Ko Kinko tsuba. Mumei. Circa: Early to Mid 15th century, Muromachi period. This tsuba features a wonderful and rich yamagane plate with punched ground. This has been finished with a shakudo fukurin. The distinctive kogai-hitsu is elongated and indicative of an earlier time. The tsuba has a patina that is a rich deep yamagane with a heavy chocolate overtone. Note this looks lighter in the scan than it does in real life. There are remnants of lacquer in many places. The fukurin is a single strip wrapped around the tsuba with the seam at the bottom clearly visible. I believe both kozuka and kogai hitsu are original to the tsuba,
This is a small sized tsuba probably for an Uchi-katana though it would appear from first glance to be for a small wakizashi or even a tanto. It was explained to me that these tsuba were made small and light toi aid in the use of the single handed fighting technique used in these times.
These types of tsuba were likely “mass produced” items to support the rank and file troops. This is in no way a suggestion that they are of any lower quality or intrinsic value, they were made during a time of heavy and prolonged fighting, leading up to the larger Onin conflict which bankrupt Japan.
Size is 6.25cm x 5.86cm. Thickness at the nakago-ana is 3mm and 4mm at the mimi.
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