This is a large and well executed Edo period tsuba. The iron plate is well made and carved with a sea of waves on an otherwise smooth background. The obverse has a high relief image of the famous Daimyo retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Kato Kiyomasa mounted on his horse. He is in Korea looking across the sea toward Japan and a distant mount Fuji. He is accompanied by two retainers, one on the obverse and the second on the reverse standing under a large tree. Both of the retainers are also looking back at mount Fuji and yearning for home. All of the figures are in full armor and are made of shakudo, gold, silver, and copper. The horse, tree, flowers and a kneeling supplicant are made in a likewise fashion.
This depicts a time in the late 16thcentury when Kato Kiyomasa and other famous Daimyo led their retainers to Korea in an invasion ordered by Hideyoshi. The invasion ended with an orderly withdrawal after the death of Hideyoshi.
This tsuba measures 3 3/8 inches by 3 ¼ inches or 8.6 cm by 8.3 cm. It comes in a custom made fitted box.