Description This tsuba shows Watanabe no Tsuna, a warrior who lived in the late 10th and early 11th century. One stormy night, he lay in wait at the Rashomon Gate in Kyoto for one of the last demons left in the city. In the middle of the night, he felt something tugging at his helmet. Striking out with his sword, he cut off the demon's arm. The demon ran away and Tsuna kept the arm locked in an iron box. On the tsuba, Tsuna can be seen riding his horse on the right. Above him, the demon pulls at his helmet. Storm clouds swirl above the demon. The Rashomon Gate is at the lower left, below the hole for the utility knife. The Rashomon Gate is the same gate that figures in Akira Kurosawa's famous film of that name.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] 長州萩住 井上清高作; [Transliteration] choshu hagi ju/inouye kiyotaka saku; [Translation] Inscribed: Living at Hagi in Nagato province/Made by Inouye Kiyotaka.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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