This exquisite Tsuba, crafted with genuine Hon-Urushi-Nuri (authentic Urushi lacquer), is a true emblem of craftsmanship and tradition. Accompanied by an elegant box, it serves as the perfect token of appreciation or gratitude. In Japan, such Tsubas are often presented as congratulatory gifts, particularly following notable achievements like passing a Dan examination or securing victory in a Kendo tournament. While they can be used in practice, their higher value and sentiment often see them being cherished as display pieces in homes, offices, or Dojos.
The creation of these Tsubas involves the use of authentic Urushi, a natural lacquer known for its smooth finish and durability. The high value (and corresponding cost) stems from the intricate and time-consuming process of applying Urushi. This method requires precise timing and extended curing periods, spanning weeks or even months. Only a handful of artisans today hold the skills for this traditional technique. Additionally, the production of Urushi is a labor-intensive process. After harvesting, the trees are cut down to facilitate new growth, adding to the rarity and cost of Urushi lacquer. In its raw form, Urushi sap is highly irritant and requires careful handling, making it a material only a select few manufacturers work with.
Each of these Tsubas is not just an accessory but a piece of art, embodying a deep connection to the rich heritage and meticulous artistry of Kendo culture.