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Birds in a tree

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Picked up this set of menuki, they didnt come with any information so anything someone can tell me about it is appreciated. Looks like shakudo with gold. The set got a very nice three dimensional effect of depth in hand not easily captured on camera.










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I agree - they're cute. It is very diplomatic of you to call it not spectacular workmanship. It is quite clear it is not something Gotô Ichijô pulled out of his sleeve but charming still.


I actually find the sloppiness of some of the lines humorous. Maybe too much sake in the workshop, or the start of someone's career.

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Its not like everybody could afford to have the top guys make pieces for their koshirae :-)


I wonder if the theme is "Ou Shuku bai" (鴬宿楳) - here's a piece of the writeup from a tsuba I have with that theme:


"The theme, ou Shuku Bai or uguisu shuku bai refers to a story about an Emperor Murakami who, in response to all the plum (bai) trees dying around the Seiryoden palace commanded the transplantation of all new plum trees in his domain to the palace to replace them. After this was done, a paper of waka Poetry was found attached to the branch of one tree. it said: "Followed the awesome Imperial decree obediently, but how shall I answer the Brush Warblers ("O" (uguisu)) when they ask about their lodging ("shuku")?". The emperor found that the poem was composed by the daughter of "Ki no Tsurayuki", a celebrated poetress, and the plum trees were from her garden. The emperor was moved by the poem and subsequently returned the trees.




(Richard George)


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