Beginning in mid Muromachi to the end of Genroku (ca. 1400 to 1710). For purposes of study, the period of production is divided into three sections: the first period is the Muromachi age, second period is Momoyama age, and the third period are the pieces made in Kyoto during the Edo age.

Basic Shape:

Normally round, sometimes oval.


Very good shape, squarish at top and bottom. Thickness 3 to 5.09mm. Appears slightly large for the size of the tsuba and slightly more oblong than those found on Owari tsuba.


All are well made.




Many have thin, raised square peripheral rims (later examples have rounded rims) with 'tekkotsu' visible.

Design Characteristics:

This school would seem to be the earliest to use ji-sukashi (positive silhouette). Most of the designs are plain, direct, and abstract, consisting largely of straight or curved lines that produce a feeling of great dignity. The openwork is so extensive that the remaining metal portions are very fine and slender.

Metal Surface:

The forging is very skillful. The surface is glossy black soft steel. The smooth surface is due to the high heat used in the forging. The quality of the iron is excellent. The tempering and the surface are a little rough, which adds to their charm.


The Kanayama tsuba is an excellent example of the best quality in the fundamental aesthetic principles of the tsuba.

Return to Tsuba Artisan School Page
Study Guide | Tsuba | Haynes Tutorial