Daisho literally translates as "dai" = large or big and "sho" = little or small. Daisho can refer to any set of blades, koshirae, tsuba or other fittings which were made by the same maker (or sometimes by the same school). The fittings would have the same basic design or theme although not necessarily be identical. The use of daisho swords began sometime in the Muromachi period and could have included any pair of swords in similar koshirae. The pair could be a tachi and tanto, tachi and uchikatana, katana and tanto or katana and wakizashi. Now the terminology most commonly refers to a katana and wakizashi in the same style koshirae, the most common Edo period combination. Ideally the blades would have been made by the same swordsmith and the fittings by the same maker. The term "daisho" can be applied to blades, tsuba, fuchi / kashira, menuki or entire koshirae. Today many of the daisho tsuba are actually marriages of two separate pieces by the same maker or school which depict the same, complimentary or similar themes and styles. "Original" daisho are fairly rare as many pieces have been separated or lost.

Aizu Shoami Daisho
"Hideyoshi instructing his troops"

Shoami Shigenobu Daisho
NBTHK Origami

Shoami Daisho in Saotome Style

Mito "Sleeping Puppy" Daisho

Saotome Kiku Sukashi Daisho
NBTHK / NTHK Origami

Shingen Mukade Daisho

Shoami Daisho w/ fan mon zogan

Shoami Daisho in Higo Style

Bushu Ito Kiku Sukashi Daisho

Gomoku Zogan Daisho on Saotome Plate

Saotome Daisho w/ ten zogan

Echizen ju Kinai Daisho

Other than those tsuba with signatures and / or origami,
the attributions as to school or maker are those of the author.

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