Sword cover (katana bukuro)

Edo period
18th or 19th century

Object Place: Japan


Overall: 82.5 x 12.5 x 1 cm (32 1/2 x 4 15/16 x 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk satin-weave ground with silk and gilt paper strip discontinuous supplmentary patterning weft tied down with supplementary warp in twill-weave

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Sword cover (katana bukuro) with design of dragon roundels and clouds in gilt paper strip and reddish-orange silk discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts on a green silk satin ground. The cover is constructed of four pieces of fabric stitched together and then folded together lengthwise and stitched on three sides to form a sheath; there is a single loop carrier near the top of one long side to which is attached a long, narrow tie made of the same fabric, folded together and stitched lengthwise. The cover is lined with white silk damask with woven floral and vine motifs.


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