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Goto Ichijo: Exquisite Sword Mountings from the Late Edo Period

Goto Ichijo: Exquisite Sword Mountings from the Late Edo Period / Honkan Room 14   October 6, 2015 (Tue) - December 13, 2015 (Sun)

  

A sword mounting comprises a scabbard and hilt with metal fittings such as the sword guard, menuki, and kogai. Goto Yujo (1440–1511) was a skilled metal smith specializing in sword fittings who was active in the Muromachi period (1392–1573). The Goto school, which later generated many branch families, continued to enjoy its high reputation, and Yujo’s descendants served powerful clans including the Ashikaga, Toyotomi, and Tokugawa. Goto Ichijo was born in Kyoto in 1791 during the Edo period (1603–1868) to the Shichiro’emon family, one of the Goto branch families. He was an exceptional metal smith valued by the court and shogunate. 

Sword fittings created by the Goto school have some shared characteristics including the use of gold-copper alloy (consisting mainly of copper) and motifs such as dragons and lions. They are highly refined and distinct compared with works by other metal smiths. Ichijo, while maintaining the traditional style of the school, developed a new style by adopting materials and techniques previously unused by it.

This exhibition showcases sword fittings by Ichijo, including his early and late works, as well as those by his pupils. Also included in the lineup are sword mountings that are thought to have been created for Emperor Komei (r. 1846–66) and their illustrations. These detailed illustrations are valuable materials demonstrating that creating these sword mountings for the emperor involved collaboration with official painters of the court. Visitors are invited to view these elegant and exquisite sword mountings and fittings from the late Edo period.

 

 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
 Major works in this exhibition
* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Kowakizashi Style Sword Mounting, Phoenix design in maki-e lacquer on ikakeji lacquer ground, Metal fittings by Ichijo, Edo period, 19th century
Set of Sword Fittings for Daisho (Pair of long and short swords), Scenes of Yoshino and Tatsuta design, By Ichijo, Edo period, dated 1864-65 (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Illustration of Emperor Komei's Sword, Front of sword by Hidemitsu, By Kano Eigaku, Edo period, 19th century
Tachi Style Sword Mounting, Flower and bird design in maki-e lacquer and mother of pearl inlay on rosewood ground, Draft by Kano Eigaku; Metal fittings by Ichijo; maki-e lacquerwork by Yamamoto Mitsutoshi, Edo period, dated 1865


 

Related Exhibition

   Japanese Swords Honkan Room 13 September 25, 2015 (Fri) - December 13, 2015 (Sun)