Description In the center of the kozuka is a ceremonial two bladed sword called a "ken." The handle is a "vajra," which was originally a weapon and ritual object in India. It was incorporated into Buddhist rituals. At the end is a functioning compass. The four central characters indicate the four directions, with north at the bottom. The twelve surrounding characters are the animals of the Chinese zodiac, who were also assigned to directions and times.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Number] On sticker edged with a blue trellis pattern in Japanese characters: 39
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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