Description This tsuba has three small sacred jewels on the right and a larger one on the left that is incorporated into the opening for the utility knife. At the bottom of the opening is a fifth small jewel. These jewels are Buddhist symbols of spiritual, not material, wealth.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] On obverse: 一家式; [Translation] Ikkashi; [Inscription] Raised on obverse: 不磨無光; [Translation] fuma mukô; [Translation] Without polish, there is no shine.; [Inscription] On reverse: 四子降生 復卦之歳; [Inscription] Chinese phrase: 玉不磨無光; [Inscription] Japanese phrase: 玉磨かざれば光無し; [Signature] On reverse:(kao); [Inscription] Raised on reverse: shishi kôsei; fukuke no sai; [Translation] births of the four great shis (ie. Confucious, Sôshi, Shishi, and Mencius); at the age of sixty-one
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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