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Old 11th February 2023, 11:45 PM   #1
tool_of_a_took
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Default Help identifying Japanese tsuka / sword handles

Hi guys, recently acquired these tsukas at auction.

I know the first one is a WW2 NCO tsuka, but need help with the other 2. Canít find anything similar to the metal dragon tsuka so absolutely any info would be appreciated.

Iím guessing the 3rd one maybe belonged to a merchant as itís quite plain, but have no idea really. Does anyone have any idea of the age of these 2 pieces and who might have used / owned them?
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Old 12th February 2023, 09:10 PM   #2
David R
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Your third example is from what's known as an Okashi-To, aka a "loan sword", also referred to erroneously as a "Satsuma sword". Basically a castle arsenal back in the day would recycle worn out blades and mounts to produce cheap blades for issue to peasant soldiers in time of need.
Merchants had all the money in the Edo period and could afford the good stuff.
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Old 13th February 2023, 03:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by David R View Post
Your third example is from what's known as an Okashi-To, aka a "loan sword", also referred to erroneously as a "Satsuma sword". Basically a castle arsenal back in the day would recycle worn out blades and mounts to produce cheap blades for issue to peasant soldiers in time of need.
Merchants had all the money in the Edo period and could afford the good stuff.
Oh cool, thatís super interesting. Iím guessing thatíll mean itís not particularly valuable, but itís almost more interesting to me that a peasant might have used it. Itís easy to get caught up in the ďromanticizationĒ of the Samurai, but I quite like having a piece that wouldíve been used by a commoner like myself. Plus I daresay itíll be a good conversation starter!

By any chance, is there any way of narrowing down its age? Early, mid or late Edo? Or is it impossible to tell?
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Old 13th February 2023, 08:57 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=

By any chance, is there any way of narrowing down its age? Early, mid or late Edo? Or is it impossible to tell?[/QUOTE]

Before the Meiji, after which they were irrelevant with the end of the Han system and creation of a national army. Otherwise, Ghd knows, these have been found with Heian era blades in them, they just ran every piece of junk through the repair shop to make a usable weapon, and then stuck it in the arsenal. Here's one of mine assembled from whatever was in the bit-box back in the day. The kashira is from a handachi scabbard, the basic core is from a knackered Tanto, and the menuki a washer from an Edo period tobacco pouch!
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Old 14th February 2023, 05:53 PM   #5
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Before the Meiji, after which they were irrelevant with the end of the Han system and creation of a national army. Otherwise, Ghd knows, these have been found with Heian era blades in them, they just ran every piece of junk through the repair shop to make a usable weapon, and then stuck it in the arsenal. Here's one of mine assembled from whatever was in the bit-box back in the day. The kashira is from a handachi scabbard, the basic core is from a knackered Tanto, and the menuki a washer from an Edo period tobacco pouch!

Awesome, thanks for all the info! I have a penchant for weapons modified in period, so these are right up my alley
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