Mumei (unsigned): attr. to Owari School
Size: 7,42 cm x 7,33 cm
Thickness at rim: 0,49 cm
Weight: 101 gr
Period: Early/Mid Edo
There is no certificate
In kiri box
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This tsuba is attributed to Owari School.
On the rather thick round iron tsuba, openwork is engraved. On the rim, there are tekkotsu and senjo-mon.
Owari tsuba were named for their provenience. Considered from many the best sukashi tsuba, Owari tsuba usually have a symmetrical design and were forged using tekkotsu.
The Owari School was active from mid-Muromachi until the early eighteenth century.
It was located to Owari and adjacent Mino Province
The Owari School has been recognized as the most honored of the sukashi schools.
At about the same time as the Heianjō-sukashi-tsuba, ji-sukashi-tsuba were also produced outside of Kyōto. The groups of craftsmen emerging are nowadays classified as for, example, ‘Owari-sukashi’ (尾張透) or „Kanayama“ (金山). Because of the exceptional forged iron of the first ji-sukashi-tsuba it is assumed that they were made my armourers, the so-called ‘katchūshi’ (甲冑師), who had previously made simple iron tsuba for tachi and early uchigatana
Most Owari tsuba were made of a hard, refined iron which produces a purplish patina. The rim and body of the guard together have pleasing movement which enhances the motif. The details, including the seppa-dai and hitsu-ana, are an expression of pride, logic and dignity. A careful study of these details convincingly demonstrates the careful and elaborate work undertaken to finish each piece. The Owari guards represent one of the most outstanding manifestations of the strength of the warrior and the cultivation and education of the leader.
Some see the ji-sukashi as a logic development of the smaller ko-sukashi of kat Owari province being the origin of Owari-sukashi and Kanayama- tsuba is still under investigation because early works were not signed and no contemporary documents are extant.
Shiba Yoshishige (1371-1418) became military governor (shugo) of Owari province in the seventh year of Ōei (1400) and transferred so his administrative headquarter to Orizu Castle (下津城). After the turmoil’s of the Ōnin War and succession disputes between the Shiba and their retainers the Oda, the latter conquered parts of Owari province in the eighth year of Bunmei (1476), destroyed Orizu Castle, and made Kiyosu Castle the new base of their post of deputy military governor of Owari. Kiyosu was a strategically important place. It was located centrally in Owari and situated perfectly between the arterial roads from Kyōto to the east, namely the Tōkaidō, to Kamakura, the Tōzandō to the northern provinces, and the Nakasendō which connects the latter two roads. Before the transfer of the political centre of this region to Nagoya in the 15th year of Keichō (1610), besides Kiyosu, Ōno was the most important centre for the production of swords in Owari. Documents show us that around the beginning of the Bunmei era (1469-1487) about three hundred smiths were active in the villages around Ōno. The favourable position is an indication that Owari province was not unaffected by the Kyōto chic of the Higashiyama culture. Because it was, as mentioned, an important strategic place and the centre of sword forging, we can safely assume that iron tsuba were made there at the beginning of the mentioned trend of the sophistication of such pieces.