Cross and Dragon
78mm x 78mm x 4mm
The rust condition is good. The work to carve dragon is skilful. One of
the most impressive characters of this tsuba is some powerful TEKKOTSU on the rim, like ridges.
It seems older than 16th century.
One more interesting point is the design. Some people say this tsuba was
used by Christian. We are not sure, but we can imagine such situation.
The first time of catholic coming to Japan was 1549AD. It spread in Japan
in short time, and then suppressed strictly by lords. The Christians upriseing
was in 1636 ~ 1637. After that, they secretly keep their belief and put
the cross blending in other designs to pray. Some of underground Christian
communities had survived until the modern age coming in 19th century.
This tsuba may be a monument of Christian in Japan.
Some samurai family also use the cross like design for their family mark.
But it is come from a Chinese letter "10".
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