Shoki and Oni Tsuba
A large sculpted Iron Tsuba depicting Shoki the demon killer lopping the horns off of an Oni. Generally, they are on opposite sides of the tsuba depicting Shoki hunting the Oni, or Shoki is depicted alone, wiping the blade of his sword with a cloth eluding to the dispatch of Oni. But on this tsuba, the moment of Shoki’s stroke on the demon is depicted in graphic violence so rarely seen in Japanese art. It is a large tsuba measuring 85 mm x 79 mm. The surface is carved and sculpted with inlays of copper and onlays of gold and silver with a shakudo plug in the kogaihitsu. Small nodular bones and laminations can be seen in the rim. It has a chocolate brown color. School unknown. I’ll defer to a window of opportunity 250 years wide and just call the age “ Edo” period.