A flock of birds (muradori) flying away from their nest together in the morning is a symbol of a new start. As evidenced by the sentence “muratori no muradachi inaba (when a flock of birds flies away together)” in the Man’Yoshu?, the term “muradori” is used as makura-kotoba for words such as “muratatsu” (a flock is leaving), “asadatsu” (a flock is leaving in the morning), and “tatsu” (leave). Also, birds such as swallows and storks have been regarded as symbols of good fortune by people of all ages and countries. In Japan, bird motifs have been used for textiles and lacquerware.
Birds are the preferred motif for “tosogu” (sword fittings) as well. Birds are also used for the fittings of the famous national treasure, “Gunchomon Hyogogusari no Tachi”.
For the fuchigashira, we have used a Chinese phoenix, a legendary holy bird which is supposed to appear in times of good fortune. It is also found on the rooves of Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, and Byodoin. The tsuba features matsutakazu, which is a combination of a hawk, a symbol of warriors and a pine tree which represents a long life. This combination is shown in the famous fusuma paintings by Kano Tan’yu, who was an artist from Kyoto. For the menuki, we used a couple of grey starlings, which is a symbol of happy marriage and prosperity of descendants.