Hello, following the previous introductory post on iaito koshirae, this issue covers the "Tsuka gashira". In this context, the Tsuka gashira refers to the pommel at the end of the tsuka, also known as the handle of an iaito.
Traditionally, the design of the tsuka gashira would be paired with that of the Fuchi and even the Kojiri. Look out for such details on the Gashira, Fuchi and Kojiri the next time an opportunity presents itself =). Again, nature, everyday items (e.g. coins, straw hats to even mudras or avatars of good fortune) provide the design content for such stylized motifs.
Materials used for construct are usually copper-based alloys such as brass, shakudo (copper-gold). Silver alloys are also used. Together with the metal work on the motifs, the different shades of patina produced by different treatment techniques enhances the overall aesthetics of the tsuka.
We hope this issue as been an informative read. Topic for next issue, the "Saya", sheath. Till next time.