Tsuba (Sword guard) with design of dragon among clouds
The flat iron plate with quatrefoil shape and the design of a dragon in midst of clouds. It has three holes: one for blade (middle) flanked by two deformed oval-shape holes (for kougai and kozuka). Around the blade hole, there is the carver’s signature. The design of a dragon, among stylized clouds, is intricately carved in high relief; the dragon has almost three-dimensional quality. On the back, the dragon tail, some parts of the body, one claw are peeking from clouds. The dragon coils around the center holes. The rims of the three circles are wavy, as if they are the part of the cloud design. The stoppers on the blade hole edges are made of gold. Some silver inlays are applied on the dragon’s eye blow and some nails.