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FletchSan

Shingen Tsuba

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Hi All,

 

I recently picked up this tsuba which I understand is classified as a "Shingen tsuba". I've read the various posts on the forum about Shingen tsuba and the story behind it, though I haven't seen too many examples like this one.

 

I'd be interested in some further information about the period and construction. It certainly appears to be actual wire that is wrapped around the tsuba vs. a carved design.

 

It is also very similar to the example documented in the 1923 field museum publication as referenced on the Varshavsky Collection website.

 

cheers,

 

Ben

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I love that Tsuba, thank you for posting. Im sorry I cannot help with your questions, but I was hoping you may be able to tell me the weight of it? I have never been able to find weights of this style (and the more heavily wired) Shingen Tsuba.

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Has good weight to it, thank you very much.

I’m guessing the more heavily wired versions are more again.

It would be great to see cross section sketch of the tsuba, I’m interested to know more just as yourself

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Both very nice tsuba

I wanted to buy a decent example but mine is the standard type where the wire is looped through the tsuba

 

The story behind this type of tsuba (unproven) was that Takeda Shingen employed swift running messengers.

The Mukade-tai. They were conspicuous for their mukade (centipede) hata-jirushi (war banners).

When with this troop you had the privilege of wearing this style of tsuba

 

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Grev

 

 

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Here below a NBTHK papered tsuba described as:
組縄図鐔 - kuminawa zu tsuba
無銘 信玄 -  mumei Shingen
木瓜形  鉄槌目地  縄目据紋象嵌  丸耳 - mokkō-gata  tetsu-tsuchime-ji  nawame-suemon-zōgan  maru-mimi

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Mauro

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Thanks Mauro,

 

Do you have an English translation of the NBTHK paper?

 

The other story, again unproven, which may be more related to my Tsuba which isn’t a centipede design is that “Takeda Shingen wrapped brass wire around a iron sukashi tsuba while waiting patiently before a major battle. Supposedly this kept him calm and focused and able to react and think in a clear manner when it counted. Because of this practice of his, many of his supporters followed in his actions and made these tsuba as well.”

 

Cheers,

 

Ben

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In my opinion there's no direct connection to Takeda Shigen and the style of tsuba thus named.

 

Shingen died in 1573 and the Chinese only started producing metallic zinc, required to make brass consistently, during the following 25 or so years. Zinc wasn't produced in Japan until the start if the 20th century.

When exactly regular imports of zinc/and or brass began to arrive in Japan remains a matter under investigation but it seems unlikely before the start of the 17th century, ie: early 1600's.

 

The descriptive label may come from "Shingen bukuro", a  traditional drawstring type pouch.

 

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Thanks Ford - I guess we’ll never know why they are referred to as Shingen tsuba.

 

Though, one thing for sure is that they would be a lot less desirable associated with a draw string bag vs. a daimyō warlord :)

 

I’m still very interested in the process of construction and would love to hear your thoughts on this.

 

Thanks!

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Dispelling long established 'lore' is tough going.  Even when presented with irrefutable fact, these long held misconceptions die hard.....Ford, your post contains more than enought evidence to put this issue to rest.  Don't know about the pouch, but the closure mechanism certainly does resemble the applied metalwork of this type of tsuba.

 

-S-

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