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Tsuba with the Oil Monk
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Tsuba with the Oil Monk

Description Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This tsuba illustrates the 12th-century story of the oil monk from Yasuka shrine in Kyoto. On a stormy night, reports circulated in the city of a fire-breathing monster. Taira no Tadamori went out to capture the monster and discovered that it was actually a poor monk walking to Yasuka shrine. He was carrying an oil lamp that emitted flames when he blew on it. The monk is on the right side of tsuba, carrying the lamp and an umbrella. Two trees are on the left. The rain is indicated by ridges in the small dots that cover the background. The reverse of the tsuba shows a lantern, which might be one at Yasuka shrine, and a tree. The rain here is highlighted in gold.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions none
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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19th century
shakudo (gold-copper alloy), gold, silver, copper
(Arms & Armor)
Accession Number
H: 2 11/16 ×W: 2 7/16 × D: 1/4 in. (6.8 × 6.2 × 0.7 cm)
  • Japan (Place of Origin)


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