Sword cover (katana bukuro)

Late Edo or early Meiji era
19th century

Object Place: Japan


Overall: 89.5 x 14 x 0.5 cm (35 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk; extended plain-weave variation (honeysuckle pattern)

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Sword cover (katana bukuro) with design of woven gridwork rounded squares in dark and medium blue and yellow-gold silk and lined with brown and dark blue striped plain-weave silk. The cover is made from a length of fabric folded together lengthwise and stitched on three sides to form a sheath and has a narrow blue silk tie attached along one long side.


By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1911)

[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection