NIHON NO TSUBA [English trans. SWORD GUARDS OF JAPAN]
by Susumu Kashima
Tokyo, Japan: Namiki Shobo [alt. trans. Namiki Buo], 1970. First Edition. Hardcover. Octavo, 205 pages, VG-/G+; metallic lilac DJ, small kanji lettering to spine: spine faded silver, lettering unaffected; wear to edges of covers and hinges, small closed tear to top edge of front cover, slight material loss to head, tail, and corners; mild rubbing to covers; DJ protected by mylar; green buckram cloth boards, dark brown kanji lettering to spine and front board; mild rubbing to edges, slight creasing to fore-edge of back board, mild age-toning to text-block; light age-toning to margins of interior, text and graphics largely unaffected; many black-and-white images and gloss plates of Japanese swords and sword guards (tsuba) of the Momoyama period; first published Showa 45 (1970), original price 800 yen to copyright page; text in Japanese; contains three (3) white informational cards on Chinese ritual jades; shelved Case 9. Tsuba (鍔 or 鐔) is a round or occasionally squarish guard at the grip of a Japanese bladed weapon (e.g., katana, tachi, wakizashi, tantō, naginata, and so on). Functionally they help balance the weapon as well as protect the user's hands from injury. Tsuba of the Momoyama period (c. 1573-1603) are mostly practical in design and made of sturdier metals (e.g., steel, copper, and iron). In contrast, tsuba from the more peaceful subsequent Edo period (c. 1603-1868) are more ornate and made from less practical metals such as gold. Tsuba are now valued as family heirlooms, national treasures, and collector's items. Information from the front flap of this volume suggests that the tsuba pictured within are from a special collection of the Tokyo National Museum, the author's place of employment at the time of publication. Author's biographical information to copyright page states that Shin Kashima graduated in Kokugakuin University, Shibuya, Toyko in September 1929 with an advanced degree in Japanese history. Dupont.
(Inventory #: 9-7-1296498)
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