- Period: Edo period (1603-1868)
- School: Kinai School
- Design: Ryujin-Zu (Japanese dragon with the body of a fish)
- Shape: Maru-Gata
- Features: Sukashi (openwork)
- Material: Iron
- Width: 65.4mm
- Height: 66.6mm
- Thickness: 5.2mm
- Weight: 92g
- Signed: Echizen-Ju / Kinai-Saku
Includes Kiri Wood Tsuba Box.
About Echizen-Ju | Kinai-Saku:
“Echizen-Ju-Kinai-Saku” (越前住紀内作) is a signature commonly found on tsuba made in the Kinai region of Japan by artists who originated from Echizen province.
Echizen province, now part of Fukui Prefecture, was a center of sword and sword-fitting production during the Edo period. Many skilled craftsmen from Echizen moved to the Kinai region to pursue their craft, and they often included “Echizen-Ju” (resident of Echizen) in their signatures.
The inclusion of “Kinai-Saku” (made in Kinai) in the signature indicates that the tsuba was made in the Kinai region.
Tsuba with the signature “Echizen-Ju-Kinai-Saku” are highly regarded for their quality and craftsmanship, and they are sought after by collectors and enthusiasts of Japanese sword fittings.
About the Kinai School:
The Kinai School (紀州金井派, Kishū Kinai-ha) was a school of Japanese sword fittings that was active during the Edo period (1603-1868). The school was based in the Kinai region, which encompasses the southern part of modern-day Osaka Prefecture and the northern part of Wakayama Prefecture.
The Kinai School was known for its highly skilled metalworking techniques, which produced sword fittings of exceptional quality and beauty. The school’s artists were known for their ability to create intricate designs that incorporated both traditional Japanese motifs and new innovations.
The Kinai School produced a wide variety of sword fittings, including tsuba (sword guards), fuchi-kashira (sleeves for the hilt), menuki (ornaments on the hilt), and kozuka (small knives stored in the hilt). The school’s tsuba were particularly renowned for their intricate openwork (sukashi) designs, which often depicted naturalistic scenes such as animals, plants, and landscapes.
The Kinai School was active for several generations, and its influence can be seen in the work of later generations of sword fitting artists. Although the school is no longer active, its legacy lives on in the many works that it produced, which are highly prized by collectors and enthusiasts of Japanese sword fittings.
Ryujin is a legendary dragon god in Japanese mythology and folklore who is believed to live in the depths of the sea. Ryujin is often depicted as having the head of a dragon and the body of a large fish, and is associated with the power of the ocean and its creatures. In some stories, Ryujin is said to be the ruler of all sea creatures, and is revered as a powerful and benevolent deity.