“Higo Kinko” is the collective name for the
metal pieces that decorated swords and sword guards. These were made in Kumamoto, in Higo province, and were highly esteemed in
the Edo period. Hosokawa Sansai (1563～1645), who was an
excellent military commander, and a master of the tea ceremony, made a
contribution to the development of Higo Kinko through encouragement and guidance.
The characteristic of the metal work is practicality and stateliness; two
qualities that have also had a lasting influence on the aesthetic sense in tea
The four major schools of Higo Kinko
consist of the Hayashi Matashichi School,
the Hirata Hikozo
School, the Nishigaki
and the Shimizu Jinbei School.
If you include the Kamiyoshi School, which was the successor to the Hayashi School, it makes five schools in total.