Click the picture for the description The Japanese sword is representative of the swordsmith's skill and the art of decoration. Scabbards were made of magnolia, and their decorations depended on the type of sword in question, the rank of its bearer, the prevailing fashion and the taste of the Samurai himself. Metal, silk, polished shark skin, gold, ivory and pearls were used as ornaments on scabbards. The tsuba, i.e. the cross guard made of iron, separated the sword's blade from its handle, also shifting the sword's centre of gravity. The sword handle, the tsuka, was attached to the blade with a mekugi stick made of bamboo, while menuki decorations on both sides of the handle prevented the hand from slipping by filling out the space that was left between the palm of the hand and the handle. The handle of a Japanese sword is also decorated with fuchi and kashira. While the kashira protects the head of the sword handle, the fuchi is an oval, flat ring that protects the end of the handle facing the blade. These usually come in pairs, both carrying the same decorative motif. The decorations served to keep the two parts of the wooden handle safely together.
5. The Art of Decorating


<< < Back
Next > >>
All right reserved © 2004 Vapriikki / Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Kunstkamera