Iron based tsuba with
kosukashi and marumimi and most of them are simple and naive sukashi.
Well forged iron produces peculiar taste. There is a view that sword
smithmade it as hobby or pastime but it is unknown.
is same as toushou tsuba that base is iron and has kosukashi, the
difference is that the edge is dotemimi and a little more thin.
before than Momoyama period is generally called ko-shouami. "Ami"
is kind of title that was given to bonze who showed one's ability
of art and culture and also made contribution as a connoisseur and
to progress of various accomplishments as tea ceremony and so on.
Kan'ami, Se'ami, and Nou'ami is also popular.The title "ami"
allowed any bonze to make friendship with the nobility so that they
energeticly used "something Ami".
Iron base , made thin,
and setted suemon zougan , dot zougan , line zougan by brass. Some
has small sukashi like cherry blossom , ume , genjikou or so.
At the beginning of
Heianjou zougan, only brass has used for zougan but as time goes by
also gold, silver, shakudou and copper used aswell. Shape is also
various kinds as marugata, tatemarugata, mokkougata, nadekakugata.
Yoshirou tsuba comes from
tsuba kou named "Yoshirou ..." like Yoshirou Naomasa who
worked in Momoyama period. Hira zougan with brass is done with fine
technique. Similar style spreaded through the country but signed piece
is hardly ever, most of them has no sign.
The name of Kamakura
tsuba comes from one of the technique of wood carving called "Kamakura-bori",
it mood is so similar to that. It is nothing to do with either Kamakura
period or Kamakura area. Main design are chrysumthemum , cherry blossom
and running water described with sukidashi-bori.
A little small sized and
has a thickness. Jigane looks dark and iron frame is appeared from
kitae hada that Kanayama is known as wild style. Main place of product
is conjectured Owari.
Kagami-shi means mirror craftsman,
the design of Japanese mirror was casted and has in common with
this kind of tsuba and a lot of them was made from yamagane. Though
it is groundless that mirror craftsman made the tsuba but it is
certain that craftsman had accurate technique and fine sesibility
that won people's sympathy.
Tsuba with delicate sukashi
and looks graceful. Made mainly in Yamashiro Kyoto.
Owari tsuba has thick
frame and the shape gives powerful impression. The frame protrude
from well forged jigane and that severe mood suits for actual battle.
It has a sharp contrast with elegant Kyou-sukashi and praised as two
greatest authorities of sukashi tuba
Works made by the
group of tsuba kou from a village of Ouno in Owari prefecture is generally
called Ouno tsuba. Style is in common with Kayanayama tsuba and is
powerful and uncouthly shaped. The name of "Fukushige" is
seen in this group.
Houan is known as
the leading tsuba kou among Owari tsuba. The first generation employ
himself in Asano Tamamasa and be accompanied when Asano family emigrated
to Kii from Kai. After the second generation Houan school reside in
Yamayoshi the first
is bequeathed to be an aumour craftsman of the Oda family. He is one
of the popular tsuba kou in Owari.
Yagyu Genkaku started
Yagyu school which is one of the owari sukashi school. The design
seems to express swordmanship which is their original, and reproduced
works are seen in Kanayama tsuba and so the others. There are also
bamboo, three stars, wave designs and so on.
Kaneie, Nobuie and
Myouju is admired as three masters in Momoyama period. Kaneie's design
was pictorial, and creation of this style was his great contribution
that had an effect on later kikou world.
Nobuie the great craftsman
played active part in Momoyama period. His style has some resemblance
with Kanayama, Owari, Yamayoshi and Houan, so it is considered that
he had some relation with Owari.
Akasaka school occured and
made progress in Edo. Tadamasa the first, Tadamasa second and Tadatora
is specially called ko-Akasaka, and left superior works but never
signed. After fourth generation, Tadashige was the only one who was
allowed to beocome independent.
Hirata handed down the
technique of cloisonne. That is to depict the pattern by enamel
on metal base. Hirata held an unshakable position among the kinkou
world in early Edo period. Michihito Hikozaburou the founder of
Hirata school learned csoisonne technique from korea, and employed
Ieyasu(Tokugawa) with this singular ability. He was expert in the
design of Mt.Fuji, the way he depict the expance of Mt.Fuji in the
limited space was perfect that no other composition appeared later
First generation of Yanagawa
school is Naomasa who sudied under Yokoya Soumin. He was specialaized
with takabori iroe in iebori style, which was also strong point
of his master's. There exists very few works of katakiribori.
Kikuoka Mitsuyuki started
Kikuoka school who was main force of Yanagawa Naomitsu school. He
is known as elaborate and beautiful style, it seems that his hard
working character is detected in his work. Precision add to Yokoya
style becomes Yanagawa style.
Masatsune, the first
generation of Ishiguro, studied under Naomasa(the founder of Yanagawa
school) and katou Naotsune. He showed his fine workmanship in chasing
birds of prey realistically.
Omori is a branch school
of Yokoya's and showed prosperity as Ishiguro. The founder is substantially
second Terumasa who lived konryuzan-Sensouji in Edo. He left quite
dignified work of shakudou nanako takabori kin iroe which was expert
of his teacher Soumin. And next Teruhide is well-known as skillful
craftsman through the school. He created the original design of
wave which became representative of Omori's.
worked for Tokugawa bakufu so as Goto family and Hirata family.
Early generations works has no sign, later they signs equally "Yoshioka
Inabanosuke" but it is hard to consider the indivisual from
the sign. There might have exist the professional just to sign,
therefore the sign doesn't show the each character of the generation.
Nara school was leading
school of kinkou world that trained many branch school. Excellent
craftsman as Toshinaga, joui, Yasuchika and Masayuki was produced
Hamano Shouzui studied
under Toshinaga(Nara school) and gave his name Otsuryuken, Miboku
and Shisu and so on. He came after "Nara san saku"(Three
great workmanship of Nara) and known as wild style. predecessor
appraised his style as "simple but vigorous".
Yasuchika stand at second
place of "Nara san saku", he was born in Yamagata prefecture
in Kanbun 10th. First he studied under Shouami Yoshihisa in Shounai,
then at the age of 34 he left his family behind and went Edo to
become pupil of Nara Tatsumasa. During the Shoutoku(1711-1715) his
efforts rewarded with success which he became in Matsudaira Yorisada's
employ with exceptionally good treatment. But in Kyouhou(1716-1735)
he felt limitation to work as employee and again he came back to
Edo and settled down in Kanda to devote himself to work free and
launch many excellent pieces in the world.
Ito school prospered in
both Edo and Odawara and was popular during mid to the end of Edo
period, they were specialized in tsuba. His elaborated design as
sukishitabori, shishbori, ita tsuba with sukashi gained people's
heart at that time. Several kind of flower is seen in his design.
Iwamoto school improved
the carving technique based on Yokoya style. Konkan is the most
famous who was affected by his predecessor Ryoukan and Nara school.
His style typically represents Edo temperament but also original.
The first generation of
Sonobe is Yoshio, he studied under Tanaka 5th Yoshiaki. He uses
two defferent Japaneses character for "sono".
was Bushi and started to learn metal carving at the age of 38. His
master Teruhide is known as one of the best craftsman in Omori school.
Teruhide should have been impressed with Hisanori's spirits to be
proficient in an art that Teruhide taught him sincerely. He left
Okinari started Horie
school, he learned Nara style from Hamano Shouzui then after Shouzui's
death, he studied under Omori Teruhide. Okinari employed Hachisuka
family in Awa.
Jochiku, commonly called
Seijirou is the founder of Murakami. His father was a craftsman
of inlaying stirrup so Jochiku also engaged in that work when he
was young. His peculiar ishimeji looks like crape and dragonfly,
bees and fishes are taken up in his design and inlay way called
"sumie zougan"(this inlay looks as if it had drawn by
writing brush) is usually seen in his work. He named Mitsunori in
his last years. There are Masanori and Johaku under him.
Tomonobu learned painting
from Tani Fumiaki, so he drew rough sketch by himself. His design
has been precisely chased and looks as if it had been cutted out
from a landscape.
Sano Naoyoshi learned
Yanagawa style from Nakamura Naonori and showed imcomparable ability
that he promoted Sano school and employ himself in Akimoto Tajimanokami
in Yamagata prefecture.
whose name was Shouzaburou is the first generation of Inawgawa school.
It is not clear where he learned but it is considered either Nara
school or Yanagawa Naomasa. Shigeyoshi and Shigetsugu is the same
person. Naokatsu is his real son and known as the best craftsman
in the school that he gained a reputation. Yoshikatsu and Kikuchi
Jokatsu are pupil of Naokatsu's.
Nagatoshi was born
in Kurume(Chikugo), studied under Yokoya school and was in Arima's
employ. Later he removed to Edo and promoted his school around Kansei
term. His style is based on Yokoya's that is shakudou nanakoji and
takabori iroe. There is Egawa Toshimune(Sourin is the same person)
is his pupil that also worked for Arima family.
Kouno Haruaki was born
in Tenmei 7th, learned from Yanagawa Naoharu. He moved from place
to place through Touhoku area to raise his technique during that,
he once settled down in Sendai for two years and went to Aizu-Wakamatsu
and Tsuruoka. He kept his motivation till late years.
Yoshitsugu who belongs
to Touryusai school called himself Tokujirou, studied under his
father and Tanaka Kiyonaga. His works expresses his personality
and been teacher of Okada Yukiga but unfortunatly he ends his life
in Meiji 6th at his age of 32.
The first generation of
Tobari is Tomihisa, who is one of the favourite pupils of Goto Enjo
Mitsutaka. He took on himself heavy responsibility as to subsititute
for his master's. Later he became independent and taught his son
Yoshihisa as a pupil and Tomiyuki.
Tsuji Mitsumasa came out
from the family of gun smiths. He studied kinkou under Yokoya Souyo
and created original style of his own. He was very fond of Edo culture
called "iki" that he tried to represent it faithfully
therefore his works has some poetry mood.
Unique epoch of Edo to Meiji produced
the great craftsman of modern kinkou world such as Kanou Natsuo.
His achievement of bringing kinkou up to art has been left as
his brilliant footprint.
Natsuo was born in Bunsei 10th as a son of rice shop called Fushimi-ya
in Atago Yamashiro and became adopted child of Kanou Harusuke
the sword dealer in his young age. Later he learned metal carving
from Ikeda Takahisa who belongs to Otsuki school and learned painting
from Nakajima Raishou who belongs to Maruyama school. Desire to
improve himself made him study not only art but also the Chinese
classics and his personality attracte people's mind that many
pupils gathered around him with deep respect. The pupils are Kagawa
Katsuhiro, Nomura Katsumori, Tsukada Hideaki, and Un'no Shoumin
and so on.
In Meiji 27th Natsuo became professor of Tokyo art school and
made big effort to develop the kinkou world.
Umetada Myouju, alias
Hikojirou, and named soukichi in his early age, was born in Kyoto
at Eiroku 1st. Umetada is a distinguished family that employed in
Ashikaga Shogun for generations, Myouju himself worked for Ashikaga
Yoshiaki aswell. His works as a swordsmith especially tanto and
ingenious sculpture are quite different from swordsmiths before
and was equal to Horikawa Kunihiro who was look up to as a father
of Shintou. And big name as "Hizen Tadayoshi" and "Harimanokami
Teruhiro" were his pupil. On the other hand, Myoju was famous
with his work as kinkou. He used various kind of metal to inlay
with his original way of hirazougan.
There are various kinds
of "Ami" title for each accomplishments and "Shouami"
was given to tsubakou. In Muromachi period, the common people began
to participate in art world but it was still not easy to sit with
upper class people, so those people who was proficient in art acquired
"Ami" to be equal with bonze and made circle of friends
with the nobility.
Shouami school originates in close associates of Ashikaga Yoshimasa
and prosper in centering around Kyoto. Gorgeous design with gold
inlay was their typical style.
Kyouho 6th, Ichinomiya
Nagatsune was born in Tsuruga Echizen. He went to Kyoto and studied
under the kinkou called Kashiwaya Tadahachi and later became pupil
of Yasui Takanaga and trained there. Mid Edo period was the time
of cultural ripeness. Maruyama Oukyo, Ito Jakuoki, and Soga Ranpaku
who was famous as painter was his rival even if they were not in
the same field. Nagatsune earned his good reputation among the Kyou
kinkou world that when Soumin represented east kinkou world, Nagatsune
stood for west kinkou world. Nagayoshi, Tsunenao and Nagayoshi are
Otsuki Mitsuoki was the best craftsman
of Otsuki school and considered as actual founder. He will be
4th generation from Kourin. He was also one of the best craftsman
in Kyoto at his time, ranked with Tetsugendou Shouraku and Ichinomiya
Nagatsune. Just after the age of 30, he went to Edo and studied
under Kishi Koma who was a Court painter and also became friends
with Nagasawa Rosetsu who was a pupil of Maruyama Oukyo. Mitsuoki
was strongly influenced by his friend and introduced their way
into his rough sketch. Late in his life, Mitsuoki got out of realism
and approached to the stage of Zen spirit. A sense of evanescence
originate in the death of his mother and 6 year old son and reflection
is appeared in his works as some kind of sadness. Mitsuoki became
more pessimistic as he gets older and his spirit has be seen very
strongly. Hideoki, Tokuoki, Hidekuni, Gassan and Takaoki are from
Tetsugendou Shouraku is counted as
one of the "Kyoto san meikou(three great craftsman of Kyoto)".
His name was Genbei and signed Tetsugendou Shouraku and also Toshiyuki.
In the prime of manhood, he changed the character of "gen".
Tetsugendou was outstanding in technique of tetsu(iron) tsuba
and was never second to none. To many people's regret, he died
in An'ei 9th.
Ichiga named Ninzaemon for generations and alias Kosui. The founder
was a pupil of Gotou Shujou so their style was following Gotou and
made specialty of shakudou nanakoji takabori iroe.
Hosono Masamori named
Souzaemon. He usually used copper and shibuichi(silver) base and
and carved sensitive kebori and inlay various kinds of metal to
sketche Kyoto in distdant view.
Edge of fuchi is
covered with thick gold plate, this is distinguishing feature of
his. Ayanokouji Nagamine is called Jirouzou. The way of his carving
is called "kamigata bori" , kamigata correspond to Kyoto,
Osaka area, which is based on Mino-Goto style.
Goto Ichijou is
the last big name of Goto and ranked with Natsuo as great master
of modern kinkou world. He was born as Kyou-Goto Juujou's second
son and started to learn metal chasing under Gotou Kijou. At the
age of fifteen, Ichijou inherited adoptive family and named Kouka
and changed his name Mitsuyuki when he was twenty-one. And when
he was thirty-four he changed again to Mitsushiro at the age of
thirty-four and had a opportunity of making fitting for emperor
and given rank of Houkyou. At the same time, he had his head shaved
and became Ichijou. There are Funada Ikkin, Hashimoto Isshi and
Araki Toumei as his pupil.
Ichijou was a man of culture that showed remakable ability in painting,
haiku and waka. After the Meiji ishin, he carried out public duty
at Kyoto, appointed from governor and on October 17th Meiji 9th,
he ended his glorious life at the age of eighty-six.
Yoshihisa is from
Shouami and went to Edo and learned from Nara Toshiharu. He spreaded
out Nara style through Shounai area. And his pupils as Tsuchiya
Yasuchika, Watanabe Arichika and Andou Yoshitoki followed after
him and gain reputation of shounai kinkou.
Other famous craftsman are Yokoya Souju, Washita Mitsuchika, Katsurano
Sekibun, Muneyoshi and Munehira.
is a generic term of Iwaki, Iwashiro, Rikuzen, Rikuchu and Mutsu.
It used to be called Michinoku until Meiji 1st when Mutsu divided
in five area.
Two different Shouami Kiyoaki took big part in mid Edo period. The
others are known quite few.
came into existence from Nanbu village in Kai prefecture, built
a castle and stayed as a lord of Morioka castle since Bunroku 1st
till Meiji period. Tachibana Takaie, Takatsugu, Takamune are known
for Morioka kinkou, their typical works are well-forged iron base
tsuba with kosukashi. And there was a group which has "Masa"
in each name, Masatsura, Masaharu, and another Masatsura. Tomomichi
is one of the craftsman worked for Nanbu family who studied under
Someya Tomonobu and Goto Mitsuakira.
Sendai was a castle town
ruled by Date family. In the reign of Date Masamune people became
more and more interested in culture and art, those bright tone had
an effect on works of kinkou.
Famous kinkou in Sendai is Kiyosada who worked for Date family.
He studied in Omori school and deviced a unique way of hirazougan(inlaying)
and left many fine works.
In Aizu Wakamatsu district
school of Aizu Shouami worked during early to mid Edo period. They
named "Naga somthing" and their style was generally old
fashioned. And also many craftsman existed after mid Edo period
till Meiji but was different from early people. Masamitsu and Masashige
are quite famous.
Craftsman who followed
Satake family when they removed to Akita organized a group of Akita
Shouami. Representative one is Shouami-Denbei-Shigeyoshi. Denbei
was born in Keian 4th(1651) at Shounai, at the age of eighteen he
went to Edo and became pupil of Shouami-something and studied hard
for four years. In Enpou 1st(1673) he moved to Akita and stayed
there. Kiyoshige and Hisakuni are his brother.
Mito procuced a number
of craftsman in late Edo period and known as big producing district
of tsuba as Choushu. The origin is said that Satake invited a chaser
of Shouami school from Kyoto but it is not clear.
Gunji Yogorou and Yatabe Michitoshi constructed the base of Mito
kinkou and then Tamagawa school appeared. Tamagawa Yoshihisa was
a pupil of Michitoshi and also Uchikoshi Hirotoshi who showed good
technique in realistic carving.
Tamagawa, Ooyama and Ichiryu are the typical schools existed in
late Edo period.
a part of Hokurikudou and now is Fukui prefecture. Kinai is a big
school in Echizen produced good rounded iron sukashi tsuba. And
Myouchin Yoshihisa school succeeded to 10 generations through Edo
period. Haruta school is also famous for armour maker. Akao school
worked at Edo as well as Echizen.
Kaga prefecture prospered
under Maeda family's control, Kanazawa was the center and showed
cultural growth brightly next to Kyoto and Edo.
Craftsmen decorats by inlaying into armour are the origin of Kaga
kinkou. They worked under the patronage of Maeda and influenced
by Goto Teijou and other Goto. Later they establishedf their own
style which is shakudo nanako base with autumn plants in Mino taste
and silver(shibuichi) base with bright inlay(hirazougan) and so.
Works made by specialized metal
carving technique called "Minobori" are seen a lot in
Mino. Design of minobori are mostly autumn plants made by shakudou
base and iron tsuba is hardly seen. Shakudou nanako base, leave
the seppadai and mimi(edge) part and sukisage(carve the design)
are their way.
The works that classified into "ko-Mino" are generic
term for all Mino style fittings made before Momoyama period.
It is just that they are similar to Mino way and also old, it
doesn't mean they were made in Mino.
The most famous craftsman
of Kitagawa school is Mogarashi(or Souheishi) Souten. There are
several generations with same name and the 1st Souten named Hidenori
in his early days. They produced dignified tsuba with Mino style
design and iron sukashi tsuba with samurai design.
Hazama tsuba is a generic term for
tsubas produced by craftsmen in Kameyama area in Mie prefecture.
Those craftsmen existed here and there and their ancestor was
gunsmiths of Kunitomo village in Oumi so that their inlay is based
on gun's inlay that they called its unique technique "sahari"zougan.
Saharizougan uses lead for inlay and looks apparantly plain and
simple but with a elaborate observation it emits an iris peculiarly
and elegant aspects appears.
Nagato belongs to Sanyoudou
and corresponds to Yamaguchi prefecture together with Suou. Great
number of kinkou appeared from Choushu such as Nakai Zensuke Tomotsune,
Okada Nobumasa and Taira Tomokiyo. Iron based round tsuba with sukidashi
takabori are chiefly seen.
In Higo, Hayashi,
Hirata, Nishigaki and Shimizu shcools prospered under the guidance
of Hosokawa Sansai Tadaoki who were skilled in both literary and
military arts. Sansai was well versed in tea ceremony and counted
as one of the expert and its spirit carried weight in his teaching.
"Higo koshirae", one of the ideal of uchigatana-koshirae,
derived from his taste.
Late in Edo period, Kamiyoshi Fukanobu appeared and breathe new
life into Higo tsuba world.
Nabeshima family put great deal of effort to increase productive
industry. As a consequence Japanese sword and tsubas product were
Tadayoshi 1st was a big name as swordsmith and also made tsuba.
During the period of national isolation Nagasaki was the only entrance
to foreign country and exotic design called "Nanban tsuba"
prevalented there. Others are Jakushi, Yagami and Hirato school.
And Tadayoshi 1st ,a big name as swordsmith, also made tsuba.
Satsuma is a part of Kagoshima
prefecture now. Pieces from here are mostly well-forged and designs
are powerful for example, "tiger in bamboo forest", "natamame(kind
of beans)". Oda Naoka ,learned from Ikeda Toshimine and Ataka
Isshu, expressed spirit of Satsuma people into his works and was
worthy of praise. Also craftsmen belongs to Chishiki(knowledge)
school existed. And famous swordsmith such as "Houkinokami
Masayuki" and "Oku Motohira" made themselves tsubas.