Koshirae: Japanese Sword Mountings – Markus Sesko

Markus Sesko is a freelance translator and author in the field of Japanese arts and antiques and has published several relevant books in both German and English.


With this publication I try to systematically and comprehensively process the subject of “Japanese sword mountings”. It was not my goal to depict as many extant interpretations of sword mountings as possible but to deal with their different styles. With this publication the reader will be informed in which way the Japanese swords were mounted over time, the origins of the various styles, what changes they underwent and it will also serve as a reference material to classify extant specimen. In this sense the descriptions were embedded in an explanation of their historical context rather then listing them simply by their interpretation or in alphabetical order. As the main focus lies on „koshirae“, explanations on the sword fittings – the tosogu – were omitted because their descriptions can be easily found elsewhere. Also, the military mountings – the gunto-koshirae – were left out because there are excellent publications available which deal with them in great detail.