Sword Guard (Tsuba)


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The obverse of this tsuba shows a Chinese warrior riding on a lion which might be an allusion to Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī (Japanese: Marishiten) who too is often depicted riding on a lion and wielding a (flaming) sword. The reverse is left undecorated.

The artist Jōi (乗意), real name Nara Tashichi (奈良太七), later Sugiura Sen’emon (杉浦仙右衛門), was born in Genroku 14 (元禄, 1701) as son of a retainer of the Toda-Matsudaira family (戸田松平) in Mino province. Having arrived in Edo in the early years of the Kyōhō era (享保, 1716-1736), Jōi studied with the Nara School master Toshinaga (寿永). He signed with the name Nagaharu (永春) and the art names Issandō (一蝅堂) and Jōi (乗意) and died in Hōreki eleven (宝暦, 1761).

Sword Guard (Tsuba), Copper-silver alloy shibuichi), gold, copper, Japanese

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