Round tsuba with yatsu-hashi, or eight-bridges, design


  • Title

    Round tsuba with yatsu-hashi, or eight-bridges, design

  • Associated place

    Japan (place of creation)
  • Date

    17th century (1601 - 1700)
  • Material and technique

    iron, with cut and filed openwork decoration, and with engraved decoration

  • Material index

  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    8.3 x 8.3 x 0.5 cm (height x width x depth)
  • No. of items


  • Credit line

    Bequeathed by Dame Jemima Church, in accordance with the wishes of her Husband, Sir Arthur H. Church, 1929.

  • Museum location

  • Museum department

    Eastern Art

  • Accession no.


  • Our online collection is being continually updated. Find out more

    Know more about this object? Spotted an error? Contact us

  • Catalogue text

    Openwork design known as yatsu-hashi ("the eight bridges"), consisting of two iris-plants (kakitsubata) and a staggered line of eight small plank foot-bridges spanning the swamp where the plants grow; slight engraving finish on the three blossoms; slender rounded border.

    A version of the design illustrated in the famous work Sōken Kishō, 1781, Bk.V, p.21. The reference is to an acrostic poem by Ariwara no Narihira (825 - 880), in which the initial syllables of the lines make up the work ka-ki-tsu-ba-ta.

    The openwork design on this tsuba is known as yatsu-hashi (eight bridges) and refers to an episode in the Tale of Ise. The 9th century poet Ariwara no Narihira, exiled from the court for a romantic misdemenour, comes across a field spanned by an eight-plank bridge and filled with kakitsubata (wild iris) in bloom. Here he is moved to compose an acrostic love poem using the syllables ka-ki-tsu-ba-ta.

Glossary of terms


Reference URL

q-seffron-icon q-white-icon pluse-seffron-icon pluse-white-icon minus-seffron-icon minus-white-icon close-seffron-icon close-white-icon close-black-icon prv-gry-arrow prv-arrow print-seffron-icon print-black-icon next-arrow next-gry-arrow next-white-arrow up-arrow-black up-arrow black-up-arrow black-down-arrow white-up-arrow white-down-arrow hr-list-gry-icon hr-list-white-icon vr-list-gry-icon vr-list-white-icon eye-icon zoomin-icon zoomout-icon fullview-icon contact-black-icon contact-seffron-icon basket-seffron-icon basket-black-icon share-black-icon share-seffron-icon go-arrow search-white-icon