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Provenance:   Robert E. Haynes;
            Elliott D. Long

Early period tsuba termed Toran-kei, Toran meaning 'egg-shaped'. This type of tsuba is among the earliest works of Japanese tsubako. Cast of yellow bronze, then gilded in gold, some of which remains on both sides of the plate and within the six sukashi openings around the nakago-ana.

Most of these types of tsuba have come from ancient Japanese burial mounds, making them around 1500 years old, and thus making them the predecessors of all other tsuba. They date to the period when Buddhism was introduced to Japan, and when the Imperial lineage was solidifying its status in Japan.

Mounted on straight swords called Chokuto, they were closely related to the Korean mainland examples of the 3 Kingdoms period. In fact, during this period, Japan was a major regional naval and military power, and was closely affiliated with the Paekche Kingdom, and had established its own colony on the Korean peninsula called Mimana.

Dates to Kofun Period, 5th-6th century.

10.60cm x 9.20cm x 0.45cm.

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

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