10.28.17 admin@nihonto

Below are four ô-kozuka made of iron.  The top ô-kozuka is very interesting.  The reverse is gilded in silver with delicately incensed tendrils down its length.  The end are iron that has been inlaid with silver  in a geometric pattern of square spirals.  The main body of the ô-kozuka is plain iron that has been carved away to leave three large round raised circles and two raised designs.  The two outer circles each have a dragon that has been lightly carved and filled with gold inlay.  The center circle has a stylized golden butterfly that has been applied in the same manner.  Between the three circles are two stylized crosses that have been similarly inlaid in a golden design.  This piece could well have been made in Hizen (Kyûshû) as it certainly shows Nanban influences.

The second ô-kozuka from the top is also of carved iron with gold inlay.  This one has also has a dragon of gold inlay except that this is an air dragon frolicking among the golden clouds.  This piece could also be from Hizen but the style of inlay could also lead us to consider it might of the Jakushi school.

Continuing downward, the third iron ô-kozuka is shorter and  wider than the one directly above it.  It has an inome (boar’s eye) carved through the end.  Inlaid into the iron are Miyama-Katabami 深山酢漿草 (sleeping beauty clover) flowers.  This piece looks to be of the Higo school.

The last of the four ô-kozuka has a decoration that is a big relief carving of several nasubi 茄子 (eggplant) and a single ume 梅 (plum blossom).   These carvings are highlighted in gold.

The final kozuka is one of normal size to be used as a comparison piece.