This October, I had the pleasure of being able to visit the Sukagawa (pronounced Ska ga wa) City Museum in Fukushima prefecture, Japan. At the invitation of museum curator, Miss Kazue Kan’no, I was there to study part of the collection of tosogu donated to the museum by the late Mr Aotsu Yasuju. Mr. Aotsu was born in Sukagawa in 1893. He collected tosogu over many years while running a ceramics shop in the town. He continued collecting for 70 years donating the majority of the collection to the museum in 1981. Mr Aotsu passed away in 1984.
I was given the agonising task of selecting 30 of the over 400 tsuba that makes up part of the collection for my study and I can assure you it was no easy task. I decided to just look at tsuba and leave the other tosogu out for the time being. And seeing that the vast majority of the tsuba collection is old iron, it was right up my alley.
This is a fairly long article so I have uploaded a PDF to the Nihonto KanjiPages instead of taking up a lot of space here.. Here are the link to that file.
I hope this article is of some use to readers. It was a great pleasure to visit the museum, Miss Kazue and the collection and I look forward to my next visit.