The playful theme shows a dog or puppy in takabori iroe (高彫色絵) with a stick in it’s mouth. The dog has his paw on a long shakudo string that is attached at the other end to a awabi (abalone) shell (鮑) also finished in shakudo and iroe. This shakudo is a rich black in colour and the nanako is fine.
There kogai has a special trait in that it’s construction method is quite different from the norm. This kogai has a method for attaching the design (the dog in this case) to the Jiban that is called KARAKURI-DOME (絡繰止). In most cases, the design of the piece and the kogai itself is either carved out of a solid piece of metal, or the design is inlayed into the work. In this case however, the dog is attached with Kurikara-dome. A small metal column is attached to the back of the dog, which is then passed through a hole and then flattened over on the back of the kogai. Looking at the back of the kogai, this is evident in what appears to be a rivet directly inline with the center of the dog.
This KARAKURI-DOME is generally used for attaching mon to kodogu. The fitted Kogai of a sword ranked “Nationally Important Cultural Property” and made by TAKAGI NAGAMITSU has the same construction method as this Kogai. Works that feature KARAKURI-DOME are found in Ko Goto kodogu.
Size, Total length 215mm x Dô width 15mm and Sao width 6mm.
A similar example can be seen in Ko Kogai on page 311, with similar examples of work on pages 262 and 432.
Thank you for reading.