This is a bronze mirror (kagami) made in the Momyama period. It has a turtle as a central boss, pierced for a cord, as well as chrysanthemums (chased), ducks, cranes and cultivated fields. Everything appears in pairs (other than the turtle) signifying reproduction, fecundity and longevity. Behind the two ducks is a lozenge that has the inscription 'Tenka Ichi", common on kagami.
This is a Katanadansu specifically made (1880) for the storage of Nihonto and fittings. Made from Honoki wood and fitted with metal reinforcements and locks to secure prized possessions at home and during travel.
This is an interesting pipe case and tobacco pouch, especially note the clasp on the pouch. This lion and tiger carving in mixed metal is similar to what is found in work by the makers of menuki, they having to direct their skills to non-sword related metalwork after the inception of the sword ban. Made during the later Meiji period.
These are some Inryo and Netsuke from different periods. All show skill of craftsmanship of various art disciplines.
Note in particular the centre Inryo with the lily lacquer-work in gold and abalone shell.
The Monetary System of the Bakufu
These are some actual coins of the period. The larger silver coins weigh about the same as an half crown.
1) Kaigen Tsuho (621 AD - 8th cent.)
2) Genyu Tsuho (11th cent. - 17th cent.)
3) Genhou Tsuho (11th cent. - 17th cent.)
4) Kousyu Tsuho (11th cent. - 17th cent.)
5) Kanei Tsuho (1768 - 1869)
The Jutte (meaning '10 hands'-as in strength) was probably developed during the Sengoku period and was originally a sign of rank. This was a period of warfare and techniques were developed whereby it could be used as a weapon. It continued to be a status symbol right through the Edo period. Juttejitsu (techniques within a particular school) was a formidable skill and officers were trained in its use so that they could disarm those of higher rank without shedding blood and causing an ensuing blood feud. Even so the Jutte could easily maim or kill.
The Tetsusen (iron fan) was a fan that could be used as a cudgle and to block an attack with a sword. Similar in function to the jutte. Looking like the tradional fan it was constructed of iron and may be opened into a functional fan although many couldn't.
These are a Type 19 Company grade Army kyu-gunto with ten petal cherry blossom on the sword guard and back strap (top) and a Patrolmans and Sergeants Sword Style #3. They have non-traditionally made blades and the kyu-gunto has an acid etched hamon. The short sword has a tempered blade with no police badge like the Style #4 without the knuckle bow.
SHINGUNTO- Army Type 98 (1938-1945).
This sword is the successor to the Type 94 and the minor change was the use of only one suspension ring mounting (Haikan) whereas the Type 94 in full dress used two and one could be removed for daily use. This sword was retained by the habaki friction fit to a leather insert in the koiguchi. The mei reads Noshu Ju Kunihiro but so far I have not been able to find out much about the smith, but the sword must have been manufactured in Seki during the war. There are no arsenal marks. I did find it catalogued on Kim Jinsoo's site once but no other info. Is it Gendaito or Showato? It has a poor polish and I believe a Nakirishi-mei, but I can not make a final determination about that.
This is a picture of the signature (mei) on the gunto pictured above. The file of the signature.
Currently under restoration.
RESTORATION COMPLETED 30/11/2006
Tsuka For Gunto
TASSELS FOR SHINGUNTO
As WW II progressed war materiel became more and more precious, as well less time could be spent on the finer points of manufacture. This led to a decline in the quality of fittings provided for gunto. A similar thing happened during the Sengoku period with mass produced weaponry. The three tsuka pictured illustrate this phenomenum.