Onin Tsuba with hatchet, snowflake, and triple lozenge (possibly, family crests).
Iron and brass. Ten-zogan technique. Mid Muromachi period.
Diameter: 82.4 mm; Thickness: 3.0 mm
The triple lozenge (or diamond) is similar to the one on TSU-305 from Sasano Collection # 15. Very old motif; as Sasano remarks in his book “…represents the unstable political situation at the time”.
Kokusai Tosogu Kai 5th International Convention & Exhibition, October 28-30, 2009 at NEZU Museum, Tokyo, Japan, on page 83 provides the following explanation of the triple diamond symbol: “The pine bark is the form of the Diamonds, “Bishi“, mon, seen from Nara period, found on cloth stored in the Shoso In, and used primarily by the Takeda family. The form of Bishi mon [similar to ours] is called “Chu Kage Matsukawa Bishi“, (Middle Shaded Pine Bark Diamond).”
A combination of hatchet (usually an axe) and a triple diamond (Matsukawabishi) alludes to the Nō play Hachi-no-ki (ref: Iron tsuba. The works of the exhibition “Kurogane no hana”, The Japanese Sword Museum, 2014; AND Sasano: Japanese Sword Guard Masterpieces from the Sasano Collection. By Sasano Masayuki. Part One. Published in Japan in 1994.