Sword Guard (Tsuba) with Octopus and Ape

Dublin Core

Title

Sword Guard (Tsuba) with Octopus and Ape

Subject

Arts; Arts-Decorative Arts; Government-Military;

Description

Sword guard (tsuba), signed Yoshinaga(?),and dated 1862. Curatorial files identify the work as in the Garyuken line of Nara Variation. Copper and brass. Excellent condition. This sword guard was part of a group of 20 in a three-layered lacquered wooden box. All are of high quality and this one was singled out only because of its large size and unusual decoration. The guard bears the image of an octopus attacking a monkey. The image is typical of late Tokugawa Period in being showy, with copper and brass highly polished and looking like gold. It is also a bit odd and unsettling. The sword guard has the quality that Gerald Figal calls ?ǣmonstrous?ǥ (Civilization and Monsters, Spirits of Modernity in Meiji Japan, Durham and Loudon, 1999). As Figal points out, ?ǣmonstrous?ǥ is a fair description, not only of Art in 19th c. Japan, but also of this chaotic, disturbed time. No less than the paintings or prints of Hokusai or the helmet discussed above, then, this sword guard captures well the spirit of its time.
Gift of Frank Gunsaulus; Transfer from Hutchins Library

Contributor

Berea College

Rights

Materials may be used for educational, non-commercial purposes only. Acknowledgement to be given to the ASIANetwork-Luce Asian Art in the Undergraduate Curriculum Project and to the college from whose collection the work comes. The individual college retains copyright to the work.

Format

image/jpeg

Language

Japanese

Type

still image

Identifier

soclaa000549

Coverage

Japan
Japan - Edo-Tokugawa 1615 - 1868
1862

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Physical Dimensions

800 w x 752 h, 72 ppi

Files

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/9473/archive/files/e29504616e32e604e5050fcaed4782e8.jpg

Citation

“Sword Guard (Tsuba) with Octopus and Ape,” ASIANetwork IDEAS Project, accessed December 11, 2017, http://www.ideasproject.org/items/show/895.