OSURIAGE KATANA IN SPECTACULAR SATSUMA KOSHIRAE
This is a wonderfully mounted sword in textbook Satsuma koshirae. The fittings are ensuite in iron with gold karakusa. The tsuba is elaborately embellished in gold. As typical with koshirae of this type, the tsuka is mounted without menuki. I have attached a writeup on Satsuma koshirae from the Token Bijutsu which gives further background on this type of mounting.
“In Satsuma, two schools of kenjutsu, the Togo-jigen-ryu and the Yakumaru-jiken-ryu have been present since the early Edo period. There is a famous unique posture called “Tonbo”(dragonfly) and a demanding practice style called “Tachigi-uchi”. From these kenjutsu schools, Satsuma hayato (brave combatants who lived in Kagoshima since historical times) produced characteristic koshirae. Compared with the usual koshirae, the hilts are long and thick, and the ryugo (the narrow portion in the center of the hilt) are not prominent, many of them are without menuki, and the fuchi and kashira are high and large. The koshirae is a typical functional style, and shows the Satsuma bushi’s simple and sturdy style and spirit very well.