Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Metal Japanese Boys Day Sword â Showa

A Metal Japanese Boys Day Sword – Showa

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Metalwork: Pre 1970: Item # 955180

Please refer to our stock # 30hh when inquiring.
This is a nice 20th century metal toy samurai sword that would be presented to a boy on Boys Day – traditionally held on March 3rd. The sword was intended to imbue in the boy a sense of honor and strength as shown by the samurai of old. This miniature sword is made of metal and is intricately made with simulated sharks skin handle, a tiny sword guard (tsuba) and a decorated scabbard with a relief dragon going down the side. The sword itself is thin steel. The entire combination measures 12 ¼ “ long and is in excellent condition. We date it to the mid 20th century, Showa period.

Children's Day is a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month, and is part of the Golden Week. It is a day set aside to respect children's personalities and to celebrate their happiness. It was designated a national holiday by the Japanese government in 1948. Until recently, Tango no Sekku was known as Boys' Day (also known as Feast of Banners) while Girls' Day (Hinamatsuri) was celebrated on March 3. In 1948, the government decreed this day to be a national holiday to celebrate the happiness of all children and to express gratitude toward mothers. It was renamed Kodomo no Hi.

Before this day, families raise the carp-shaped koinobori flags (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon, and the way the flags blow in the wind looks like they are swimming), one for each boy (or child), display a Kintarō doll usually riding on a large carp, and the traditional Japanese military helmet, kabuto. Kintarō and the kabuto are symbols of a strong and healthy boy.