The Nobuie Tsuba is the king of the Japanese iron sword guards world.
Nobuie (=personal name) of Owari Province (present Aichi Prefecture) is a master craftsman ranked with Kaneie flourished at Fushimi of Kyoto.
Nobuie made both iron plate tsuba and iron openworked tsuba.
These pieces of work are all forged very well, and the patterns on surfaces made naturally during production are very tasteful.
It is said that two men named theirselves "Nobuie".
That is, the founder Nobuie was invited to Kiyosu of Owari Province by Oda Nobunaga, then, he engaged in producing iron sword guards at the former part of the Momoyama period (1573-1603).
His son or disciple, the second head Nobuie also engaged in producing sword guards at Kiyosu at first.
Though, later, he served Fukushima Masanori, and moved to Aki Province (present Hiroshima Prefecture) accompanied with his master's relocation.
The second head Nobuie must have been lived until the Genna era (1615-1624).
The inscriptions of Nobuie fall roughly into two kinds.
One is that the inscribed Kanji characters "Nobu" and "ie" are a little separated.
This kind of inscription is called "Hanare-Mei" in Japanese.
The other is that his name "Nobuie" is inscribed strongly.
This kind of inscription is called "Futoji-Mei" in Japanese.
He adopted a lot of kinds of designs as motifs on tsuba such as honeycomb, Matsu leaf, waterwheel, bow, and Kanji phrases.