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Tsuba motifs ?

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You guys are weird. You argue even when you are actually agreeing with each other.
Read again folks. 9/10 of you agree. 1 Doesn't. fair enough.

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No real argument with Chris, I think there was just a little misunderstanding on which version of goose we were talking about. It was in fact this one:

 

goose.png.5924407db410bb5e108628419efbdadf.png


Anyway, if we can pick up that conversation again, I don't doubt that Japanese artisans knew how to realistically represent geese, see e.g. the Echizen example posted by Piers. However, there is also a tendency in Japanese art towards stylization, and beyond a certain point you no longer have the representation of a thing but rather a symbol for that thing. For example, I recall reading somewhere that simple horizontal bars in a tsuba represent a dragon.  We are perhaps not at that stage yet with the shape pictured above, but it seems sufficiently ambiguous to me that I would even accept it as a bat if someone brought evidence that this the way a particular group of tsuba artisans used to represent bats. That's where the knowledge of Japanese people who do this for a job, and are familiar with all of the possible representations of bats and geese in tsuba, comes into relevance...

 

P.S. I am also wondering if I'm looking at that goose upside down, and it's actually the neck, not the tail, that is encircled by the wings?

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Sometimes its hard to recognize a subject in artistic representation. Here a traditional representation of a plover (千鳥 - chidori), surely quite different from the true animal in nature.

036a.thumb.jpg.6538a7643dde11ef7cc6aa11a39ddc17.jpg

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Not to mention this representation, scarcely different from the geese in the previous page:

 

IMG_3584.thumb.jpg.aec5684b7bc06708c3697656a793a66d.jpg

 

 

BTW, I wonder if the motif of this tsuba of mine is plovers or geese:

IMG_2574.thumb.jpeg.01af52b676f71b9fbd8ed4d8b000ef8e.jpeg

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7 hours ago, PietroParis said:

 I am also wondering if I'm looking at that goose upside down, and it's actually the neck, not the tail, that is encircled by the wings?

Pietro,

this TSUBA depicts geese in a more natural way which could support your opinion as well as the symbolized sketch Chris showed.

Holgersson 5364.jpg

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Back to the original image - It is a bird, but if you go out at night it could be a bat - who could tell the difference in the dark!😉

What seems to be the problem is which end is the head and what the tail? Vague!

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It is a bat roost in the eaves of a Japanese temple where bats are considered as great fortune and lucky.😂

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Adam - Like having bats in the Belfry - I think it has a different meaning in the Western world!😇

 

There is another design on the guard that has already been described as crossed 'hammers' they reminded me of guard I have, that I call a teapot but is in fact a Taiko drum with an attached drumstick - could they be crossed drumsticks? The hitsu-ana being used to represent drums at the same time? It would be a clever use of the hitsu as a design element. 

Maybe I am just 'banging on' 

image.thumb.png.e2975c19586548d543900f3288d5503c.png

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Adam you may have something there with the temple eaves being part of the top and bottom designs - this picture is not exactly the same design but I have noticed most temples have a unique ornament at the corner of the roof and carved eaves.  It may even be possible to find a match on a temple from the area of the tsuba's manufacture, if that is in fact what it represents?

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Florian I have a guard of a similar design and one not mine. Image of one almost identical to your picture and a display board I made in the same shape. Still looking for a temple with the design like the original post - could be what is represented?

image.thumb.png.2dd9958895a053ceeed845c03e0516f1.png

image.png.6d4f21078a4931e432de8251a5370590.png

image.thumb.png.a27fc96c57ffc2fec9e4c3850049d751.png

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You will note the ornamentation in the upper part of Mauro's Tsuba (also in some of the other shown tsuba) is similar to the ornament in question.

It may be that some temple roof tops could fit to this form but IMHO I doubt a concrete reference to a certain temple.

 

Sometimes an ornament is just an ornament - without a special meaning.

 

But if You need an interpretation I would stick to the initial idea of a flower bud and sprouting leaves.

 

Best,

Florian

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