From the 'tsuba' series, this 'hand guard' incorporates elements that suggest numerous aspects of heaven & earth. These emblems are associated with the deeper mysteries of such ordinary things as moonlight on a mountain or a landscape dressed in blossoms. Conveyed with novel color or form they intend to call forth more than one layer of your imagination. You need those layers to interpret the 'kanji' in the center. It is the character "myoyu" or (in Japanese) simply "myo".

Its meaning is difficult because, says D.T. Suzuki, "myo is a certain artistic quality perceivable not only in works of art but in anything in Nature or life." That quality, Suzuki continues, transcends a mere display of technical skill or learning. It is something deeply associated with originality & creativity embedded in the mysterious elan of Life itself.