The Samurai who carried this kozuka believed in the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared”. No matter where he roamed, he could always find his way home thanks to the small compass embedded in his kozuka.
This interesting and unusual (mezurashii-珍しい) kozuka was made by Kikuoka Yukinobu who worked in Edo around 1800. It is made of shibuichi and in addition to the compass it bears a seven star constellation and what appears to be a saiha (war fan). The reverse is signed Gyokusensai Kikuoka Yukinobu (kao) 玉川斎菊岡行信. Yukinobu was a student of Kikuoka Mitsuyuki.