Sword cover (katana bukuro)

Edo period
18th or 19th century

Object Place: Japan


Overall: 89.5 x 14.3 x 1.3 cm (35 1/4 x 5 5/8 x 1/2 in.) Other: 62 cm (24 7/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silk plain-weave variation ground with silk discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts tied down with supplementary warps in plain-weave

Not On View


Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts



Sword cover (katana bukuro) with design of repeating floral motif in blue and green silk discontinuous supplementary patterning wefts on a reddish-orange plain-weave silk ground and lined with purple plain-weave silk. The cover is made of a length of fabric folded together and stitched on three sides to form a sheath and has a single loop carrier along one lengthwise side to which is tied a reddish-orange braided silk cord.


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