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Nice set of fittings with fish theme.


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This is a set of fittings that I have owned for many years.  The maker is Asai Yoshihiro, and one of the really interesting features is that the tsuba is made of soft metal on one side and iron on the other (shown is only the soft metal side).  


There is an inscription that looks like an appraisal underneath the set (see next page).   I can make out most of it:

Yoshihiro mon jin Edo yotsuya ju is the middle line and Asai Yoshihiro gyotaku mei jin nari is the right side.  My understanding is that he lived in Yotsuya in the Edo period and was famous for making fish images.  


The left line appears to have the name of the appraiser, and I can't figure that one out (see next page). 



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Bob, when I opened the page I first looked at the image, saw the fish theme, and thought ‘Iwamoto work’.
I had not heard of Asai before, and looked him up.
It seems that Asai Ryōun was the early name of Iwamoto Konkan…


With regards to the hakogaki, it should be read from left to right. So what you have would be read as 
‘Asai Ryōun gyotaku meijin Ryōkan monjin Edo Yotsuya jū’ (浅井良云魚拓名人良寛門人江戸四谷住)

In terms of translation, it should be interpreted as

‘Asai Ryōun (浅井良云), master of fish prints (魚拓名人), student of Ryōkan (良寛門人), resident of Yotsuya, Edo (江戸四谷住)’


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Something about this one (拓) one doesn't feel right.

彫 was a possibility I was considering, but I think it needs to be kane-hen

And the far left line? I think I can get it, but I'm not 100% confident. 






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Steve, I agree with your reading of the nengō, it also makes sense as that was the era when Konkan died.

However, the sentence itself seems strange, as it would suggest that Konkan was a person of that era, rather than that he lived until that time.

As for your query about 魚拓 (fish-print), an alternative could be 魚形 (fish-like).

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Thanks go to all of you, Morita San, Steve San and Kyle San.   What a great surprise that it was made by Iwamoto Konkan!  I will have to show you both sides of the tsuba.  The other side is iron and very different from the side you can see.  The tsuba is the two types of metal welded together right down the middle.   I haven't seen that before.   

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You are very welcome, Bob.

Just to bring together the parts of the translation (adding Steve’s contribution) and presenting it line-by-line as on the hakogaki (just in case you want to print it out and include in the box):


Asai Ryōun, master of fish prints (浅井良云魚拓名人也) 

Student of Ryōkan, resident of Yotsuya in Edo (良寛門人江戸四谷住) 

A person of the year of Kyōwa [1801] (享和年問人) 


Please do post the other side of the tsuba. I have seen a couple of tsuba which have been made with two separate plates, both of which were Gotō Ichijō (one of was signed, the other in the Ichijō hot-stamp style), and were made of shakudo and copper, and shakudo and shibuichi respectively. I can post pictures, if you are interested. However, I’ve never seen a soft metal and iron together. 


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