Tanaka school Mokume Tsuba (By Nakajima Toshiharu)

Source: Bonhams

I didn’t spot a lot of mokume tsuba in the past and while it’s a bit ‘busy for the eyes’ i digg this one 🙂

The tsuba is showing an arhat (rakkan in Japanese) holding a hossu (flying whisk).

Nakajima Toshiharu (中島壽治) was a student of Tanaka Kiyotoshi (田中清寿,1804-1876) one of the best craftsman of Tanaka Tōryūsai (田中東龍斎) School.

Unfortunately, there is very limited information available about his life and work. It is known that he lived and worked in Kyoto during the early 19th century and passed away in 1852. His works showcase a mix of quality, with some being exceptional and others not quite as impressive.

However, his ideas and themes are always notable for their originality and uniqueness. It is believed that Toshiharu was not a professional sword fitting master, but rather a guard at Kyoto’s Nijō Castle who enjoyed making sword fittings as a hobby. He signed his work as “Heianjō-jū Toshiharu” and “Rakusei-jū Toshiharu,” with “Rakusei” being an old name for the western part of Kyoto.

Source: Dmitry Pechalov