The Japanese concept of Shibui is a fascination of ultimate beauty. Honorable wear in normal care and use imparts an aura that is the ultimate in desirability. To experience a well preserved work of art that has seen honest wear and use (for which it was intended) and to be able to place it within a recognizable frame of reference is to me the ultimate in collecting.

If you would like to know more about any items on this website, or if you are considering a purchase, please send Elliott an E-MAIL ( ), asking me any questions you have or what pieces interest you.
Or, if you would rather, you may call me (Elliott):

         HOME PHONE: 503-666-2342   or  CELL PHONE: 503-754-8082

is happening HERE.

"Robert Haynes continues to be an avid collector and researcher of Japanese fittings and has done so for over 75 years. It is our hope that reviewers of this website will take interest in kodogu and tsuba, and choose to seriously pursue it as an area of study and collection. We strongly advocate investing in education before delving into potentially expensive purchases." Elliott Long.

NOTE: All sword fittings (excluding Tsuba) have 'RANK'.

MENUKI have first (1st) rank.
KOGAI have second (2nd) rank.
KOTZUKA have third (3rd) rank.
FUCHI KASHIRA have fourth (4th) rank.
Fine KOSHIRAE available.


By Elliott Long

Rear Admiral Edwin T. Layton's Notebook
Transcribed By Elliott Long


It has been determined that a great many sword guards were produced outside of Japan and imported by Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese merchant mariners, making it improper to label them Japanese. They were produced in places such as Thailand, Vietnam and China, where Japanese swords were highly prized, and often imitated. With correct study, one can easily notice the difference from Japanese copies. Therefore, let those known to be exports be identified as Asian Sword Guards.

James Lancel McElhinney.

Complete List of SWORDS
( some from Private Seller )

Shibui Swords & Tsuba Toshokan
Library Books For Sale

Continually updated, please check often.


the 2001 to 2010-11 CORRIGENDA ET ADDENDA,
the 2011 to 2015 CORRIGENDA ET ADDENDA.

PURCHASE all the above together for the cost of  $180.00 plus postage.


Shibui Swords Primer of Japanese Art History

by Elliott Long

Robert & Elliott's 'Musings'

Literary Works ALL articles posted to date.

  Robert E. Haynes

Robert E. (Eugene) Haynes was born October 28, 1930, in Los Angeles, Calif. The only child of Robert E. Haynes and Dorothy Holmes Haynes, both only children. At age 5 he was sent to Flintridge Prep. School near Pasadena, Calif. At age 7 he went to the Calif. Prep School at Ohai, Calif., to the age of 13. The family moved to Santa Cruz, Calif. and Robert then went to the Menlo School at Menlo, Calif. (near Stanford Univ.). At age 15 his father died and he moved with his mother to Pasadena, Calif., for one more year at Flintridge Prep., and his last year of high school at John Muir High School and Junior College in Pasadena. Since his father was both artist and engineer, he drew and designed from an early age. At age 16, in Pasadena, he became an art student, in oil painting and drawing, with Paul Coze. At age 15 (1945) he bought his first tsuba (Japanese sword guard), which began his interest in Japanese art over the next 70+ years. At age 20 he went to Korea and was with the 1st Field Artillery Observation Battalion, for a year. He had five days R & R from Korea, and went to Kyoto, where he bought many sword fittings and other Japanese art. To end his army time he was sent to Desert Rock, Las Vegas, for atomic tests, and saw 8 atomic bombs tested.

In 1952 he was accepted at the Slade School of Fine Art, Univ. of London. By this time he had been collecting Japanese sword fittings for ten years. In London he met W.W. Winkworth, at Sotheby's Auction House, and B.W. Robinson, at the V & A Museum, both of these venerables became his good friend. After a year at the Slade, and having won the student prize in oil painting, he returned to the U.S. He became a student at U.C.L.A. and was very fortunate to have had the late John Rosenfield as his teacher of Japanese Art 1A. After graduation from U.C.L.A. he went to Okayama Japan, in 1960, at the urging of John Yumoto, his first teacher in sword fittings, to study sword fittings with Dr. Kazutaro Torigoye, who was the last student of Akiyama Kyusaku (1844-1936), and the leading expert of his day. Akiyama was the founder of the study of sword fittings and kodogu. After a years study he went with Dr. Torigoye to Tokyo and was able to view many of the most important fittings in Japan, both in museums and in private collections. After his return to the U.S. he helped found the various Japanese sword clubs that function to this day. In 1963 he returned to Europe, and in London, was introduced to Neil Davey by Billy Winkworth, at Sotheby's, and Neil, he is proud to say, has been his friend these many years. In 1971 he returned to Japan, at the invitation of John Harding who had formed the London Gallery in Tokyo with Tajima-san. In these six months he saw numerous collections of fittings and added greatly to his own collection. By this time he had moved to San Francisco and became the oriental art expert at Butterfield & Butterfield Auction House, where he wrote several auction catalogs devoted to swords and fittings.

In 1980 he wrote the first major Japanese sword and fittings auction catalog for Christie's in New York. In 1981 he formed Robert E. Haynes Ltd. and wrote the 10 volume set of auction catalogues (1981-1984) that held thousands of impotant swords and fittings (regarded as essential to the collecting of tosogu) that were auctioned over a three and a half year period. He has written many articles on sword fittings and related Japanese art and in 2001 completed his impressive publication of the 3 volume set called “The Index of Japanese Sword Fittings and Associated Artists”, the most comprehensive documentation of artists in the field of Japanese sword decoration to date, containing 12,560 listings of documented tosogu artisans and now including the 'Corrigenda Et Addenda' (2011). Since this time he has studied this area of Japanese craftwork like almost no other expert and carried out research which goes far beyond the usual activity of a collector. Thousands of objects went through his hands, and even today he still continues to record everything that appears to be of importance with regards to this subject.


Robert E. Haynes was presented both this diploma upon completion of his studies with Dr. Torigoye and this certificate of recommendation by Dr. Torigoye.

Shibui Swords Bijutsu Gakko and Study Guide

Articles, papers, essay's and descriptions of Nihon-to, Tsuba, and other subjects are included in the Study Guide along with other educational web-sites.

Study, as I have, the great Unifier's of Japan.

History of Japan, prior to 1900

Pre 1900 Kamakura Japan

"It is said that true beauty is to be found when a person completes in his or her own mind that which is incomplete". "When one considers that action is an expression of spirit, then the way to bring one's actions to a peak of perfection is to refine the heart that lies within".

How to Order or Receive More Information


If you would like to know more about any items on this website, or if you are considering a purchase, please send Elliott and Robert an E-MAIL ( ), asking us any questions you have or what pieces interest you.
Or, if you would rather, you may call me (Elliott):

         HOME PHONE: 503-666-2342   or  CELL PHONE: 503-754-8082

Member of:


It is with both pride and humility, my fond hope that this web-site may prove as stimulating to the viewer as it's production was to me, especially when I studied the multiform landscape of an ancient culture and the often tragic but brave attempts of its subjects to cope with the demands of a harsh reality. Confronted as we are today with social and political turbulence, living under the moment-to-moment threat of catastrophe, all studies of man's experience in the art of violent confrontation have acquired a particular relevancy. Almost everyone seems to agree that we must attempt to determine whether man will be forever trapped by his apparently constitutional inclination to employ any method, however lethal, to ensure his dominance over his fellow man, or whether he may be capable of ritualizing and then ultimately, transforming that pattern. In this endeavor, thoughtful studies of man's past, with all its pitfalls and bloody errors, may prove to be a necessary and valuable factor in the final equation.