Katana tsuka with wild geese shakudo fuchikashira. This tsuka has an amazing quality tsukamaki made of 4mm blue ito. Due to the age ito is almost black now, however it still has a gentle beautiful blue colour.
Fuchikashira made of shakudo and decorated with wild geese and a moon. This shakudo has a slightly blue colour so it is a perfect match for the ito. Wild geese are well visible however moon is just a polished circle on the ishime ground. Therefore we know it is there but we cna't actually see it. Surrounding it are gilded clouds. There is somewhat similar fuchikashira in Mitsumura Collection under catalogue number 747-80690. Made by Hamano Shozui and motif is described as "Quiet Life Design".
Both menuki made of shakudo with gilded elements. On the front side there are two magpies, one carying a branch. On the reverse side there is a weaving tool. This are both connected to story of Orihime and Hikoboshi, therfore to Tanabata festival.
"Orihime, doughter Tentei(Sky King), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (Milky Way, literally "heavenly river"). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime would no longer weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter's tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come because of the rise of the river and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet. The rain of this day is called "The tears of Orihime and Hikoboshi"- source: Wikipedia.
Length: 22 cm
Fuchi: 38 mm x 20 mm
Fuchi hole: 26 mm x 7 mm
Nakago hole: 14 cm
From top of the fuchi to center of mekugi hole: 20 mm