Round tsuba with yatsu-hashi, or eight-bridges, design

Details

  • Title

    Round tsuba with yatsu-hashi, or eight-bridges, design

  • Associated place

    Japan (place of creation)
  • Date

    17th century (1601 - 1700)
  • Material and technique

    iron, with cut and filed openwork decoration, and with engraved decoration

  • Material index

  • Technique index

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    8.3 x 8.3 x 0.5 cm (height x width x depth)
  • No. of items

    1

  • Credit line

    Bequeathed by Dame Jemima Church, in accordance with the wishes of her Husband, Sir Arthur H. Church, 1929.

  • Museum location

    not on display

  • Museum department

    Eastern Art

  • Accession no.

    EAX.10033

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  • Catalogue text

    Openwork design known as yatsu-hashi ("the eight bridges"), consisting of two iris-plants (kakitsubata) and a staggered line of eight small plank foot-bridges spanning the swamp where the plants grow; slight engraving finish on the three blossoms; slender rounded border.

    A version of the design illustrated in the famous work Sōken Kishō, 1781, Bk.V, p.21. The reference is to an acrostic poem by Ariwara no Narihira (825 - 880), in which the initial syllables of the lines make up the work ka-ki-tsu-ba-ta.

    The openwork design on this tsuba is known as yatsu-hashi (eight bridges) and refers to an episode in the Tale of Ise. The 9th century poet Ariwara no Narihira, exiled from the court for a romantic misdemenour, comes across a field spanned by an eight-plank bridge and filled with kakitsubata (wild iris) in bloom. Here he is moved to compose an acrostic love poem using the syllables ka-ki-tsu-ba-ta.

Glossary of terms

tsuba

Reference URL

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