Important Cultural PropertyDecorative sword, mountings with mother-of-pearl inlay on polished lacquered gold and gold ornaments

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  • 1 piece
  • Total L110.3
  • Heian period/12th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • F-19933

There are very few kazaritachi (a mock sword for ceremonial use) from the Heian period still in existence. The kazaritachi is a sword that high court nobles, who were allowed by the emperor to wear a sword to court, used to wear at grand ceremonies. The handle of this sword is lacquered in black and covered with sharkskin and has a decorative rivet with a gem in the center of the front and back. While many parts of the sheath are missing, there is a trace of raden (a shell inlay technique commonly used for lacquer ware) applied in the design of the two birds in the gold lacquer ground. The tsuba (handguard) is in the Chinese style in the shape of balance weight with a flower pattern carved in high relief. Openwork of a flower arabesque pattern is applied to the long metal fittings, in which a gem is inserted. The mountain-shaped metal fitting at the upper part of the sheath has openwork in the shape of a long-tailed cock, which is very rare.