Inariyama Ko-Kaji – The Swordsmith on Mount Inari

Title

Inariyama Ko-Kaji – The Swordsmith on Mount Inari
"Emperor Go-Toba participating in forging a sword"
Shintō Blades of Yedo
Tantō mounting
Matchlock gun (teppo)
Woodblock print from Kagoshima Seitō Zenki no Uchi
廃刀令 1
廃刀令 2
A Smith at Work
Tachi mounting for a blade by Gassan Sadakazu
Murata-to
Taiwan-tō kiryū konoeshidan Funsen Tekigun o gekihe

Subject

This woodblock print from the series Gekkō Zuihitsu depicts the Heian period swordsmith Sanjō Munechika as he forges the Ko-Kitsune for the Emperor Ichijō, with the Shintō deity Inari and a troop of ethereal foxes lending their aid.
This woodblock print from the series Hyakunin Isshu shows the Emperor Go-Toba, dressed in full court regalia, assisting in beating out the sunobe for a new blade.
Images of a wakizashi blade signed "Yasutsugu of Echizen at Yedo in Musashi province," a katana blade signed "Hankei," and another wakizashi blade signed "Nagasone Kotetsu Nyūdō."
An image of "a wooden scabbard with decoration of dark matt and fine mother-of-earl lacquer on a dark red ground; metal mounts of silver, with details in gold, all on the theme of Fuden and Raiden, the wind and thunder gods."
A matchlock gun made of iron, wood, and ivory from the Edo period.
A woodblock print from the series Kagoshima Seitō Zenki no Uchi featuring a clash between government forces, dressed in Western-style uniforms and wielding blades mounted Western-style (some with tantō tucked into their sashes) and Satsuma samurai in hakama with Japanese-style blades. "These prints were produced immediately after the events mainly for the consumption of the residents of Tokyo who had a grudging respect for both sides in the Satsuma Rebellion.
The Haitōrei Edict (outlawing the public wearing of swords by samurai), part 1
The Haitōrei Edict, part 2
A plate accompanying an article in The Archaeological Journal, reprinted from Tales of Old Japan
Gassan Sadakazu was one of the gigei-in at the Emperor Meiji's court. This tachi mounting, made for one of his blades, consists of a "scabbard of wood...covered with iron sheet, decorated with dragons, phoenix, shishi and mon (family crests) in silver and gold hira-zōgan (flat inlay) and a "scabbard...signed in a silver cartouche 'Nihon Koku Kyoto no Ju Komai Tsukuru' (made by Komai of Kyoto, Japan)."
Named after General Murata Tsuneyoshi, a gunsmith, the Murata-to were mass-produced swords made for non-commissioned officers and other lower-ranking members of the Japanese Army in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In this woodblock print, "The Imperial Guard division based on Taiwan [is] crushing the enemy army after a furious fight," with officers "carrying traditional swords mounted in Western style," conscript troops, the "Imperial Navy's Rising Sun flag," and a "powerful battleship...These types of prints were produced immediately after the events they depicted and were effective instruments of propaganda in Japan's imperialistic expansion period."

Description

A collection of images illustrating the role of swordsmiths in Japanese society before and during the Meiji Restoration

Source

Ogata Gekkō, ca. 1887. From The Japanese Sword, 19. Irvine, Gregory. The Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. First Edition. Trumbull, Connecticut: Weatherhill, Inc., 2000. Print.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, ca. 1840. Ogata Gekkō, ca. 1887. From The Japanese Sword, 33. Irvine, Gregory. The Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. First Edition. Trumbull, Connecticut: Weatherhill, Inc., 2000. Print.
From The Arts of the Japanese Sword, Plate 19. Robinson, B.W. London, Great Britain: Faber and Faber Limited, 1961. Print.
Ca. 1800. From The Japanese Sword, 96. Irvine, Gregory. The Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. First Edition. Trumbull, Connecticut: Weatherhill, Inc., 2000. Print.
"Matchlock gun (teppo)." Asian Art Museum. San Francisco, California, 2012. Accessed November 22, 2014. http://education.asianart.org/explore-resources/artwork/matchlock-gun. Web.
Yoshitoshi, 1877. From The Japanese Sword, 108 - 109. Irvine, Gregory. The Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. First Edition. Trumbull, Connecticut: Weatherhill, Inc., 2000. Print.
廃刀令 1, 1876. National Archives of Japan, 2007. Accessed November 22, 2014. http://www.archives.go.jp/exhibition/popup_jousetsu_19_2/0706_07_01.htm. Web.
廃刀令 2, 1876. National Archives of Japan, 2007. Accessed November 22, 2014. http://www.archives.go.jp/exhibition/popup_jousetsu_19_2/0706_07_02.htm. Web.
"A Smith at Work." From "Japanese Sword Blades," 5. Dobrée, Alfred. The Archaeological Journal 62: 12, Second Series, Plate 1. London: Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, March 1905. Accessed November 23, 2014 via Hollis+. Harvard University Web.
From The Japanese Sword, 114. Irvine, Gregory. The Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. First Edition. Trumbull, Connecticut: Weatherhill, Inc., 2000. Print.
From Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths, 42. Kapp, Leon, Hiroko Kapp, Yoshindo Yoshihara. First Edition. New York: Kodansha America, Inc., 2002. Print.
"Taiwan-tō kiryū konoeshidan Funsen Tekigun o gekihe," 1895. From The Japanese Sword, 118. Irvine, Gregory. The Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. First Edition. Trumbull, Connecticut: Weatherhill, Inc., 2000. Print.

Date

Ca. 1887
Ca. 1840
Early 17th century
Ca. 1800
Edo period (1615 - 1868)
Meiji 10, Month 8 (1877)
1876
1876
March 1905
ca. 1870 - 1890
ca. 1890's to 1900's
1895

Files

Irvine 19 Compressed.jpg
Irvine 33 Compressed.jpg
Robinson Plate 19 Compressed.jpg
Irvine 96 Compressed.jpg
Matchlock Gun Compressed.jpg
Irvine 108 - 109 Compressed.jpg
廃刀令 1 Compressed.jpg
廃刀令 2 Compressed.jpg
Dobrée 6 Compressed.jpg
Irvine 114 Compressed.jpg
Kapp 42 Compressed.jpg
Irvine 118 Compressed.jpg

Citation

“Inariyama Ko-Kaji – The Swordsmith on Mount Inari,” Japan's Samurai Revolution, accessed February 27, 2021, https://samurairevolution.omeka.net/items/show/18.