Sword Guard (Tsuba) Depicting Guo Jù (郭巨図鐔)
Not on view
Both sides of this Sōten School (宗典) tsuba show in high relief various stations of Guo Jù (Japanese: Kakukyo), one of The Twenty-four Paragons of Filial Piety. Figures, huts, and pine trees are highlighted in gold, silver, and copper. Guo Jù from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) lived with his mother, wife and son. He was known for being very filial to his mother. However, his family was poor and Guo became worried when he realised that his family's food supply was unable to feed four people. After discussing with his wife, they made a painful decision to bury their son alive, so that they would have one less mouth to feed. He also felt that he and his wife could have another child again, but he could not have his mother back if he lost her. While Guo was digging, he discovered a pot of gold and a note which said that the gold was a gift to him from Heaven. With the gold, Guo was able to provide for his whole family.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.