Nihonto.com is pleased to present this beautiful iron tsuba by the Mito artist Tomomitsu (友光). Tomomitsu’s (友光)family name was Ichiryû (一柳) and he was from Mito is Hitachi Province. He worked in the early 1800’s. His art name was Senryûken (川柳軒). This tsuba is signed Mito Jyû Ichiryû Tomomitsu (水戸住一柳友光).
The iron plate measures 2 7/8 inches or 7.4 cm by 2 11/16 inches or 6.8cm. The iron plate is decorated on both sides with carved waves with inlaid bits of gold and silver depicting foam on the crests of the waves. The top of the obverse has the broken bridge over the Uji river done in gold. The right hand side and the bottom of the obverse has two Samurai, one in the waves and the other in the midst of jumping off the bridge to engage his opponent in combat. These Samurai are done in very high relief using shakudo, gold, silver, and copper to create these breathtaking figures.
The Uji bridge was located over the Uji River, an outlet of Lake Biwa in the Omi Province, and was the sight of several famous battles during the late 1100’s when the Minamoto were battling the Taira for military supremacy of Japan. This is a well-known and often used motif and Tomomitsu captured it with great skill and beauty.
This tsuba comes in a custom made wooden box and is accompanied by Tokubetsu Hozon papers issued by the NBTHK. This is a real work of art.