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khameleon59
3rd May 2014, 08:23
Hello fello budo members! I have a question. I trained in breifly in Yagyu Shinkage Ryu (YSR) for about 2-3 months then life took had other plans for me so I was unable to continue training. I may have some time coming very soon meaning that I have completed college. As a graduation gift for myself I wanted to purchase a custom iaito. However I wanted it to be closely related (either in theme/design) to what the Yagyu clan carried/used. If not at least a tsuba that represents the leaneage. I have searched the internet and too many varying images or information results from the search. Would anyone know or have the ability to point me in the right direction of what it is I am looking for? I can also be reached off line at khameleontech59@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for any and all support you may be able to provide. As Jack Hoban would say,"Keep Training!" :wave:

LGatling
3rd May 2014, 11:29
I've never known tsuba to be specific to a school. I might be wrong but always thought they were among the most personalized items rather than standardized.

L Gatling

Brian Pettett
3rd May 2014, 13:33
There were indeed many designs specifically attributed to the Yagyu school, but about all I can do is pass this excerpt from Autumn Lighting along:

http://books.google.com/books?id=lrFFAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT125&lpg=PT125&dq=yagyu+tsuba&source=bl&ots=4ZX8juTW_h&sig=PjZoF7j9vIgn_wmON6ycH3tfZEQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2O5kU4_NFIGQyATx6YDwAw&ved=0CGEQ6AEwBzgU#v=onepage&q=yagyu%20tsuba&f=false] (http://books.google.com/books?id=lrFFAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT125&lpg=PT125&dq=yagyu+tsuba&source=bl&ots=4ZX8juTW_h&sig=PjZoF7j9vIgn_wmON6ycH3tfZEQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2O5kU4_NFIGQyATx6YDwAw&ved=0CGEQ6AEwBzgU#v=onepage&q=yagyu%20tsuba&f=false)

The designs themselves can be seen in the print version.

Chris Hellman
4th May 2014, 01:09
I wrote an entry on this in my blog some time ago which expands on Lowry's information. You might find it interesting. To be honest, the more I read of Yagyu source documents, the more I find they used symbolism - interesting stuff.
I recommend reading part 2 first:


Part 2 (http://ichijoji.blogspot.jp/2010/12/symbolism-of-yagyu-tsuba.html)

Part 1 (http://ichijoji.blogspot.jp/2010/12/yagyu-renyasai-and-yagyu-tsuba.html)


Chris

Kendoguy9
4th May 2014, 12:52
Hi George et al.,

Congrats on finishing college. Ready to move on to your master's? :) The Yagyu did have their own tsuba. It isn't difficult to find nice examples of antique ones if you are into nihonto collecting (although I wouldn't put one on an iaito as they are far more valuable). Like most tsuba schools there was a pattern book. The Yagyu pattern book started with 36 different tsuba designs and was later expanded to about 120 different designs. The Yagyu school tend to be of coarse sandy and cloudy iron. They tend to be a bit small and have a thick rim. Of course they feature budo related motif such as the triangle and three circles (sangakuen). I'm sure you could find an iaito dealer that has a stock of reproduction Yagyu tsuba. I'm more of a Heianjo shinchu zogan guy myself :)

Check ot this link for more information: http://markussesko.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/yagyu-tsuba/

Lance, I think you are right most kenjutsu ryu did not have their own tsuba however most tsuba were from pattern books (except for the really nice custom jobs). Many of the top tsuba making schools had a pattern book and the samurai or towns person looking to buy a tsuba would open the book and pick out what he liked. That is why you find so many tsuba from the Akasaka, Shoami or Ito school etc. with the same repeating design. They would still be hand cut and hand made for the client and I'm sure variations could be requested. I'm also sure the tsuba still had meaning to the owner. Many would represent seasonal themes that could really show the owners good taste and understanding of classical motif. I've always like winter themed koshirae myself (not that i have good taste or any understanding of classicval Japanese motif). See this link for a nice winter themed tsuba: http://kodogunosekai.com/2011/10/27/kyo-sukashi-testu-ji-sukashi-tsuba-%E4%BA%AC%E9%80%8F-%E9%89%84%E5%9C%B0-%E9%80%8F%E9%8D%94/

Cheers,
Chris

khameleon59
5th May 2014, 08:39
thank you for your reply. I thought as much as well. Hoever I am just inquiring if it were to be the case and if so would anyone be able to point me in the right direction. Like you stated they may have been completely personalized.

khameleon59
5th May 2014, 08:42
Thank you very much Brian for that link, it is very informative. I will purchase that book tonight.

khameleon59
5th May 2014, 09:22
Chris thanks for the very much detailed information. I am completely awestruck.

khameleon59
5th May 2014, 09:33
Thank you Kendoguy9. as for the masters, i believe I still have a ways to go but that is definitely one of my goals to obtain. Oh no I am not into Nihonto collecting. I was just gonna see if a practical replica of a Yagyu tsuba. was out there already. Collecting is way out of my league. You have been a great help with my quest. I appreciate it. Whatever my end result for an iaito is, I will post a picture of it. Thanks again for the help.

Kendoguy9
5th May 2014, 14:10
You may want to contact Mr. Yamazaki a tsubashi from Tokyo. He has a shop called Ryuken: http://tsubaryuken.com/ He makes Akasaka style tsuba and they are very nice. He might be able to make a Yagyu tsuba for you. Many of his hand made tsuba sell for as little as 12,000 yen (a lot of Chinese cast tsuba cost $50 or more). Just a thought.

Good luck,
Chris

LGatling
5th May 2014, 23:47
Hi George et al.,

Congrats on finishing college. Ready to move on to your master's? :) The Yagyu did have their own tsuba. It isn't difficult to find nice examples of antique ones if you are into nihonto collecting (although I wouldn't put one on an iaito as they are far more valuable). Like most tsuba schools there was a pattern book. The Yagyu pattern book started with 36 different tsuba designs and was later expanded to about 120 different designs. The Yagyu school tend to be of coarse sandy and cloudy iron. They tend to be a bit small and have a thick rim. Of course they feature budo related motif such as the triangle and three circles (sangakuen). I'm sure you could find an iaito dealer that has a stock of reproduction Yagyu tsuba. I'm more of a Heianjo shinchu zogan guy myself :)

Check ot this link for more information: http://markussesko.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/yagyu-tsuba/

Lance, I think you are right most kenjutsu ryu did not have their own tsuba however most tsuba were from pattern books (except for the really nice custom jobs). Many of the top tsuba making schools had a pattern book and the samurai or towns person looking to buy a tsuba would open the book and pick out what he liked. That is why you find so many tsuba from the Akasaka, Shoami or Ito school etc. with the same repeating design. They would still be hand cut and hand made for the client and I'm sure variations could be requested. I'm also sure the tsuba still had meaning to the owner. Many would represent seasonal themes that could really show the owners good taste and understanding of classical motif. I've always like winter themed koshirae myself (not that i have good taste or any understanding of classicval Japanese motif). See this link for a nice winter themed tsuba: http://kodogunosekai.com/2011/10/27/kyo-sukashi-testu-ji-sukashi-tsuba-%E4%BA%AC%E9%80%8F-%E9%89%84%E5%9C%B0-%E9%80%8F%E9%8D%94/

Cheers,
Chris
That makes sense.

Perhaps you could tell us what the reddish, dissimilar metal fill is at the top and bottom of the slot - on the latter link you sent it is quite obvious.

L Gatling

Kendoguy9
6th May 2014, 01:18
Hi Lance,

The copper bits in the nakagoana are called sekigane. They are small bits of soft metal (usually copper but could be another soft and easy to work metal) used to fit the tsuba nice and tight to the nakago of the sword. You basically put the little copper wedges into the nakagoana, put the tsuba on the nakago and pean it on. I hope that helps :)

Cheers,
Chris

LGatling
6th May 2014, 04:12
Hi Lance,

The copper bits in the nakagoana are called sekigane. They are small bits of soft metal (usually copper but could be another soft and easy to work metal) used to fit the tsuba nice and tight to the nakago of the sword. You basically put the little copper wedges into the nakagoana, put the tsuba on the nakago and pean it on. I hope that helps :)

Cheers,
Chris
I think the term is 'to peen' it, as in 'ball peen hammer' but thanks, makes perfect sense to build in a softer, sacrificial, cheap metal.

Lance

Kendoguy9
6th May 2014, 11:34
Lance,

You are right. Wasn't paying enough attention. That's what I get for replying on my cell phone while trying to watch Game of Thrones. Pean is a fur used in heraldry. It looks like ermine but it is black with yellow tails instead of white with black tails (http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~lwittie/sca/heraldry/picts/pean2.gif).

Anyway, glad I could help out even if I made a few small errors ;)

Cheers,
Chris

LGatling
7th May 2014, 05:33
"pean" sounds like an endangered species. I just though it was a typo. I could have used that little tidbit when I replaced a tsuba on an iaito a couple of years ago instead of fitting it like I did.

Don't ask how. It's all covered now.

thanks
Lance Gatling