"ITOMAKI-NO-TACHI"

 

THE "ITOMAKI-NO-TACHI" ( TACHI WITH LACING ON THE SCABBARD ) CAME INTO BEING DURING THE "NAMBOKUCHO" PERIOD ( 1334 ~ 1392 AD.), THROUGH NECESSITY. THE USE OF ARMOR DURING THIS PERIOD WAS VERY POPULAR. THE "ITOMAKI" WAS DEVELOPED TO PREVENT ABRASION DAMAGE TO THE SAYA , THE UPPER 1/3 WAS WRAPPED ( MAKI ) IN THE SAME MANOR AS THE TSUKA, WITH FINE SILK LACING ( ITO` ). THE LOWER 2/3, WAS OCCASIONALLY PROTECTED BY A "SHIRI-ZAYA" ( PROTECTIVE BOOT ), THESE WERE MOST FREQUENTLY MADE OF "BEAR FUR", RARELY; ELEPHANT HIDE, AND EVEN LEOPARD FUR, ARE SEEN (  VERY DESIRABLE, IF ORIGINAL ).

THE FORMAL "ITOMAKI TACHI" REPLACED ( FOR THE MOST PART ) THE "KAZARI" ( * SEE DESCRIPTION BELOW ) TACHI, AND THE "EFU-TACHI", SO NAMED FOR ITS SHITOGI ( RICE CAKE SHAPED TSUBA ). THESE REMAINED IN USE THROUGH THE "EDO"  PERIOD, BY THE "IMPERIAL GUARD", AND COURT NOBLEMEN. THEY ARE OCCASIONALLY USED, EVEN TO THIS DAY.

THE "ITOMAKI-NO-TACHI", FULFILLS ITS FORMAL ROLE AS THE SYMBOL OF CHIVALRY, AT THE "IMPERIAL COURT", IT ALSO MANIFESTS THE ANCESTRAL LINEAGE ( HEREDITY IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE, IN JAPAN ) OF IT OWNER. THE FORMAL "ITOMAKI TACHI" IS THE MOST HIGHLY CHERISHED POSSESSION OF ARISTOCRAT'S, DAIMYO'S, AND ELITE SAMURAI FAMILY'S, AND IS A SYMBOL OF POWER, AND AUTHORITY.  IT IS ALSO AMONG THE FINEST, AND MOST DESIRABLE WORKS OF ART IN THE WORLD.

FIRSTLY THE WOODEN SAYA IS OVERLAID WITH GOLD, AND THE FINEST QUALITY OF "MAKIE" LACQUER ( MADE WITH PURE GOLD ), IS APPLIED IN MULTIPLE LAYERS. THE FAMILY "MON'S" ( CRESTS ) ARE THE ONLY DECORATION USED ON THE SAYA. THEY ARE NORMALLY APPLIED IN GOLD FOIL, OR FINE GOLD LACQUER. OFTEN A CLEAR PROTECTIVE LAYER OF LACQUER IS APPLIED AS THE FINAL FINNISH TO THE SAYA.

THE KODOGU ( FITTINGS ), AND TSUBA ARE NORMALLY CONSTRUCTED OF "SHAKUDO", WHICH IS A ALLOY OF FINE COPPER, AND PURE GOLD, THAT IS THEN CHEMICALLY TREATED TO PROVIDE A FINE "BLUISH BLACK" FINNISH. THE "NANAKO" ( LINES OF DOTS, LIKE SALMON ROE ) IS PERHAPS THE MOST DELICATE, AND LABOR INTENSIVE SEGMENT OF THE CONSTRUCTION. THE DOTS ARE FASTIDIOUSLY APPLIED BY HAND, AND ARE SO PRECISELY DONE THAT LITTLE TO NO VARIATION IN SYMMETRY CAN BE DETECTED. NEXT EACH OF THE PRECISELY MADE, SOLID GOLD "MON'S" ( FAMILY CRESTS ) ARE INDIVIDUALLY SOLDERED INTO PLACE. THE FINAL PHASE IS TO APPLY THE SILK ITO MAKI, TO THE SAYA, AND TSUKA. THE CREATION OF A FINE "ITOMAKI-NO-TACHI", CAN TAKE MORE THAN A YEAR TO ACCOMPLISH!

* THE KAZARI TACHI STYLE IS THE MOST ANCIENT OF ALL KOSHIRAE'S ( SWORD MOUNTINGS ). THIS STYLE HARKS TO THE "NARA" PERIOD ( 646 ~ 794 AD. ), AT WHICH TIME THEY WERE KNOWN AS THE "KARA TACHI", I.E. CHINESE TACHI! THERE WERE TWO BASIC TYPE'S, A PLAIN VERSION FOR COMBAT USE, AND A ORNATE STYLE FOR FORMAL USE. AT THE ONSET OF THE "HEIAN" PERIOD ( 794 ~ 1185 AD. ) THEY WERE
HIGHLY REFINED, AND ADAPTED TO JAPANESE TASTE. THESE PHENOMENAL WORKS OF ART WERE CREATED OF FINELY WORKED GOLD, AND ENCRUSTED WITH JEWELS. THE WOODEN SAYA WAS ALSO GOLD COVERED, AND / OR HEAVILY GOLD LACQUERED. THE NAME WAS THEN CHANGEDFROM "KARA" TACHI, TO "KAZARI" TACHI.

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Sword is not available for purchase. 10/02/05

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