions - Walters 5112053 - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Lions - Walters 5112053 - Detail A

The kashira is in the shape of a crouching lion turning its head over its shoulder to look up. The gold menuki are a lion and a lioness. This is part of a mounted set.

Marukawa Hiroyoshi - Kashira with Gagaku Drum on a Stand - Walters 511001

Marukawa Hiroyoshi - Kashira with Gagaku Drum on a Stand - Walters 511...

This drum is used in "gagaku" court music and is known as a "tsuri daiko." The face is decorated with a swirled design called "tomoe." The mallets for striking the gong are on the bottom edge. This is part of a... More

Japanese - Kashira Remounted as a Box Lid with Taoist Immortal Koreijin - Walters 571330B - Side A

Japanese - Kashira Remounted as a Box Lid with Taoist Immortal Koreiji...

This kashira from a Japanese sword was refashioned into a lid for the box made out of its matching fuchi (Walters 51.1330A). The Taoist immortal Koreijin (Ch. Gu Lingren) is shown with his white tiger.

Japanese - Kashira with Hen - Walters 511083

Japanese - Kashira with Hen - Walters 511083

The kashira is in the shape of a seated hen, viewed from above. It is part of a set with Walters 51.1082.

Japanese - Tsuka in the Shape of a Branch with Monkeys and Eagle - Walters 5112892B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka in the Shape of a Branch with Monkeys and Eagle - Wal...

The tsuka and accompanying saya are designed to resemble a piece of wood. On the kashira is an eagle in flight. The menuki are in the shape of monkeys holding peaches. This is part of a mounted set.

Japanese - Tsuka with Fish and Flowers - Walters 5112643B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Fish and Flowers - Walters 5112643B - Detail A

The kashira and menuki depict various fish. Both menuki are in the shape of carp. On the top of the kashira, a carp and a squid are shown. Puffer fish are on either side of the kashira. The tsuka is decorated w... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Rooster, Autumn Flowers, Tiger, and Dragon - Walters 5112002B - Mark A

Japanese - Tsuka with Rooster, Autumn Flowers, Tiger, and Dragon - Wal...

The kashira matches the fuchi and kozuka. It depicts a rooster beneath maiden flowers, which is an autumn flower. The menuki is in the shape of a tiger and dragon. These two animals could be paired as a symbol ... More

Japanese - Kashira with a Samurai under a Pine Tree - Walters 511081

Japanese - Kashira with a Samurai under a Pine Tree - Walters 511081

A warrior dressed in armor and wearing a court hat is depicted seated beneath a pine tree on a river bank.

Japanese - Kashira with Pheasant and Tree Peony - Walters 51997

Japanese - Kashira with Pheasant and Tree Peony - Walters 51997

Large tree peony flowers and a rock are in the lower section of the composition. Above them is a pheasant. This is part of a set with Walters 51.996.

Japanese - Tsuba with Flowers and Insects - Walters 5112462 - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuba with Flowers and Insects - Walters 5112462 - Detail A

Three medallions depicting flowers and insects appear along each side of the tsuka. On the kashira end, a butterfly is shown. The fuchi end is has an unusual flared edge decorated with chrysanthemums. This is p... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Animals - Walters 5112443B - Mark A

Japanese - Tsuka with Animals - Walters 5112443B - Mark A

Three animals, all of which appear regularly in Japanese folk tales, are featured on this tsuka. The kashira is in the shape of a monkey. This is probably made by the same metalworker who made the accompanying ... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Sumo Wrestlers and Helmet - Walters 5112383B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Sumo Wrestlers and Helmet - Walters 5112383B - D...

This tsuka is made entirely of metal, with the menuki attached directly to hilt rather than held in place with wrapped cord. One menuki is in the shape of two sumo wrestlers. One wrestler has lifted the other o... More

Otsuki Mitsuoki - Kashira with a Chinese Scholar - Walters 511073

Otsuki Mitsuoki - Kashira with a Chinese Scholar - Walters 511073

A Chinese scholar is shown holding a scroll. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1072.

Tamagawa Hôju - Kashira with a Gourd and a Horse - Walters 51971 - Side

Tamagawa Hôju - Kashira with a Gourd and a Horse - Walters 51971 - Sid...

The kashira is designed in the shape of a gourd. A horse is shown emerging from the side of the gourd. This is an illustration of the idiom "like a horse coming out of a gourd," which is used to describe unexpe... More

Toshiyuki - Kashira with a Heron Alighting - Walters 51963

Toshiyuki - Kashira with a Heron Alighting - Walters 51963

A heron is depicted about to land. Gold wires are set into the background and the bottom to depict water. This is part of a set with Walters 51.962.

Japanese - Tsuka with Birds, Landscape and Boats - Walters 5112333B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Birds, Landscape and Boats - Walters 5112333B - ...

This tsuka is undecorated except for the metalwork fittings. The kashira shows two sails from a boat unfurled. One menuki is in the shape of five geese in flight. The other shows a landscape scene with thatched... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Buddhist Deities - Walters 5112013B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Buddhist Deities - Walters 5112013B - Detail A

The bodhisattva of compassion, Kannon, is depicted on the kashira. This is either the white-robed Kannon or is paired with the fuchi to be the dragon-riding Kannon. The menuki depict the medicine Buddha (Yakush... More

Katsunaga - Kashira with Ômori Hikohichi Carrying a Demon Across a Stream - Walters 511075

Katsunaga - Kashira with Ômori Hikohichi Carrying a Demon Across a Str...

Ômori Hikohichi, a 14th-century warrior, is shown with a female demon on his back. Hikohiki is said to have offered to carry a beautiful woman across a stream. While crossing the stream, he saw her reflection a... More

Kikuoka Mitsunori - Kashira with a Warrior and Attendant - Walters 511005

Kikuoka Mitsunori - Kashira with a Warrior and Attendant - Walters 511...

Two figures are shown: a warrior wearing armor and an attendant with a scroll. The attendant sits in front of the warrior reading the scroll. The warrior's right had is pointing to his left. The subject appears... More

Nobuhide - Tsuka with Paulownia Motifs - Walters 5112093B - Detail A

Nobuhide - Tsuka with Paulownia Motifs - Walters 5112093B - Detail A

The menuki and kashira of this tsuka have paulownia flowers which match the accompanying fuchi. Paulownia is associated with the imperial house and appears in the crests of some military families. The kashira b... More

Ishiguro Masakatsu - Kashira with Chrysanthemums, Pampas Grass, and Crescent Moon - Walters 511011 - Top

Ishiguro Masakatsu - Kashira with Chrysanthemums, Pampas Grass, and Cr...

Chrysanthemums and pampas grass are depicted on kashira. A crescent moon is behind the grasses. The plants are emblems of autumn. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1010.

Japanese - Kashira with a Wasp - Walters 51937

Japanese - Kashira with a Wasp - Walters 51937

A wasp is shown on a stone background ("ishime-ji"). This is part of a set with Walters 51.936.

Japanese - Kashira with Two Figures - Walters 511041

Japanese - Kashira with Two Figures - Walters 511041

Two standing figures are depicted on the kashira. The one in front holds a stick of some kind and has beads around his neck. The rear figure is blowing on a long horn. He is probably intended to be a foreigner ... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Chinese Figures - Walters 5111922b - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Chinese Figures - Walters 5111922b - Detail A

The two menuki on this tsuka are in the shape of standing Chinese figures. On the front is a woman holding a fan. She may be the Queen Mother of the West, who had an orchard of peaches that granted immortality.... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragon, Chokaro, and Mules - Walters 5112683B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragon, Chokaro, and Mules - Walters 5112683B - ...

The kashira on the end shows a rain dragon wrapped around a sword. This iconography is associated with the Buddhist figure Kôbô Daishi (also known as Kûkai; 774-834) who was said to have used such a sword to br... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragons, Clouds, and Mt Fuji - Walters 5112813B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragons, Clouds, and Mt Fuji - Walters 5112813B ...

The kashira on the end depicts a dragon amongst clouds with gold highlights. One of the menuki is in the shape of a gold dragon flying through shakudo clouds. The other depicts Mt. Fuji. The pairing of a dragon... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Peacocks and Peony - Walters 5111793B - Mark A

Japanese - Tsuka with Peacocks and Peony - Walters 5111793B - Mark A

The kashira, like the matching fuchi, depicted a peony flower and a rock. One menuki is shaped like a peacock and is unusually long. The other menuki is in the shape of a peahen with a peony flower. This is par... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Rabbit, Hawk, and Monkey - Walters 5112363B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Rabbit, Hawk, and Monkey - Walters 5112363B - De...

The kashira is decorated with a rabbit running over waves. According to folklore, female rabbits conceived by doing this on the eighteenth day of the eight month. One menuki is in the shape of a hawk and the ot... More

Kikugawa Hisahide - Kashira with a Bird on a Blossoming Plum Branch - Walters 51933

Kikugawa Hisahide - Kashira with a Bird on a Blossoming Plum Branch - ...

A bird is depicted on the branch of a flowering plum tree. Plums are the first trees to bloom after the winter and are a sign of spring. This is part of a set with Walters 51.932.

Kimura Tomonaga - Kashira with Seven Sages in a Bamboo Grove - Walters 51987

Kimura Tomonaga - Kashira with Seven Sages in a Bamboo Grove - Walters...

This motif derives from seven scholars in Chinese during the 3rd century who withdrew from society. The kashira shows three sages. The other four sages are on the fuchi, Walters 51.987.

Nara Toshinaga I - Kashira with Shoki the Demon Queller - Walters 511055 - Top

Nara Toshinaga I - Kashira with Shoki the Demon Queller - Walters 5110...

Shôki the Demon Queller is depicted amongst clouds with a drawn sword. The legend of Shôki originated in China. Shôki was an aspiring scholar in China who committed suicide when he failed the examinations to be... More

Takahashi Kiyotsugu - Tsuka with Waterfall and Chinese-style Lions - Walters 5112253B - Detail A

Takahashi Kiyotsugu - Tsuka with Waterfall and Chinese-style Lions - W...

This tsuka is designed in the shape of a rocky outcropping with a waterfall. A Chinese-style lion ("shishi") stands at the top of the water. Smaller shishi are scattered throughout the handle along with peony f... More

Japanese - Kashira with Ants - Walters 511051

Japanese - Kashira with Ants - Walters 511051

Two ants are depicted on top of the kashira. One has an egg sack between them. The background is designed to look like tree bark. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1050.

Japanese - Kashira with Dancing Figures - Walters 511077

Japanese - Kashira with Dancing Figures - Walters 511077

Three dancers are shown beneath a decorated parasol carried by one of them. The two other dancers carry drums. This may be a form of "manzai" dancing to celebrate the New Year. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1076.

Japanese - Kashira with Millet and a Straw Hat - Walters 511105

Japanese - Kashira with Millet and a Straw Hat - Walters 511105

Two heads of millet are shown with a straw hat. Millet is a grain that was mixed with rice or eaten in place of rice. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1104.

Japanese - Kashira with Samurai Armor - Walters 511121

Japanese - Kashira with Samurai Armor - Walters 511121

At the top of the kashira is a stirrup. A fan rests on top of a stick. At the bottom is another stick with a pompom attached. Other samurai accessories are depicted on the matching fuchi, Walters 51.1120.

Japanese - Kashira with Wasp - Walters 511017

Japanese - Kashira with Wasp - Walters 511017

At the top of the kashira is a wasp with gold wings and a copper body with shakudo stripes. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1016.

Japanese - Tsuka with Dancing Figures and Shôki - Walters 5112533B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Dancing Figures and Shôki - Walters 5112533B - D...

On the kashira, Shôki the Demon Queller stands with a sword drawn amongst clouds. The legend of Shôki originated in China. Shôki was an aspiring scholar in China who committed suicide when he failed the examina... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragons - Walters 5112503B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragons - Walters 5112503B - Detail A

The kashira and menuki on this tsuka all depict dragons flying through clouds. The menuki are attached to a metal plate with a cloud relief that circles the tsuka. This is part of a mounted set.

Kaishodo - Kashira with Kinkô Riding a Carp - Walters 51953

Kaishodo - Kashira with Kinkô Riding a Carp - Walters 51953

The man riding the carp is the Chinese sage Kinkô (Ch. Kingao [Kinkao]). Kinkô visited the underwater world of the river at the invitation of the king of fish. He was last seen by his disciples on a carp's back... More

Japanese - Kashira with a Tiger - Walters 511015

Japanese - Kashira with a Tiger - Walters 511015

A tiger is shown crouched and roaring. The tiger is executed in silver with gilded stripes. He has a copper mouth with gold teeth and a shakudo nose.

Japanese - Kashira with Flowering Clematis Vines and Basket - Walters 51961

Japanese - Kashira with Flowering Clematis Vines and Basket - Walters ...

The background is carved in a basket weave pattern. It is decorated with flowering clematis vines in gold and silver. This is part of a set with Walters 51.960.

Japanese - Kashira with Gaguku Drum on a Stand - Walters 51991

Japanese - Kashira with Gaguku Drum on a Stand - Walters 51991

This drum is used in "gagaku" court music and is known as a "tsuri daiko." The face is decorated with a swirled design called "tomoe." The mallets for striking the gong are at the lower left. This is part of a ... More

Japanese - Kashira with Monkeys and a Blossoming Cherry Tree Branch - Walters 51949

Japanese - Kashira with Monkeys and a Blossoming Cherry Tree Branch - ...

At the bottom of the composition, two monkeys are carrying a cherry tree branch filled with blossoms. This is part of a set with Walters 51.948.

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragonflies, Butterflies and Moths - Walters 5112273B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Dragonflies, Butterflies and Moths - Walters 511...

The background of the tsuka is black lacquer decorated in gold with a stream edged by chrysanthemum flowers and leaves. The menuki are shaped like a butterfly, two moths and two dragonflies. The kashira is in t... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Flowers - Walters 5112342B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Flowers - Walters 5112342B - Detail A

Flowers are incised around the tsuka. The kashira is decorated with a flowering tree and small flowers on the ground beneath it. This is part of a mounted set.

Japanese - Tsuka with Hawks and Crane - Walters 5112402B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Hawks and Crane - Walters 5112402B - Detail A

The figure of a hawk fills most of the kashira. His eye is highlighted in gold, which gives him a menacing appearance. One menuki is in the shape of a gold heron. The other is shaped like a black hawk. This is ... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Phoenixes - Walters 5111982B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Phoenixes - Walters 5111982B - Detail A

Each menuki is in the shape of a gold "hô-ô," which is a mythical bird similar to the phoenix. On the kashira, a "hô-ô" is shown in flight over a blossoming cherry tree. This is part of a mounted set.

Japanese - Tsuka with Sparrow and Branches - Walters 5112513B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Sparrow and Branches - Walters 5112513B - Detail...

At the bottom of the kashira, a small sparrow sits on the branch of a tree. The menuki is in the shape of the full moon with a branch crossing in front of it. This is part of a mounted set.

Noda Masaaki - Kashira with Herons and Reeds - Walters 511071

Noda Masaaki - Kashira with Herons and Reeds - Walters 511071

Two herons are shown standing near reeds and a tree strump. This is part of a set with Walters 51.1070.

Sano School - Tsuka with Chinese Lantern Plants - Walters 5112653B - Detail A

Sano School - Tsuka with Chinese Lantern Plants - Walters 5112653B - D...

The kashira is decorated with two Chinese lantern plants ("hôzuki"). The menuki are also in the shape of Chinese lantern plants. These plants bloom in the summer. This is part of a mounted set of sword fittings... More

Uesugi Kazutsura - Kashira with Praying Mantis - Walters 51955 - Top

Uesugi Kazutsura - Kashira with Praying Mantis - Walters 51955 - Top

A praying mantis is depicted in various metal alloys. This is part of a set with Walters 51.954.

Japanese - Kashira with Autumn Flowers - Walters 511063

Japanese - Kashira with Autumn Flowers - Walters 511063

The kashira is decorated with pampas grass, morning glories, arrowroot, and maiden flowers. These are four of the seven autumn grasses that were celebrated in ancient Japanese poetry. The other three on the mat... More

Japanese - Kashira with Quails and Autumn Flowers - Walters 51923

Japanese - Kashira with Quails and Autumn Flowers - Walters 51923

Two quails are surrounded by chrysanthemum flowers and pampas grass. All three motifs are associated with autumn. This is part of a set with Walters 51.922.

Japanese - Kashira with Rat - Walters 511099

Japanese - Kashira with Rat - Walters 511099

A rat is shown standing on its hind legs with its nose in the air and seeds at its feet.

Japanese - Tsuka with Chrysanthemums - Walters 5112902 - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Chrysanthemums - Walters 5112902 - Detail A

A large chrysanthemum with leaves dominates the kashira. Each menuki is in the shape of chrysanthemums with a traditionally bound book. An inscription in ink on the end of tsuka implies the sword was mounted in... More

Japanese - Tsuka with Sparrows and Quail - Walters 5111832B - Detail A

Japanese - Tsuka with Sparrows and Quail - Walters 5111832B - Detail A

The two menuki on this tsuka are in the shape of groups of sparrows in flight. The kashira is decorated with a quail standing under a stalk of millet. This is part of a mounted set.

Nakagami Motohiro - Kashira with a Heron and a Stream - Walters 51993

Nakagami Motohiro - Kashira with a Heron and a Stream - Walters 51993

A heron is depicted perched on a dead tree. Below the bird is a stream. This is part of a set with Walters 51.992.

Naoyoshi - Kashira with a Thatched Hut and a Waterfall - Walters 51910

Naoyoshi - Kashira with a Thatched Hut and a Waterfall - Walters 51910

A small pavillion beneath a pine tree is depicted with a waterfall in the background. This scene evokes landscapes of Chinese scholarly retreats. The kashira is paired with Walters 51.909.

Takahashi Kiyotsugu - Tsuka with Horse and Cherry Blossoms - Walters 5112882B - Detail A

Takahashi Kiyotsugu - Tsuka with Horse and Cherry Blossoms - Walters 5...

A gold horse stands under a blossoming cherry tree made of shakudo on the kashira. This illustration refers to a Chinese poem about a horse pawing fallen cherry blossoms, which restored their fragrance. The onl... More

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