Blade and Mounting for a Short Sword (Wakizashi)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 380

The fittings of this mounting are decorated with images of old coins, an auspicious symbol. The maker created the ribbed effect on the scabbard by coiling a strong around it, coating it with lacquer, then removing the string before the lacquer was completely dry. The method results in fine striations that appear to have been carved. The wide tip of the scabbard, referred to as denchū-kojiri or omeshi-kojiri, echoes a style used in equestrian sports of earlier periods, particularly falconry and the hunt.

Blade and Mounting for a Short Sword (<i>Wakizashi</i>), Steel, wood, brass, lacquer, copper-gold alloy (<i>shakudō</i>), ray skin (<i>same</i>), silk, silver, Japanese

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