Edo period.


Round or a round shape that is a little wider at the bottom so that it is almost aorigata in contour, square with rounded corners, mokko, aorigata, and square mokko (kakumokkogata).


Mostly squared shape, some have lines delineating shape at seppa dai. There may be regularly spaced indentations or a incised line along either side of the nakago ana on the seppa dai. The chiseled indentations used by the Nishigaki school around the nakago ana are smaller in size and more in number than those used by Hikozo.


Long shapes prevail or almost half moon shape.


Average Edo age thickness (4.5 millimeters).


Seems rounded but is a little sharper than those of Matashichi. Some are almost pointed.

Design Characteristics:

Three commas (mitsudomoe) in positive silhouette, fish basket shape (commonly a large area of openwork on either side of the seppa dai that seem to be very large hitsu ana), scroll patterns in gold inlay, and a variety of other designs. Openwork designs are fan, kiri plant, pine tree, cherry flowers, chrysanthemum, and others.

Plate Metal:

Iron, brass, or copper are usual. The ground is usually plain, showing little hammer work or variation.

Inlay & Carving:

Carving styles of kebori, shishiai, and horiage were used. In inlay horikomi and nunome are frequently used. Most inlay is of gold of about 24 carat. The kareki design is usually gold nunome. The niju karakusa is very well applied, and the parallel lines are very close together. The tail end of the scrolls is a little longer than that of the other Higo inlayers. The wave design is called menami shape.



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