The TOSHO School


From late Kamakura to Edo period

Basic Shape:

Round (a standard diameter of nine centimeters).


Undelineated and only distinguished by the contact marks left by the seppa while mounted and by the hitsu-ana, if encountered. About three millimeters thick


None, possibly added later.


They are generally hammered thin. Kamakura age are 1.5mm to 2.0mm. Muromachi and Momoyama ages are 2.5mm.


Most are marumimi. They are simple in feeling, but may sometimes be high in the center. The plate may taper to the edge making this a thin, slightly rounded rim. This was rare in the early Tosho work but became common in later periods.

Design Characteristics:

The open-work designs are extremely simple. Yet they reveal great care on the part of the maker and the emotions, hopes, and beliefs of the craftsmen and the samurai who commisioned them.

Metal Surface:

The surface hammer marks are very important because they help to determine the skill of the smith. The underside of the guard is perfectly flat, but on the upperside the level of the metal is lower between seppa-dai and rim.description


They are generally hammered thin and ornamented with one or two simple designs pierced in negative silhouette. The Ko-tosho guards are completely uninfluenced by Chinese or other external art styles; in short, they are purely Japanese. In them the Japanese sees a reflection of his own spirit.

Dr. Kazutare Torigoye Hakogaki.
Very large, powerful Tosho Tsuba, nicely forged and hammered with excellent patina and color.
Sukashi of two interlocking circles.

8.0cm x 8.0cm x 2.5mm.

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