Tsuba: Echizen Kinai

Kinai School of Echizen

The Kinai school of Echizen produced iron sukashi tsuba all through the Edo period. Most of the tsuba are round or oval in shape,and are nikubori sukashi (carving and open work) or katachi nikubori (carving of design in the round onto the surface of metal plate). The surface often has an appreciable amount of relief and robust designs. Many Kinai tsuba have a circular rim around the edge and the design within this.

Most tsuba have two hitsu ana, with the kogai of the suhama shape. Of the good examples from the school, earlier Kinai tsuba appear related to Kyoto Shoami in style and are iron nikubori ji sukashi of bold relatively simple designs. Much of the very late Kinai work of quality is more intricate and may be influenced by the Choshu, Umetada and Akao schools. During the late Edo many tsuba were of katachi bori style and pre-made in large numbers; some of these are well made, but there are many lower quality works that are repetitions of the same design.

There has been uncertainty in regard to the history of the school, and the different generations of tsubako. The common view has been that it is very difficult to assign a tsuba to a certain generation. The usual reported history is (e.g. Nihon To Koza, vol VI) of seven generations of the tsubako: shodai (ISHIKAWA) died Enpo 9 (1681), nidai TAKAHASHI GONBEE (GONBEI) (died 1696), sandai (died 1760), yondai (died 1809), godai (died 1821), rokudai (born 1818) and shichidai who ceased producing tsuba. The shodai is believed to have moved to Echizen from Omi. His family name was originally ISHIKAWA and he later changed it to TAKAHASHI. Initially he was a carver of horimono on swords.

The outcomes of more recent research (Tsuruoka and Tsuruoka, 1998) has provided a new revealing insight into this group, and enables some attribution to different generations. In summary, this shows two main family lines, the Ishikawa, of six generations, and the Takahashi of seven generations. The shodai Ishikawa moved from Omi to Echizen where the line was based. The rokudai Ishikawa adopted his deshi, who then began the Takahashi line. All these generations worked in, or near to Echizen.

Please note my error: I had previously used the family name “Tsuruwaka” when it should have been “Tsuruoka”.

Based on material in the Tsuruoka book we have summarised the history of Echizen Kinai tsubako (SUMMARY) and also produced a table which summarises the main features of the work by each generation. The work from this group represents the evolution of style and taste over a 300 year period.

Echizen Kinai Tsuba  198 pages, 26.0 x 19 cm, hard cover, in Japanese, ISBN 4885830168. By Tsuruoka, Nobuo and Tsuruoka, Nobuhide, 1998. The most detail and information on Kinai school available, provides some insight to the different generations, 6 colour prints, over 100 black and black illustrations. Essential to study Echizen tsubako. Of value is the detail given to mei and the style of the kanji as a guide to the different dai.

Scholars Resource http://www.scholarsresource.com/browse/artist/2142569408 searches museums and other collections on record, and has a good selection of photos of Echizen Kinai School.

Descriptions here may need some confirmation.

Ko-Kinai Echizen (Ishikawa) Tsuba


Ji-sukashi tsuba by shodai Ishikawa of his famous design of wooden bucket with vine and flowers. This shows the Kyo-Shoami influence and is from late Muromachi. Maru gata with mari mimi, kozuka and kogai hitsu ana, katana size. Omote mei of “Goshu” “Kinai” from his pre-Echizen period. From Tsuba no Bi, 2003, #325; also see Tsuruoka, p. 31.


Katachi bori sukashi, maru gata with kaku-mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana, 8.20 x 8.10 x 0.45 cm, solid tsuba with design of male dragon (ken shape tail) and clouds. Tsuba does not have circular rim. This style of dragon is typical of nidai and sandai Ishikawa family: big face and big lower jaw, without ears, prominent horns, tusks or claws. Ura mei of “Kinai” that looks like nidai. This has a ni-ji mei “Kinai” on reverse (special order?), possibly the work of nidai Ishikawa. Good examples of nidai and sandai shown in Tsuruoka (p.36 & 37).


Uncommon tanto tsuba, nademaru gata with carving in maru-mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana, 6.0 x 6.0 cm, design dragon in katachi nikubori. Tsuba does not have circular rim around the design. Typical of early Ishikawa family. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”.


Katachi bori sukashi tsuba, nademaru gata with carving in maru-mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana, 7.13 x 6.75 cm, solid tsuba with design dragon. Tsuba does not have circular rim around the design. This style of dragon is more typical of early Ishikawa family. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”. Some features of sandai Ishikawa.


Tsuba for katana, maru gata, kaku mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana, 8.02 x 7.95 x 0.52 cm, nikubori sukashi of dragon; no horns or fangs, has copper eye (possible gold plate worn off. Design has circular rim, as the one above. Mumei. Well made, possibly yondai Ishikawa. Very similar to example in Tsuruoka, 1998 (p.43).


Tsuba from Umetada school is included to compare the very similar style to the Kinai Echizen tsuba design. It is said Kyo-Umetada strongly influenced yondai Ishikawa. The tsuba is maru gata, maru mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana, 7.3 x 7.3 cm, nikubori sukashi design of male dragon, gilt eye. The dragon has horns and claws. Omote mei “Yamashiro no Ju” “Umetada”. [CG Fine Arts]. Of interest, a similar tsuba is shown in Tsuruoka (p.44) with the ura mei (Umetada), and omote mei “Nishijin no Ju” “Yamashiro no Kuni”.


A very large tsuba maru gata 10.0 x 0.6 cm with circular rim. Nikubori sukashi design of male dragon, gilt eye. The dragon has horns and claws and ken tail. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku” (mei is small kanji with different “ki” in “kinai”). Possible sandai Ko-kinai (see Tsuruoka p.104)?


Maru gata, kozuka ana and kogai ana, maru mimi, 8.1 x 8.0 x 0.6 cm, omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”. Nikubori sukashi design of two pairs of mon, kiri (paulownia) and tsuru (crane). Possibly of the sandai-yondai period.


Katana tsuba, maru gata, maru-kaku mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana within design, 7.8 x 7.8 cm, nikubori sukashi design of dragon, seems to have ears, gilt eye and whiskers, closed mouth. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. This work is in the style of the yondai, but has “saku”. Not sure if it is that period, or a later copy.


Large maru gata Kinai tsuba, kozuka ana and kogai ana, kaku mimi, 9.05 x 8.90 cm, thick, nikubori sukashi design of chrysanthemum blossom (kiku), leaves and breaking waves, Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai” strongly cut (part of “echi” missing) yondai Ishikawa. [image: ageyama@mindspring.com]


Same tsuba as above, slightly smaller. Maru gata, kozuka ana and kogai ana, kaku mimi, 8.60 x 8.60 x 0.40 cm, nikubori sukashi design of chrysanthemum blossom (kiku), leaves and breaking waves, strongly omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”. “Echi” kanji appears to have an extra stroke to right. Attribute to 4th generation (yondai Ishikawa), example in Tsuruoka (1998, p.120) which has extra stroke in “zen”.


Maru gata, kozuka ana and kogai ana, kaku mimi, 7.95 x 7.95 x 0.45 cm, nikubori sukashi design of Gods of Thunder (drums, clouds, lightning), mumei. Kin zogan detail and brass pins on drums. Attributed to 4th generation (yondai Ishikawa), example in Tsuruoka (1998, p.114).


Nademaru gata, kozuka ana and kogai ana, kaku-maru mimi, 7.1 cm, nikubori yo-sukashi design of sasa leaves (bamboo) and spider. Detail on leaves and insect nibble. Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Omote mei “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai”. Not sure of dai but features of yondai Ishikawa.


Mokko gata tsuba, maru mimi with carved design, katachi niku bori design of flower (32 petal chrysanthemum), kozuka ana and kogai ana, 8.15 x 7.90 x 0.35 cm, strongly cut omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”. Probably yondai (4th generation) Ishikawa; extra stroke in the left of “nai”. Example of godai Turuoka p. 121.


Maru gata tsuba, maru mimi with carved design, katachi niku bori design of flower (32 petal chrysanthemum), kozuka ana and kogai ana, 8.15 x 8.10 x 0.3 cm, strongly omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”. Possibly yondai (4th generation) Ishikawa, or transition yondai to godai.


Maru gata, kozuka ana and kogai ana, kaku-maru mimi, 8.00 x 8.00 x 0.45 cm, mumei sukashi bori of winter theme with umbrella (kasa) and snow flakes in a snow storm (ukiwa myo, snow circles), mid-Edo [see example in Tsuba no Bi, #26, page 230]. An almost exact copy of this is also shown in Tsuruoka (1998, p.41) by yondai Ishikawa Kinai (early-mid 1600’s), with omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”, demonstrating the strong influence of Kyo-shoami on Ko-Kinai work. A subtle difference with this one, is the flying bird between the seppa dai and the top snowflake.


Cast copy of Kinai tsuba, maru gata, kozuka ana and kogai ana, kaku mimi, 7.70 x 7.70 x 0.60 cm, sukashi bori of winter theme with umbrella (kasa) and snow flakes in a snow storm (ukiwa myo, snow circles) in tsuba above. Faint mei “Echizen Ju” “Kinai”. Features of cast tsuba: unclear mei, nakago ana off-centre, thick tsuba, below seppa dai is a join to snow flake.


Maru gata, kozuka ana and kogai ana, maru mimi, 8.00 x 7.88 x 0.47 cm, omote mei, nikubori sukashi of blossums, leaves and lightning. Omote mei “Echizen Ju” “Kinai Saku”; possibly yondai ko-Kinai?.


Nademaru gata katana tsuba with maru mimi, 8.35 x 8.15 x 0.40 cm. Nikubori sukashi artistic design of four small aoi leaves and stalks, incorporating kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Thin rim of rounded nadegaku gata. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, possibly by godai Ishikawa.


Maru gata (slightly nademaru) kaku mimi, 8.60 x 8.30 x 0.36 cm. Sukashi bori design of maple (kaede) leaves and deer stag, incorporating kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Kin zogan on edges of leaves. Thick (futomei) ura mei of “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Saku”. Dai not known but features of godai Ishikawa. (from “Tsuba” 1952 by Okumo, Yoshihide)


For comparison to above, Echizen Myochin tsuba, maru gata (slightly nademaru), kaku-maru mimi, 7.8 cm. Sukashi nikubori design of stag (top) and doe running in maple (kaede) leaves and branches. Has kozuka and kogai hitsu ana which are gold lined (zogan); kozuka ana is large. Ura mei “Echizen Ju”, “Myochin Yoshihisa”. Assumed same period as that above.


Maru gata, maru mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana (both plugged with gold plated copper umegane), 8.1 x 8.1 cm, ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”, nikubori sukashi design of dragon with horn, ears and eyelids. Possibly late Ko Kinai work?.


Maru gata Kinai tsuba with kaku mimi, 8.2 x 8.2 x 0.5 cm. Design in nikubori sukashi of dragon with kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Circular rim. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, Possibly late ko-Kinai?.


Maru gata tsuba with kaku mimi, very large 10.0 cm. Nikubori sukashi of dragon with kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Circular rim, ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. This dragon has single horn, eye open and lid, ear,long whiskers; eye has gold pupil. Not sure of dai, possibly late ko-Kinai?.


Maru gata tsuba with kaku mimi, 7.3 x 7.2 cm. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Shoami Saku”. This design in nikubori sukashi of dragon shows the similarity in work between Kinai and Shoami schools. Has circular rim, and kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Possibly of late ko-Kinai period?.


A large tsuba of very detailed work of wild dragon in sukashi. Print from book cover of Hawkshaw Collection c. 1910. Possibly by rokudai Ishikawa?


Maru gata, kozuka ana and kogai ana, maru mimi, 8.25 cm, ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai”, ji-sukashi bori design of saddle brackets (karu). Possibly late Ko Kinai work?.

Kinai Echizen (Takahashi) Tsuba


Large maru gata tsuba of nikubori sukashi design of wild dragon. Kaku mimi with circular rim, kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Dragon has divided horns (small horn pointing backwards) whiskers, closed spiked eyelid, claws and detailed work. Size 9.30 x 9.00 x 0.48 cm. Ura mei by shodai Takahashi “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Gonbei Saku” (from “Tsuba” 1952 by Okumo, Yoshihide)


Large tsuba rokkatsu shape (6 sides), kaku mimi, of nikubori sukashi design of wild dragon. Size 8.97 x 9.84 x 0.45 cm. Ura mei “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Saku” in thick cut mei (fotumei). Oshigata is ura, kozuka and kogai both have shakudo plug (umegane). Dragon design has pair of single horns, closed eye with lid, claws, whiskers. (from “Tsuba” 1952 by Okumo, Yoshihide). Not sure of dai, may be Takahashi shodai or nidai; features suggest could be nidai.


Maru gata tsuba, irregular edge, dote mimi, sukashi bori of plum (ume) branches and blossums. Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana, 8.30 x 8.00 x 0.45 cm. Ura mei by “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Saku” possibly by nidai Takahashi. (from “Tsuba” 1952 by Okumo, Yoshihide)


Maru gata tsuba, kaku mimi, circular rim, sukashi bori design of kiki flowers and leaves (both as negative silhouette (kage-sukashi) and positive silhouette (yo-sukashi)) and flowing stream. Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana of same shape, 7.80 x 7.80 cm. Omote is shown. Ura mei of “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Saku” possibly by sandai Takahashi.


Large maru gata Kinai tsuba with kaku mimi, 8.5 x 8.5 cm. Design of torii (gate to a Shinto shrine) and a fence, incorporating kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Circular rim with clean strong ji-sukashi design of the yo-sukashi type. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, possibly by sandai Takahashi(early-mid 1700’s).


Maru gata tsuba with kaku mimi 8.0 x 8.0 cm. Sukashi bori design of maple leaves incorporating kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, possibly by sandai Takahashi.


Maru gata tsuba with slightly irregular maru mimi with detail, 8.05 x 7.80 x 0.6 cm. Quite thick tsuba, sukashi bori design of two roosters, much detail in tail feathers, shakudo eyes. Mumei. Dai not confirmed, some features of sandai Takahashi.


Maru gata tsuba with maru mimi 8.0 x 8.1 x 0.48 cm. Quite thick tsuba, sukashi bori design of two roosters incorporating kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Mumei. Dai not known, but has features of sandai Takahashi. (from “Tsuba”, 1952, Okumo, Yoshihide).


Maru gata with maru mimi and wide rim, 7.80 x 7.75 cm. Kozuka hitsu ana, sukashi bori design of clouds, lightning (squares) and flying birds. Mumei. Dai not known, possibly sandai or yondai Takahashi.


Maru gata, maru mimi, kozuka and kogai hitsu ana, 7.85 x 7.85 x 0.55 cm, strong nikubori sukashi design of three plantain (omodaka) leaves and three stalks of grass seeds, strong cut ura mei “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Saku”, possible early yondai Takahashi. (see Tsuba no Bi #170; image from Shibui Swords).


Maru gata, kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai hitsu ana, nikubori sukashi design of two large plantain (omodaka) leaves, ura mei “Echizen Ju”, Kinai Saku”, 7.5 cm, possible yondai Takahashi.


Kinai tsuba for wakizashi, maru gata, dote mimi, kozuka and kogai ana, 7.5 x 7.5 x 0.43 cm. Katachi bori sukashi design of a single aoi leaf shaped to be rounded-convex on ura and flat-concave on omote. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, probably yondai Takahashi, late 1700’s (example in Tsuruoka, p. 153).


Kinai tsuba for katana, maru gata, maru mimi, kozuka ana, 8.23 x 8.22 cm. Sukashi bori design of large waves and 5 flying birds, within a circular rim. Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, finely cut, possible later yondai Takahashi [image: Nihonto Ya].


Sukashi bori, maru-gata, kaku mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana, 7.80 x 7.80 x 0.45 cm, design of fish swimming in waves, with blossoms overhead, within a circular rim. The design has gold plate highlights, and silver pins in oceans representing seaspray. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Possibly later yondai Takahashi, late 1700’s-early 1800’s.


Katachi bori tsuba, slightly nademaru-gata, kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai ana, 7.30 x 7.10 x 0.40 cm, design of two aoi leaves and stalks, within a circular rim. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Possibly later yondai Takahashi, late 1700’s-early 1800’s.


Kinai tsuba, maru gata, kaku mimi, kozuka ana, 7.5 x 7.5 cm, ji-sukashi design of shishi and botan, ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, not sure, could be yondai Takahashi, late 1700’s-early 1800’s. [image: ricecracker.com]


Maru gata, ji sukashi, kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai ana, 8.2 cm. Design of grass with drops of dew. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Probably godai Takahashi as is “iri kinai” mei.


Large maru gata tsuba with design of leaves and vines, maru-kaku mimi, 8.55 x 8.5 cm. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, late Edo, may be 6th generation (rokudai Takahashi) [image: Hageyama@mindspring.com]


Kinai tsuba for katana, maru gata, maru mimi, design incorporates kozuka ana. Uncommon design of pairs of different leaves, thick plate and appears to be well made. Large omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, possibly by rokudai Takahashi, late Edo, early 1800’s.


Maru gata Kinai tsuba for wakizashi with sukinokoshi mimi, subtle design of a long leaf grading into the rim, 7.25 x 7.05 cm. Kozuka ana and kogai ana attached to seppa-dai. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, possibly rokudai Takahashi, late Edo [image: nipponto.com]


Nikubori sukashi design of daikon (Japanese radish) with detail in leaves, including insect nibbles. Maru gata, maru mimi, 8.25 x 8.10 x 0.40 cm. Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Similar to signed example below, so probably rokudai Takahashi, but is not mass produced work, and looks earlier Takahashi.


Nikubori design of daikon (Japanese radish), maru gata, maru mimi, 8.00 cm. Gold nunome on leaves and edge of kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Probably rokudai Takahashi, but not mass produced work.


Maru kawari gata design of two shells of hamaguri type, in katachi bori, 7.2 x 6.9 x 0.4 cm, with kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Rokudai Takahashi, late Edo.


Kinai tsuba for katana, iron plate carved in katachi nikubori style in design of a shitake. Maru-gata of irregular shape, 7.4 x 7.3 cm. Kozuka ana and kogai ana. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Late Edo, probably rokudai Takahashi.


Kinai tsuba for o’tanto, carved iron plate, maru-gata of irregular shape. Kozuka ana and kogai ana, 6.95 x 6.50 x 0.35 cm, clever design of Japanese mushroom (shitake) which is stalk and underside on omote and top of mushroom and stalk on ura. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. A number of different versions of this design are found. Late Edo (early 1800’s) probably rokudai (6th generation), example in Tsuruoka, p.168.


Kinai tsuba for o’tanto and tanto, katachi bori, maru-gata of irregular shape. Kozuka ana and kogai ana. Both signed omote mei “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai”. Gold trim around hitsu ana; larger tsuba has umegane plug. Late Edo (early 1800’s) Decchi Kinai of rokudai Takahashi period (image from JapaneseSword.com).


Two identical nagegaku gata tsuba of katchi bori design of shitake. Kozuka ana and kogai ana. Kin zogan design of straw, and (on left) gold plate copper pins of dew, 7.25 x 6.55 x 0.55 cm. Note different omote mei, left tsuba: “Echizen Ju” (right side) “Kinai” (right side); right tsuba “Echizen Ju Kinai Saku” (unusual as mei is to left of nakago ana). Decchi Kinai of Rokudai Takahashi (see Tsuruoka p. 169).


Left: nagamaru gata tsuba of katachi bori design of abalone (awabi), with detail of small shellfish. Kozuka ana and kogai ana, 6.9 x 6.7 x 0.5 cm. Omote mei “Echizen Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Late Edo (late 1700’s - early 1800’s) rokudai Takahashi Decchi Kinai. Right: Tsuba of abalone design with less detail, nagamaru gata and katachi bori style. Kozuka ana and kogai ana, 6.65 x 6.15 x 0.35 cm. Mumei. Late Edo rokudai Takahashi period, has features of Decchi Kinai, but have seen identical one with omote mei (on left) “Nobutora Saku”. Also very similar tsuba seen signed “Echizen Ju” “Akao Saku”. Awabi were also called “sea-ear”.


Kinai tsuba for wakizashi, maru gata, maru mimi, nikubori sukashi design of a bean and leaf,7.3 x 7.3 x 0.45 cm. Kozuka ana and kogai ana. Late Edo, probably rokudai Takahashi, although ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Could indicate “special order”.


Kinai tsuba for katana, iron plate carved in katachi nikubori style in design of a melon, some design in gold (kin zogan and foil). Nademaru-gata, 7.50 x 7.15 x 0.50 cm. Kozuka ana and kogai ana. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Late Edo, probably rokudai Takahashi. [image: Tokugawa Art]


Design of three aoi leaves, nademaru gata, maru mimi with design of stalk forming rim, 7.5 x 7.1 cm. Well made with kozuka ana, and on kogai side detail of insect eaten edge to leaf. Some fine gold zogan detail (tendrils) on leaves. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, possible rokudai Takahashi, early 1800’s, late Edo.


Similar sukashi aoi tsuba to above, nademaru gata, maru mimi with design of stalk, 7.2 x 6.8 x 0.8 cm. Design of 3 aoi leaves, kin zogan detail is veins of leaves. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, possible rokudai Takahashi, early 1800’s, late Edo, very good condition.


Tsuba for wakizashi in the design of two small aoi leaves with stalk, kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai ana. 6.6 x 6.5 cm Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Less common design of rokudai period.


Maru gata, maru mimi, kozuka and kogai ana, 7.0 x 6.8 cm. Design is of a single aoi leaf with nice lines and rounded rim, and concave relief to aoi leaf on omote. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku” , probably rokudai Tsuruoka, who used various aoi designs, early 1800’s, late Edo.


Nademaru gata with katachi bori design of single aoi leaf. Tsuba for wakizashi, 7.40 x 7.18 x 0.64 cm, omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, probably rokudai Takahashi.


Nikubori sukashi tsuba 7.0 x 6.6 x o.5 cm with design of single aoi leaf and stalks. Nademaru gata with maru mimi. Kin zogan of tendrils. Omote mei is neatly cut “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Decchi Kinai tsuba of the rokudai period.


Nikubori sukashi tsuba similar to that above, but without kin zogan. Omote mei is neatly cut “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Decchi Kinai tsuba of the rokudai period.


Nikubori sukashi tsuba for wakizashi, 7.45 x 7.10 x 0.45 cm, nadeamru gata, maru mimi, design of two pairs of oak leaves (kashiwa) and acorns (kashi no mi), with kin zogan tendrils. Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Finely cut omote mei “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Saku” (long stroke in “saku”). Of the rokudai Takahashi period.


Nademaru gata, maru mimi, nikubori sukashi design of two leaves with short stalks and some small blossoms. Size is 7.50 x 7.05 x 0.45 cm. Both kozuka and kogai ana, but appears to be ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku” (very long stroke in “nai”. Probably rokudai Takahashi.


Kinai tsuba, wakizashi size, nademaru gata, maru mimi, kozuka and koagai ana, 7.05 x 6.35 x 0.50 cm, nikubori design of two aoi leaves and wide stalks, with karakusa (tendrils) in gold zogan. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, late Edo. A well carved variation of the two aoi design produced in rokudai Takahashi period. [image: Tokugawa Art]


Kinai Echizen tsuba for wakizashi, nademaru gata (oval), kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai ana, 7.3 x 7.0 x 0.5 cm. Example of the two aoi leaves (short stalk), pre-made tsuba, one of most common designs. Omote mei is neatly cut “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Decchi Kinai tsuba of the rokudai period.


Kinai tsuba in design of two aoi leaves with short stalk, showing front and back, variation of one above, maru gata, kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai ana, gold plate copper umegane, 7.4 x 7.1 cm. This tusba has a brass fukurin (rim) and kin zogan. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Decchi Kinai of rokudai period.


Kinai tsuba for tanto in the design of two aoi leaves with short stalk, showing front and back, nademaru gata, kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai ana. Quite thick for size. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. A common decchi Kinai design of rokudai period.


Maru gata tsuba kaku mimi, two hitsu ana. Katchai bori design of single aoi leaf, 7.65 x 7.50 x 0.50, quite thick for size. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, decchi Kinai design of rokudai period.


Maru gata tsuba of iron plate with simple katachi nikubori design of stylised aoi leaf. Kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. This is a heavy tsuba
7.8 x 7.70 x 0.45 cm. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku” by decchi Kinai design of rokudai period.


Nademaru gata tsuba for wakizashi in the design of two aoi leaves with short stalk, kaku mimi, kozuka and kogai ana. Quite thick for size. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. One of most common decchi Kinai designs of rokudai period.


Nikubori sukashi tsuba of maru gata-slight nademaru gata for wakizashi, kaku mimi with silver fukurin. Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana. Quite thick tsuba. Omote mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Work by Decchi Kinai of rokudai period; design is “noshi” strips of paper or ribbons tied in a knot and given on a card for special circumstances (comes from original noshi, which is dried strips of abalone (awabi) meat).


Maru gata wakizashi tsuba, design of ho’o bird (Phoenix) with very finely carved feathers. Carving is katachi nikubori with some sukashi. Kaku mimi, 7.0 x 7.0 cm. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”, identical tsuba attributed to nanadai Takahashi, early-mid 1800’s (Tsuruoka, p.90). This mei has Iri Kinai and umbrella-shape saku (”kasa saku”) of nanadai.


Otafuku gata katana tsuba, kaku mimi, sukashi design of sakura flowers and leaves. Kozuka and kogai hitsu ana, 8.5 x 8.5 cm. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku” of nanadai with Iri Kinai and umbrella-shape saku (”kasa saku”).


Maru gata wakizashi tsuba, nikubori sukashi design of crane (tsuru) with fine carving. Kaku mimi. Ura mei “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Saku” in finely cut kanji. Size 7.56 x 7.56 cm, attributed to nanadai Takahashi. (from “Tsuba”, 1952, Okumo, Yoshihide). Identical example Tsuruoka p.95.


Nademaru gata tsuba, kaku mimi, nikubori sukashi design of branches, leaves and berries. Oshigata shows ura mei “Echizen Ju”, “Kinai Saku” in finely cut kanji. Appears to be iri kinai. Size 8.30 x 7.20 x 0.42 cm. By nanadai Takahashi (from “Tsuba”, 1952, Okumo, Yoshihide).


Nademaru gata tsuba, wakizashi size, with sukashi bori design of five Noh masks (woodprint). This is omote, may be ura mei. A well known design of nandai Takahashi and co-workers.


Finely cut Kinai tsuba, maru gata, maru-kaku mimi, kozuka ana and kogai ana, 7.4 x 7.2 x 0.5 cm, ji-sukashi design of rice stalks and husks. Ura mei “Echizen no Ju” “Kinai Saku”. Was attributed to 6th generation (rokudai) refer to “Shinsen Kinko Meihan” p.74. Paper: NBTHK Tokubetsu Kicho 1973 [Nihontoya.com; www.jpsword.com]. However, considering features given in Tsuruoka (1998) nanadai Takahashi is more likely (small tsuba, rice stalk design, ura mei with “saku”, “saku” kanji of “umbrella” shape, and Iri Kinai). This is early-mid 1800’s.


Finely carved large maru gata tsuba with camellia (tsubaki) flower, leaf and stalk design; note both the positive (yo-sukashi, upper right-lower left) and negative (kage-sukashi, upper left-lower right) carving of blossoms. Maru-kaku mimi, 8.1 x 7.9 x 0.5 cm. This appears to be reverse side (ura); not sure if signed, very well made and superior design, possibly late Edo. [image: Boston Museum of Fine Arts]

 

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