Excellent Nozarashi tsuba with motif of Skull and Moon on the reverse is carved a poem
Nagametsutsu omou mo sabishi hisakata no tsuki no miyako no akegata no sora.
Looking at the moon at dawn makes me feel lonely as it reminds me of the capital at dawn.
This is a poem by Fujiwara no Ietaka (藤原家隆, 1158-1237) that is featured in the Shin Kokin Waka Shû and that alludes to the loneliness one may be reminded of due to certain everyday things, like looking at the moon, making one aware of being lonely, i.e. being “away from life,” expressed by the capital Kyôto here, or being absent from a love that is waiting far away in the capital.
NBTHK Hozon Certificate