Menuki mumei Otsuki-ha Nozarashi-sotoba-zu
The Otsuki school founded by Otsuki Korin is a renowned family of metalsmiths, from which the master craftsman of Mitsuoki and Mitsuhiro has appeared later. The school has been eager to train pupils, and many talented smiths such as Kawarabayashi Hideoki, Tenkodo Hidekuni, Sasayama Atsuoki, Matsuo Gassan and Kano Natsuo has appeared.
This menuki is fixed to being made by a metalsmith of that Otsuki school.
The front menuki has motifs of a skull with shibuichi (alloy of silver and copper) and bones in silver, the back one has motifs of a stupa (sotoba in Japanese) and plant of tsuge (Japanese box tree) with shakudo (alloy of gold and copper).
On the stupa, it is inlayed with gold as “Kyo ni Iwaku, Yo no Hijo wo Satoru.” This is a part of Buddhism Sutra, Muryojukyo, and it means “Realizing that the world is ever-changing for mortal beings.”
Though the motifs are different on each piece, both menuki reflects the resolution of Samurai warriors, who strive to live under the awareness of mortality.
The unique design is made with elaborate techniques such as finely chiseled bones and firmly shaped backside of each menuki with Inyokon, and deciding this menuki as the one by Otsuki school feels convincing.
The later works by Mitsuoki, a representative craftsman of Otsuki school, have a taste of Zen after getting out of the realism taste. As approaching to his last days, the works of Mitsuoki tend to reflect his pessimistic attitude, which should have been accumulated through years.
A truly rare piece of work with Nozarashi motif.
- Late Edo
- Yamashiro Province
- Shibuichi-ji katachi-bori shakudo okigane kingin-iroe suaka inyokon
- Hozon Tosogu
- 34.1 mm
- 42.0 mm