Description The front of this tsuba shows the yearly meeting of the celestial lovers the Weaving Maiden (Jp. "Orihime") and the Shepard (Jp. "Hikoboshi"). They are the stars Vega and Altair. Because they neglected their work when they were together, the Weaving Maiden's father, the King of Heaven, decreed that they could only meet across the River of Heaven (i.e. the Milky Way) once a year. Their meeting is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th month with a festival called Tanabata. They are depicted on the front of the tsuba within a square frame. The Weaving Maiden is shown at the upper right spinning thread. The Shepard is shown with cattle on the lower left. On the reverse of the tsuba, rooftops of houses can be seen in the foreground and to the right of the central opening. Stalks of bamboo hung with paper strips decorate the houses for Tanabata. Mount Fuji is shown in the background at the upper right.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] 菊池序克; [Translation] Kikuchi Tsunekatsu (kao)
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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