Excellent large Dragon tsuba by Mito Ichiryū Yoshitaka with NTHK Certificate
Yoshitaka was a student of the 4th generation Tomoyoshi.This is a beautiful large polished Shakudo tsuba with gold iroe accents.The motif of Dragon and clouds is extremely well carved in Takabori relief. Made in late Edo period. This an excellent example of Ichiryu School workmanship by a lessor known artist of the school but is a masterpiece in its own right.
Signature: Ichiryū Yoshitaka
Height 8 cm, width 7.3 cm
The Ichiryū school (一柳)
The Ichiryū school was founded by Hirano Ryōsuke (平野良助)
who was born in the first year of Kyōhō (1716) and who used the
pseudonym „Ichiryū Tomoyoshi“ (一柳友善). The latter name, as well
*100 and his later first name „Izaemon“ (伊左衛門) was
successively inherited within his family. He called his workshop
„Nagasaki´ya“ (長崎屋) which alluded to Nagasaki, his place of origin.
When he eventually moved to Mito he entered apprenticeship with
Shinozaki Yasuhira. Tomoyoshi died on the 16th day of the seventh
month of An´ei seven (1778) at the age of 63, but there is also the date
of the 16th day of the eleventh month of Tenmei seven (1787)
transmitted for his death. But the former date is also found on his
gravestone and in the death register of Mito´s Kō´enji (光円寺). That
means it can be considered as correct. Incidentally, Fukushi Shigeo
reads the name of the school as „Hitotsuyanagi“, to be found in the
series „Tōsō-tōsōgu shogaku-kyōshitsu 131“ („Tōken-Bijutsu“ 585,
The 2nd gen. Tomoyoshi was the son of Tomoyoshi the first and was
born in Mito in the first year of Enkyō (1744). According to
transmission he also studied in Edo under the 2nd Tsuji generation
Masachika (辻政近) who worked, as mentioned in chapter 30.6, for the
Mito-Tokugawa family but from their Edo facilities. The 2nd gen.
Tomoyoshi died on the 14th day of the twelfth month of Tenmei three
(1783) at the young age of 40.
The 3rd gen. was the student and later adopted son of the second
generation. He bore first the first name „Sō´emon“ (惣右衛門) before
he took over the hereditary name „Izaemon“. He retired during the
Bunsei era (1818-1830) and died on the 27th day of the fourth month of
Tenpō eight (1837).
*100 Whereas the character for „Ryōsuke“ can differ, for example with (猟助) or (龍介).
His successor as 4th gen. Tomoyoshi was his son who was born in
the eighth year of Tenmei (1788). He died on the third day of the sixth
month of Ansei five (1858) at the age of 71. He was followed by his
The 5th gen., who signed in his early years with the name
„Tomotsugu“ (友次). Tomoyoshi the fifth died on the 27th day of the
ninth month of Keiō one (1865). The 6
th gen. Tomoyoshi was the eldest
son of the fifth generation and was born in Mito on the 19th day of the
eighth month of Kōka three (1846). He went later to Edo and died on
October 5th 1922 at the age of 77.
Hasegawa Takeshi (長谷川武) supports a „seven-generation theory“
which is also followed by Fukushi Shigeo. In the following I would like
to introduce their counting which differs somewhat from the handeddown succession of generations.
According to them, the 3rd gen. was the
son of the 2nd gen. but died young, namely on the 16th day of the
eleventh month of Tenmei seven (1787) at around the age of 23. His
successor as 4th gen. was Sō´emon, the adopted son of the 2nd gen., who
died on the 27th day of the fourth month of Tenpō eight (1837) at
around the age of 70. The 5th gen. was the Tomoyoshi who is commonly
counted as the 4th gen. who died in Ansei five (1858). The 6th gen. was
the Tomoyoshi who signed in his early years with „Tomotsugu“
7th gen. accordingly his son who died in 1922. To make a long story
short, Hasegawa and Fukushi count the Tomoyoshi who died young,
and only four years after the 2nd gen., as the 3
rd gen. and not the adopted
son of Tomoyoshi the second. In their opinion the latter followed later
as the 4th gen. This results in a shift of one generation.
Hirano Tomomichi (平野友道) was the second son of the 1st gen.
Tomoyoshi. His first name was „Sanzaemon“ (三左衛門),*101 he used
the gō „Chō´entei“ (長莚亭), and died according to transmission at the
age of 58.
*101 The „Sōken-kishō“ and the „Edo-kinkō-meifu“ list his first name as „San´emon“ (三右衛門).
The successor of Tomomichi as 2nd gen. of this Ichiryū line was his
son Tomomitsu (友光), whose civilian name was „Hirano
Tomosaburō“ (平野友三郎).*102 Tomomitsu used the gō Ichiryūsai“
(一柳斎), „Senryūken“ (川柳軒) and „Tōkaken“ (桃下軒) and was
active from about Bunsei (1818-1830) to Kōka (1844-1848).
Tomomichi had an outstanding student called „Yoshiaki“ (善明).
Yoshiaki´s civilian name was „Ōsaki Tōkichi“ (大崎藤吉) and he
originally came from Ōmi province. He also studied later under the 3rd
gen. Tomoyoshi (or under the 4th gen. according to Hasegawa/Fukushi).
His gō was „Kogetsutei“ (孤月亭) and he was active from about Bunsei
(1818-1830) to Kōka (1844-1848).
Ichiryū Tomotoshi (一柳友寿) was the son of the 4th gen.
Tomoyoshi (i.e. or the 5th gen. according to Hasegawa/ Fukushi). He
was born in Mito in the second year of Tenpō (1831) as „Hirano
Unosuke“ (平野卯之助). He was very talented and went later to Edo
but after the ban on swords and the strong decreasing orders for sword
fittings he also made ornaments for the growing consumer and collector
class from Europe and the USA which were exported from Yokohama.
Tomotoshi used the gō „Ichiryūken“ (一柳軒) and „Kōkakudō“
(皐鶴堂) and died on the 30th day of the twelfth month of Meiji 22
(1889) at the age of 59.
Another student of the 4th gen. (or the 5th gen. according to
Hasegawa/Fukushi) was Tomoyuki (友随). His civilian name was
„Koizumi Sōsuke“ (小泉宗助) and he used the gō „Ranjutei“ (蘭寿亭)
and „Ranrantei“ (蘭々亭). Tomoyuki also bore the family name