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tsuba dragon and plum tree



A copper tsuba with  a dragon surrounded a plum tree with a signature of Yanagawa Naomasa (柳川 直 政).

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458,33 €

This tsuba it s for katana or long sword .

TechnicPolished background (migakiji ) and carving in low relief (usuniku bori ) on copper  . 

Representation : This tsuba represents a dragon under the rain surround a plum tree(Prunus Mume) .

The plum tree  was imported from China to Japan where it is the emblem of the country. It is one of the favorite trees for its flowering and its fruits used in food (umeboshi or sake). In the calendar of the Japanese flowers, the pluml is associated with the month of February and it represents the entry in the spring. These flowers are different from Japanese cherry blossoms because they are rounder like the one styliser on this tsuba. In addition, in this representation, twisted branches and flowers are emblems of strength, endurance and vitality in old age.

Whereas the dragon is one of the emblematic representation in japanese art  .He is originally from China deriving from Nagas hindus (giant snake ) , he draws from Taoism the principle of ying and yang (feminine-masculine) . It is associated with the element of water both the rain, the rivers and the oceans also controlling all beings with scales (fish and reptilians)it is also credited with magical powers: the power of invisibility, to take any shape, to shrink or grow according to one's will, and to see it in its entirety leads to death because of its divine nature (That's why it is not represented in fully, always in half or covered with clouds).Under the influence of Buddhism, it is attributed spirituality and wisdom, it becomes the protector of the gods and the symbol of the transcendence of life and the state of perpetual change and evolution .His appearance is most singular, he is deaf, a camel's head, deer's horns, hare's eyes, the ears of a bull, the neck of a snake, the scales of a carp, the legs of a tiger and the claws of an eagle. He got two long bristles close to the mouth , his breath turns into a cloud with lightning .He loves to eat sparrows and swallows but he is frightened by centipedes and the silk dyed in five colors so the metal is fatal to him.There are many different dragons with wings, kings and queens. They come down from the sky in the spring and up the rivers in autumn.The dragon is associated with the spring season and his ability to bring water from earth to sky . 

In this tsuba , the both element represente le beggining of the spring .

Signature : 柳川直政 Yanagawa Naomasa  with a kakikan ,master's signature :


Vie de Yanagawa Naomasa :He was born the 5th year of the Genruko era (1692) and died on October 9 of the seventh year of the Horeki era (1758), he died at the age of 66 years. He was born in Edo and was the apprentice of the master Munetaka somin (横 谷 宗 珉) then he developed his own school, during his apprenticeship he discovered his wife but had no children so he adopted these two students. At the end of his life , he becomes a Shinto priest and his name changes into  soen 宗円.

Genealogy :He is the creator of his own school the yanagawa

  • Master :横谷宗珉 munetaka somin 
  • Student  : 直故   Naohisa

                        直光    Naomitsu          

This tsuba is sold with a magnolia box.

width6,8 cm
depth0,2 cm
weight148,36 g
length7,2 cm
schoolyanagawa 柳川
signature柳川直正花押 yanagawa naomasa
Province d'origineEdo

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