Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Browse: 2213 objects

Reference URL


Send e-mail

Contact us about this object

Send e-mail

Send to a friend

Aori-shaped tsuba with tea ceremony cauldron and poem

Glossary (2)

shibuichi, tsuba

  • shibuichi

    alloy of copper and silver, patinated to a dull grey-green colour

  • tsuba

    Japanese sword guard.


    • currently in research collection

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


Publications online

  • The A.H. Church Collection of Japanese Sword-Guards (Tsuba) by Albert James Koop

    The A. H. Church Collection of Japanese Sword-Guards (Tsuba)

    Aori; hammered-up edge; on the front, in low relief occupying most of the field is a cast-iron cauldron (for the Tea Ceremony) etched with a pattern of susuki grass; its flat knobbed lid is in shibuichi, its lifting-rings in gold; the ground surrounding it is rough stone-grain silver; on the back, in raised characters is a haikai (three-line poem), also a few dots of gold and the gold-encrusted name of the writer, Shumpo (as [EAX.11052]); specially made tang-hole plugs, partly gilt. Signed at the back: Riūsō Hōgen [Japanese text] with kakihan [Figure]. (The founder of the school.)

    The poem reads:

    Sumi kuzu ni Mixed with broken charcoal
    Iyashi karazaru They do not look vulgar;
    Ko no ha kana Yet they are but humble leaves of a tree.

    I.e. fallen leaves, vulgar as they look on the ground, no longer seem so when mixed with charcoal and so promoted for use in the Tea Ceremony.

© 2013 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum