Robust Akasaka School Tsuba

The Akasaka (赤坂) area exists to this day as a residential and commercial area in the Minato ward of Tokyo. It lies in hilly area southwest of where Edo castle lay, and closest to it the Akasaka-mitsuke (Akasaka Guard Post) protected that zone of Edo castle. While there are several theories as to the origins of its name, a common explanation is that it alluded to the Common Madder Plant that grew in the area. Madder plant roots were used to produce a red (in japanese “aka” 赤) dye, and thus the name “red slope”, or Akasaka evolved.

Akasaka tsuba are most typically executed in sukashi (pierced) designs, with natural flora and fauna the general focus. However, there are also examples of geometric, kamon, weapons, and random tools and implements. So, their repertoire of themes was quite extensive.

This marugata guard is skillfully pierced through a robust plate that feels and looks very dense. The theme of a grazing horse under pine trees is bucolic and serene. Light details of the pines and horse have been softly incised into the plate. The rounded rim shows fine kitae (forging) patterns along the length in places with small nodular “bones” showing as well. The patina is a dark, rich tone, with a soft oily luster.

Dimensions: 9.3 cm x 8.6 cm x 6 mm

A handsome example of the Akasaka school contained in a nice box and accompanied by NBTHK Hozon Tosogu certificate attesting to the school, and quality.

On Consignment: $2,850.00 USD