A Tsuba is a guard which it positioned at the end of the grip of a sword. Tsubas protect the hand and help to balance the weapon on the body. During the Edo Period (a peaceful time in Japan) the tsbua was more ornamental than it was functional. These tsubas are highly decorative and were made from softer, precious metals such as gold. Tsbuas are considered heirlooms and families with samurai roots will have their family crest incorporated into the design.
The long sword known as katana is often said to be the soul of the samurai. An image of a samurai would not be complete without their shaved head and topknot (chonmage), distinctive garments and their ‘dai-sho’ literally ‘long’ and ‘short’ swords which are kept in their sash at their waist.
Samurai relied on a selection of durable wares created by generations of metal craft workers whose pursuit of perfection lead to some of the most sophisticated works of functional art in the world. The process of making a Japanese sword is time consuming and a dying art in Japan. Traditional crafts people create swords which are flexible, exceptionally sharp and durable. They are unmatched anywhere in the world.
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