Tsuba (Sword Guard) with the Zen Monk Bukan


Tsuba (Sword Guard) with the Zen Monk Bukan


By Tsuchiya Yasuchika .

Kurokawa Institute for Ancient Cultures, Hyōgo Prefecture.

Bukan, who lived in China during the Tang dynasty, is said to have traveled on the back of a tiger he had tamed, the animal's ferocity having yielded to the monk's virtue. The artist who made the piece, Yasuchika (1670–1744), is esteemed for his depictions of people and landscapes that are simultaneously realistic and lyrical, and avoid an excessive display of technique. The patrons requesting his peices would have given the sword as a whole a higher reverence when united with the imagery of the honorable monk.  


Edo period, 17th century.


Brass; 3 1/8 x 2 7/8 in. (7.8 x 7.2 cm)


Sword Guard.jpg
Date Added
May 9, 2011
Samurai Weaponry
“Tsuba (Sword Guard) with the Zen Monk Bukan,” Artists, Patrons, and Japanese Art, accessed October 20, 2019, https://artistandpatrons.omeka.net/items/show/25.