Shakudo Tsuba Decorated With Daruma Gazing At a Cave Wall
Shakudo tsuba decorated with Daruma gazing at a cave wall.
Daruma was a legendary buddhist monk that lived in 5th or 6th century. There are two stories regarding his life very skilfully shown on this tsuba. First one is about a time he visited Shaolin Temple in China. There he spend 9 years gazing at a wall of a cave. On this tsuba sukashi opening looks like a cave and he is looking straight at the center, so directly at the wall of the tsuba. This is a very smart and unique way of using body of the tsuba to convey a story.
Daruma eyes are fully open with visible sclera, made with silver inlay and pupils made with shakudo inlay. Those widely open eyes refer to a story from Daruma life. One day he fall asleep during meditation. As a punishment he cut off his eyelids and throw them on the ground. In the same spot they landed, first green tea plants emerged.
Hossu is also carved on this tsuba. It is a short staff of wood or bamboo with bundled hair or hemp wielded by a Zen Buddhist priest.
Near hossu is a gumbai, military fan.
Tsuba made of shakudo with silver, yamagane, shakudo and gold inlay.