Aizu Shoami School


Momoyama to end of Edo period

Basic Shape:

The shinmaru gata shape is encountered regularly.


Both hitsu-ana are often shaped like kogai-hitsu as opposed to the standard kozuka-hitsu and kogai-hitsu configuration.

Design Characteristics:

A motif showing a person or thematic object with a natural landscape in the background is common. The bottom right section will contain the main design carved in takabori and/or detailed with nunome or inlay work. It is common to see some details in gold nunome as with all Shoami works.


Tsuba have an iron ji, and kinko works are very rare. The iron ji can be encountered in several varieties. 1st type is a thick plate with a dark brown patina and strong variations in the surface, having a rough appearance. This type of ji is often highly tempered and will show abundant hard martensite crystals on the surface. 2nd type is a more polished ji with a chocolate brown patina. A 3rd type has a deep rich purple-black patina on a thick plate having a similar luster to the iron sukashi works from Genroku times.


AIZU SHOAMI and KANEIYE design with
H 02463.0

This 'MEI' belongs to the artist referred to by Dr. Torigoye as Dai-sho-dai.

Tsuba with this signature can be seen, illustrated together, in the first edition of TSUBA KANSHOKI, by Dr. Torigoye, 1964, pgs. 74 to 77. The number of artists who might have been involved in the making of these tsuba, and their time periods, is still open to conjecture.

The question is, "What is the relationship between the artist of this tsuba and the Daishodai Kaneiye?"

Return to Tsuba Artisan School Page
Study Guide | Tsuba | Haynes Tutorial