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Superior Made Uchigatana with set of Gold fittings in Scattered Fan design By Takahashi Yoshitsugu Late Edo
Certification Rating: “JUYO TOKEN”
Juyo Zufu translation:
Jūyō-Kodōgu at the 49th Jūyō Shinsa held on October 9, 2003
Kuro roiro-nuri ōgi-chirashi makie saya uchigatana-koshirae (Takahashi Yoshitsugu issaku kanagu) (黒蠟色塗扇蒔絵散鞘打刀拵「高橋良次一作金具」) – Uchigatana-koshirae featuring glossy black-lacquer saya with makie décor of an arrangement of fans plus en suite fittings made by Takahashi Yoshitsugu
Fuchi, mei: Yoshitsugu kore o tsukuru (良次造之) – “Made by Yoshitsugu”
Kanagawa Prefecture, Nakagawa Minoru (中川実)
Overall length 93.2 cm, overall sori 4.0 cm, tsuka length 23.0 cm, tsuka sori 0.4 cm, saya length 70.2 cm, saya sori 2.2 cm
Keijō: tsuka covered with white same and wrapped tsumami-maki-style with plum-dyed braid; menuki depicting three fans each, of gold, in katachibori, with silver and shakudō okigane, kebori, katakiribori, and gold hira-zōgan; all fittings (fuchigashira, kuchigane, kurigata, and naga-kojiri) depicting an arrangement of fans, of solid gold, with nanako ground, with gold, silver, and shakudō suemon, gold, silver, shakudō, and hiirodō hira-zōgan, kebori, katakiribori, and koberi edges, the fuchi is signed as quoted above; tsuba depicting an arrangement of fans, in aorigata, of pure gold with nanako ground, gold, silver, shakudō, and shibuichi suemon, gold and shakudō hira-zōgan, kebori, katakiribori, a kaku-mimi ko-niku, no hitsu-ana, and unsigned; saya in glossy black lacquer and makie décor of an arrangement of fans; two seppa of pure gold, sageo of purple kainokuchi braid
End of Edo period
This is a magnificent uchigatana-koshirae that features en suite and pure gold fittings made by Takahashi Yoshitsugu (高橋良次), who had been a highly skilled student of the famous Bakumatsu era master Tōryūsai Kiyotoshi (東龍斎清寿). That is, Yoshitsugu had initially trained with his father and with Murasakibara Toshiyoshi (紫原寿良), but then also learned directly from Kiyotoshi. One of his students was Okada Setsuga (岡田雪峨).
All fittings of this koshirae, i.e., from fuchgashira, naga-kojiri, kuchigane, and kurigata to the menuki and even the tsuba are of solid gold and feature a graceful décor of an arrangement of fans. The fan papers are decorated with various auspicious symbols, on the fuchi with Rin Wasei (林和靖), on the kuchigane with turtles, on the menuki with young pines, Amur adonis, orchids, and peonies, on the kurigata with orchids, on the naga-kojiri with pines, bamboo, and chrysan-themums, and on the tsuba on the obverse with plum, bamboo, orchids, and peonies in the mist, and on the reverse with young pines and bracket fungus. The saya has a glossy black-lacquer finish and the fan papers there are decorated with plums, pines, orchids, bamboo, and chrysan-themums. This means, that the fan paper décor on the saya represents the shikunshi (四君子, lit. “Four Noble Ones” comprising orchid, bamboo, plum, and chrysanthemum) and the shiyū (四友, lit. “Four Friends” comprising orchid, bamboo, plum, and pine). Apart from the shikunshi and shiyū, the highly elegantly decorated fan papers seen on the saya and fittings also form the group referred to as saikan-san’yū (歳寒三友, lit. “Three Friends of Winter” comprised by pine, plum, and bamboo). In addition, also the Taoist Immortal Rin Wasei (Chinese: Lín Héjing, 967–1028) and a turtle are depicted, which both have auspicious meanings as well, and the elegance of this décor forms a gorgeous unity with the magnificently shining gold.
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