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"A presentation tsuba of mokko shaped iron plate covered with fine karakusa carving on both faces and the rim. There is an internal border just inside the rim of the same mokko shape, both sides. Also appearing are seven mon on the omote and three mon on the ura."

"The heraldic mon designs of clouds, falcons, chidori, bellflower and other floral designs are the emblems of early Japanese sovereigns. The roots of Japanese heraldry are alien and partrician, brought to the islands from China during the flourishing of the splendid T'ang dynasty (618-907). During these centuries, the Chinese influence extended to virtually all aspects of Japanese society and culture. The rise of heraldry among the warrior class was obviously conditioned by the harsher, disparate features of medieval Japan. According to some accounts, the first significant impetus to the use of heraldic markings by the warrior class derived from Yoritomo (1148-1199). What heraldry eventually became in Japan was a system of kamon, or family crests; that is, the use of a distinctive mark as symbol of one's family name." (Long)
7.10cm x 7.73cm x 0.49cm (rim)

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A Collaboration of Robert E. Haynes and Elliott D. Long

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