Yamazaki Ichiga (Kazuyoshi)
山崎一賀, menuki (c. 1750)
Certification: NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon
Yamazaki Ichiga is the founder of
the well regarded Ichiga School, and worked in the "western kinko
capital" of Kyoto, Yamashiro
Province, in the mid Edo period.
He was a student of Gotō
就乘, the second master of the Gotō Saburoemon family.
in 1744. Yamazaki Ichiga's art name is Kosui (湖水). He had a
very good reputation for taka-bori iroe (painting in high relief with colored metals). He
worked purely in
the style of the mainline Gotō masters, and it is said that his work was
equal in quality to the Gotō of his time.
(Compare with the work of an early mainline Gotō
master, Tokujō, at the very bottom of this page.)
Several styles of his signature exist, and
is thought that there may be more than one generation using this signature. These
menuki are signed on inserted plaques (tanzaku
mei). In the photo the top plaque says Ichiga, the bottom says Yamazaki. The rosin used in mounting these
menuki to the tsuka
is still mostly present.
These menuki show two court
figures with flowing robes covered with gold mon (crests). One figure, with
a two oak-leaf mon, kneels holding out a flowering plum branch with a pheasant
standing on it, as though offering it to the sitting figure with kiri mon
covered robes and wisteria mon on his "pants". The significance, if any, of
these specific mon on the robes is not known.
The base metal is shakudō,
with thick and thin inlays of gold and silver. The thick layers of applied
gold can clearly be seen at the bottom edges of both menuki.
Photos by Jack Edick