This sword guard is considered to have been created by the first head of the Hayashi school, Matashichi (1613-99) because of its style.
His father was a gun smithery in the Owari Province; he moved to Kumamoto to serve the Lord Kato Kiyomasa of the domain. Mtashichi also became an active gun smithery, but later became a sword guard craftsman and served the Hosokawa family of the Kumamoto domain.
The features of Matashichi’s works are the beauty of its iron color and the elaborate techniques of openwork and nunome-zogan (cloth-weave inlay).
This sword guard has an openwork design of paulownia flowers and two lines in the circle. The glossy iron in a rusty black color produces an elegant impression.