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Kozuka 1 (Japan)

Inv. No.:  P859/4086




A kozuka is a handle of a by-knife that is part of a Japanese sword. The kozuka is attractively decorated with partly gold-plated relief with the horse and cherry blossom motif. It was used by samurais.


The article is part of the legacy of the Second Class Commodore Anton Dolenc. Anton Dolenc was born in 1871 at Lož in the Notranjska region (modern-day Slovenia). In  1886 he enrolled at the Austro-Hungarian Naval Academy in Rijeka. After completing his studies, he served as Nautical Officer on board various Austro-Hungarian Navy ships. In 1909 he sailed as Lieutenant Commander with the Navy’s warship Panther to Eastern Asia. The ship initially cruised between various ports in China, while from December 1909 to April 1910 she sailed in Japanese waters, visiting Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Itsukushima, Nijima, Kobe, Itosaki, Takamatsu, Yokohama and Taketoyo. Anton Dolenc brought from his travels two  kozukas. After his death in 1924, they were kept by his heirs, but in 1964 sold to the Maritime Museum Piran.


Where it was made: Japan

Dated to: Edo period (1603 – 1868)

Used in Japan 

Time period: Edo period (1603 – 1868), before 1873

Materials: shakudo metals, gold 

Measurements: length 9.6 cm, width 1.4 cm, thickness 0.3 cm