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Jiryusai Tomohide Minogame Tsuba


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#1 Vermithrax16

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 02:32 AM

I like stories, legends, and a tsuba that tells one. So of course I fell for this tsuba, even though by decision I shy away from smaller tsuba. Really glad I did. Arrived yesterday, picked up today at Post Office. Had fun all evening so far in study.

 

A short link to tell the tale of the Minogame in Japanese Culture (most probably know it, but it was new to me):

http://the-turtle-co...se-culture.html

 

Snippet:

"The minogame is said to live at least a thousand years (with some living up to 10,000 years!) and have a long, hairy tail, which is actually seaweed and algae that have grown on its shell due to its ripe old age! It has very similar to the real-life common tortoise, which can live for hundreds of years. In Japanese culture, the minogame represents longevity and wisdom, and is a long-revered symbol of both. In art, it is often shown with other gods and symbols of longevity, such as the crane, or Taoist deities such as Jurōjin. The minogame is also depicted with the Three Jewels, which represent fortune."

 

This work is by Miyake Jiryusai Tomohide, son of Miyake Terumitsu, Yokoya School (was some confusion in Haynes index on this point). 

 

NBTHK Hozon in November 2018:

nihiki-minogame no zu tsuba (⼆匹蓑⻲図鐔) ‒ Tsuba depicting two old turtles with seaweed growing on their backs
Signed: Jiryūsai Tomohide + kaō (⾃⽴斎友英「花押」)
Oval shape (tatemaru-gata), of shakudō with ishime ground, takabori relief, sukisagebori engravings, zōgan inlay, iroe accents, angular rim with some roundness (kaku-mimi ko-niku)
 
Size: 70.6mm X 66mm X 4.7mm
 
I am super excited about this piece, it's a stunner in hand. Detail work and accents/inlays are wonderful to look at. I don't want to over talk it. Only negative (knew this going in, so was my choice) as it's shakudo, there is some tarnish (verdigris?) in some areas. I am fully prepared to have this restored if it can be done (Ford Hallam) but it's wonderful right now and maybe dehydrate then protect with ren wax could be an option. 
 
Tomohide_front.jpg
Tomohide_back.jpg
Tomohide_Minogame1.jpg
Tomohide_rockflowers.jpg
Tomohide_side2.jpg

 

 


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Jeremiah

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"I think that there must be."


#2 b.hennick

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 02:38 AM

Lovely!


Regards,
Barry Hennick

#3 Tanto54

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 02:45 AM

Very nice!


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George M.

#4 Ooitame

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:26 AM

Very nice, quite the tortoise and hare collection you have.
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#5 Vermithrax16

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:28 AM

Very nice, quite the tortoise and hare collection you have.

Setting up a race :)


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#6 TETSUGENDO

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:32 AM

Beautiful Jeremiah, so much better from YOUR photos.  Since your sending It to Ford for some touch up, best leave it all to him....it will be perfect when he's done with it.

 

-S-


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#7 Bazza

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 09:39 AM

Mmmmmmmm...  I'd take advice on using Renaissance Wax ('ren wax').  Personally I wouldn't - the Japanese didn't have it, right??  But what DID they have?  They had ibota - was that used on fittings??  Then somewhere rattling around in my brain is a kernel of a thought that I've read somewhere in the dim past that the Japanese did use a "vegetable" wax on their fittings.  I have no idea.  Does anyone know??  I think its an important question for tosogu preservation - I have some nice items that I wonder about in terms of both lifting their appearance as well as enhancing their continued preservation.

 

BaZZa.
 

EDIT:  Mmmmmmmm...  as in "Lovely" rather than questioning the use of wax...  Just to be clear.  Stunning tsuba Jeremiah.



#8 John A Stuart

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 11:16 AM

"Ibota-ro is a natural insect wax. The larvae of the wax scale insect (ibota mushi; Ericerus pela) live on the ibota-no-ki bush (a species of privet, Ligustrum ibota), and frequently form an infestation. The larvae protect themselves by producing a fine waxy thread that form little balls on the branches of the ibota privet. Eventually branches are densely covered by the waxy deposits, which are then collected, heated, and cleaned to extract the high melting point wax.

The wax has a wide number of applications. In polishing it prevents friction between the migaki-bo and the blade. It is used in tsukamaki for polishing samekawa prior to doing the wrapping. It is also used for as a final polish for shirasaya, as a traditional finish for Japanese coloured metalwork, and has been used in Japan to coat tsuba in order to inhibit rusting. Ibota-ro is also used to polish furniture, cabinet work, wooden utensils, and to make sliding doors move smoothly and noiselessly." Ryujin site.


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#9 ROKUJURO

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 11:35 AM

For veggies, I recommend Carnauba or Carnuba wax.


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#10 Vermithrax16

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 12:39 AM

Thanks for the tips on ren wax. My preference is to just leave it as is and monitor. None of the tarnish areas seem "active" so maybe fine as is. I will be talking with Ford soon and go from there.


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#11 Ford Hallam

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 03:17 PM

It's correct that Ibota wax was traditionally used on tosogu.

 

However we now know that this is not wise in the long run.

 

"..Over time the wax will inevitably degrade due to the presence of atmospheric oxygen, moisture and ultra violet light resulting in a break down of their esters into their component fatty acids.

 

 

 

This break down of the wax is greatly accelerated by the presence of copper.

 

These organic fatty acids then react with copper or zinc (in brass) ions by a process known as saponification to form a corrosion product called copper or zinc soaps. The copper soaps appear as deep green surface encrustations whereas the zinc soaps are typically white. There is evidence to suggest that this process may in fact be further accelerated on patinated copper."

 

The Technology of Japanese Art Metalwork - Metals, alloys and patination.

 

A History and practical manual.

 

by Ford Hallam


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#12 Brian

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 03:37 PM

Ford, is Renaissance Wax absent of this effect?


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#13 Logan09

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 06:24 PM

Just throwing in my 2Cents, why not Beeswax? I use it on pretty much everything, wood furniture (mixed with oil) and on metal.
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#14 Ford Hallam

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Posted 19 April 2019 - 10:45 PM

Beeswax will break down to fatty acids also but microcrystalline wax like renaissance wax is apparently stable. It was developed at the British museum so I think it's fairly reliable and trusted in Professional circles.
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#15 STEVES87

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 12:22 PM

What time frame are we talking about? months, years, decades?
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#16 Ford Hallam

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Posted 20 April 2019 - 07:05 PM

Stephen,

 

in laboratory tests this effect can be triggered in a matter of days but as I described there are a number of contributing factors, worst case scenarios are probably not helpful but from my own work as a restorer I would suggest there's no immediate panic required in terms of older pieces rather it would be a matter of improving our 'best practice' moving forward.

 

If there's an ugly green staining visible, that's also a bit slimy, that's a good sign it needs dealing with pretty quickly.


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#17 Vermithrax16

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 02:05 AM

Great wax discussion! Interesting. For cars I swear by Collinite 845.

 

In any case, am in discussion with Ford on getting this spectacular tsuba (IMO) to it's best state.


Jeremiah

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"I think that there must be."


#18 STEVES87

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 02:05 AM

Thank you Ford, in perfect conditions that is no time at all!
Jeremiah, you have a wonderful Tsuba here and I hope you can share any work that Ford will accept to carry out.
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#19 Vermithrax16

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 02:42 AM

Actually, it's a question I have that the more experienced members maybe can help with.

 

This tsuba has NBTHK papers and the picture matches the work of course, but shows the blemishes. If I have this restored/cleaned/etc I think as long as I document it, it won't be an issue. Any input?


Jeremiah

"Is there gonna be a fight Wyatt?"

"I think that there must be."


#20 Frank Gorelik

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 01:30 AM

As long as it is professionally/respectfully restored there shouldn't be an issue.

Frank  Gorelik


#21 Surfson

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 02:35 AM

I  like it Jeremiah.  I have a soft spot for Minogame (not tortoises or turtles folks!), and I really like the ground work on it (ishime).  Cheers, Bob


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