Colorado College Logo

  DigitalCC

Use AND (in capitals) to search multiple keywords.
Example: harmonica AND cobos

Sword Guard (Tsuba) with Octopus and Ape

Abstract

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 “monstrous†(Civilization and Monsters, Spirits of Modernity in Meiji Japan, Durham and Loudon, 1999). As Figal points out, “monstrous†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.

Note

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.

Administrative Notes

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.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Berea College
PID
coccc:24670
Extent
800 w x 752 h, 72 ppi