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MANTIS KOZUKA
蟷螂小柄


The Kozuka was used by the Samurai as a utility knife. The knife fit in the scabbord for carrying and was sometimes paired with a kogai. The Kozuka is really composed of 2 componnents: the handle and the blade. The blade (known as kogatana) is inserted into the handle (known also as the kozuka) and retained there by some sticking agent like pitch. The Kozuka like all other samurai sword fittings displays aristry and skill. Most Samurai sword fittings through their design convey meanings, ideas and/or tales of Japanese society. For meanings of designs please read the section on Japanese symbolism.

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item #DescriptionPicture
Kozuka 1
Another Kozuka done in the extremely common theme. Goto style but most likely Waki-Goto. The back is partially done in gold cat-scratch. The back base metal is a brown color which may be a shakudo or some other patinated copper. A slightly different execution than normal.
Kozuka 2
This kozuka is part of a presentation set that has a Fuchi/Kashira and tsuba with the exact same design. All were sold individually off ebay (see other headings for other pieces). I didn't buy the kogai because it didn't have a mantis on it. It was described as from the 1920's, however, more knowledgeable individuals have attributed it to 17th or 18th century. It is Mino school work. I am fairly certain the base metal is copper or maybe bronze(?).
Kozuka 3
Kozuka made from shibichi or perhaps copper? depicting other insects, including ants, butterflies, bell insect and grasshopper. School unknown.
Kozuka 4
Kaga Kozuka done in petite inlay. Insects are masterfully done in the round. Size 9.7cm x 1.4cm. These types of work demonstrate the skill of the Kaga school.
Kozuka 5
A shibuichi kozuka with a gold praying mantis sitting on beans. The kozuka is done with nanako, and signed on the back: Sano Taneyoshi & kao. Smith worked in the early 19th century

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