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21 December 2010 13:00

tsukamaki, hilt wrapping, Japanese swords

by Takwann
While viewing a Japanese sword, it is often the beautiful and very impressive blades that we remember best. We usually recognize that along with the swordsmith, there was the polisher, the saya maker, the lacquerer, the tsuba maker, and the many artists who make each of the other metal fittings. But we sometimes forget that it is the hilt wrapper who completes the sword. Tsukamaki is the art of wrapping a silk braid (tsukaito or simply ito) around the hilt of the Japanese sword. And it is this task that completes the creation of the art of the Japanese sword.

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