18th century Japanese sword iron tsuba depicting Tekkai Sennin seated on rockery, a staff by his side, and blowing out his spirit which can be seen as a small figure flying on his staff in mid-air in the upper left, the back showing sennin’s woven straw. Tekkai Sennin had the power to separate his spirit from his body and send it to heaven. During one of his long absences his body was buried, so upon his return he had to enter the body of a dead beggar, and that is the way he is usually shown. Nice composition with a good feeling of movement - see the flowing lines of spirit’s robe. Precise detailing of his figure done in iron, which is notoriously difficult to work with, gilded highlights. Extensive inscription on both sides of nakago (central opening for the blade) on the back, beautiful patina, wonderful feel of age.. Height 2 15/16 inches.