Iron tsuba in a marugata shape (round), with an open work design, inlaid in takazogan (inlaying of gold, suaka, and silver).
The design depicts the famous fight of the samuraï Yoshitsune no Minamoto against the warrior monk Benkei on Gojō bridge. The two sides of the tsuba represent the front and the back of the scene.
According to legend, the monk Benkei, born with an incredible strength and physical constitution, used to stand on Gojō bridge, attacking the passers-by to take their swords. After he had collected 999 of them, Yoshitsune came, and, against all odds, defeated the giant Benkei. He then became his most faithful servant, following Yoshitsune in his adventures and until his death.
Signature: Nagato Hagi Ju Naomitsu Saku
Late Edo period.
Height: 8,5 cm
Width: 8,1 cm