Sword travelling-case with grapevine design

From Japan
Momoyama period, late 16th or early 17th century AD

Daimyō, provincial governors, and other high-ranking samurai carried swords mounted either as katana or tachi types. However, they were not able to wear these long swords when travelling in a palanquin (covered litter), when their swords accompanied them in cases carried by attendants.

This sword case is made of lacquered wood with gold makie and shell inlay with an all-over design of a grapevine. The outer leather case has the mon (family crest) of the owner in gold leaf.

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More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

, Hakubutsukan shoz┼Ź Nihon-Ch (Tokyo National Museum, 1987)

L. Smith and V. Harris, Japanese decorative arts from (London, The British Museum Press, 1982)


Length: 112.500 cm

Museum number

Asia JA 1902.193



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