What is Jitte?
The Jitte (十手, ten hands) is the specialized weapon used by the police officers during the Edo Period (1603-1868). During the Edo period, Samurai warriors played the role of police officers. This weapon is called a Jitte because it is so powerful that its user feels it is worth ten hands for one Jitte. Its structure is an elongated iron bar with a hook attached to its handle. During criminal investigations, they also used this tool to prove their identity as police officers. It seems that it was not only used as a weapon and armor but also had a role similar to what we would call a police officer’s ID today. It is said that the shape of Jitte differed depending on the class, and the color of tassel strings could determine the jurisdiction.
This Jitte has scabbard colored with glossy vermillion lacquer. If you focus on the hook part (called 鉤/鉤形 Kagi/Kagigata in Japanese), you will find a plant pattern engraved and add decorativeness to this Jitte.
The motifs of Menuki (目貫, handle charms) are probably dragons. You could find their figures from the gaps in the Tsukamaki (柄巻, handle wrappings) thread. Initially, the dragon was an imaginary creature found in ancient foreign traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbolic beast of auspicious signs. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is the Mizuchi (蛟, a mythical animal in Japan that looks like a snake and has a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought that the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance.
Next, please look at the Tsuba (鐔, handguard). There is a crest on its front, and this family crest is called the Gosan-no Kiri (五三の桐) pattern. It is a popular design that the paulownia motif is used, as seen on this Tsuba. According to a foreign tradition, Houou (鳳凰, Fenghuang, a kind of sacred beast) rests its wings at the paulownia tree; therefore, it has come to be regarded as a holy plant.
The Kiri (桐, paulownia) pattern is generally composed of three standing straight inflorescences and three leaves. The number of flowers blooming at each inflorescence means the ranks of this design. It is also famous that one of the most popular Samurai in Japan: Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉, 1537-1598), used the Kiri pattern for his family crest.
Thanks to a vermilion lacquered scabbard, vermilion tassel string, and gold coloring in some areas, this Jitte has a gorgeous appearance. It has not only practicability but also high decorativeness.
*As this item is an antique, please check each photo and ensure its condition.
Ninja Weapon Museum is located in Kanazawa, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the history of Ninja and Samurai.
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【Antique Japanese item and Export process】
After receiving the full payment from you, we will apply for its export permit from the Board of Education to legally export the item to other countries. It normally takes around 2 to 4 weeks to receive this permit. And we would like you to expect at least 1.0 – 1.5 months for your order to arrive at your given address after you ordered.
【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision.
It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of Jitte and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
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