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Provenance:   Robert E. Haynes Not For Sale
"Slightly oval iron plate tsuba with well hammered surface and sukashi of cloud forms. Unsigned, one would think this might be the work of the Saotome school who also used this style of cloud formation.

The signature is very important. It reads: 'TENKA CHUKO KAIZAN' (see below). There are several translations that can be used for this term. Tenka means: UNDER HEAVEN, or all that we can see or know. Chuko means: RESTORATION, or REVIVAL, the regaining of the glory of the past. Also see SAIKO which has much the same meaning. Kaizan means: FOUNDER or the PIONEER of a group or family. So, this is thought to mean: THE RESTORATION OF THIS FAMILY. Why put that on a tsuba? There are a number of the members of the Shoami family who put this on their work in the early Edo period. The rest of the signature is: SHOAMI KINJURO (see below). See H 03182.0, also see pg. 1899, under tenko chuko kaizan for six other artists who used this term with their signatures and there are others I have not recorded. Another note, the RO kanji used by this artist is not the one I have used in my Index. It is the same for the left half, but he did not add the right hand radical. Until I obtained this tsuba I had never held in my hand an example with this term.

From this work I can see the date I give is not correct. It should be at least 1600 for this artist. It would seem that the Shoami family had been out of favor with the Ashikaga shoguns and that they did not gain respect for their family until the Tokugawa came to power. The Shoami were the dominate school of artists during the whole of the Edo period. When were they as powerful before the Edo period? We need to have as much history as art to tell us the full story of this term and why it was so important to the Shoami of the early Edo period.

If anyone has additional information please let us know." (Haynes)

7.85cm x 8.00cm x 0.40cm




How to Purchase this Tsuba:
please send Elliott and Robert an E-MAIL
( elliott@shibuiswords.com ).

A Collaboration of Robert E. Haynes and Elliott D. Long

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