One Way Of Looking At Kaneiye
by Takeuchi Fumio (July 1975)(from the 1st edition of The AFU Quarterly)
Edited by Elliott Long

There is no arguing the fact that KANEIE was a master craftsman. He introduced the pictorial style, and it is no wonder that at the same time this is manifested on a very high dimension. Although he was high class, he was subtle, he was rich in classic elegance, he truly did not allow himself to follow in the path of others, and we could say that he really was a man of all times who walked alone.

However, there is almost nothing that becomes data in regard to such a great man as KANEIE. Other than manuscripts of Inaba Michittake in TENMEI GANNEN (1781) and Tanaka Ikkasai in TENPO JUNEN (1839), who were far distant from KANEIE, in the end, there are but a few tens of works that have been lovingly preserved and remain to this day. It is extremely regrettable that the details of his personal history and such are in a condition that is called a complete enigma.

Under these kinds of conditions, in regard to investigations of the time of KANEIE and distinguishing between the generations, from after MEIJI (1868-1912) to the present day, there were a great number of researches conducted, beginning with the venerable Kano Natsuo. However, when it comes to distinguishing the generations, there is the single generation theory; the two generation theory of an OSHODAI and a MEIJINDAI, or a shodai and a nidai; a three generation theory of an OSHODAI, MEIJINDAI and a nidai, or a shodai, nidai and sandai; a five generation theory; nine generation theory; and a theory which says that there was a large number of people. These are extremely varicolored. Furthermore, the basis of these theories are all obscure and unclearly recorded. In the end, looking at a certain KANEIE tsuba, it is very difficult to make a concrete decision which says which generation it is.

I will conduct a comparative investigation of the mei and other factors in regard to KANEIE tsuba by, along with actually looking at the actual tsuba, also using (poorly reproduced) photographs. Since I have tried to utilize a single way of looking at them, I am expressing "My Way of Looking," and I hope to receive the kind criticism of you all. (Takeuchi)


A number of years before, I acquired a KANEIE tsuba with a picture of BISHAMONTEN (I am thinking it is a figure of ZOCHOTEN)(Figure 1). Since then, after an interval of a few years, I tried a comparative investigation of this tsuba with another KANEIE tsuba.

In regard to the mei of KANEIE there has already been the research of Mr. Kuwahara Yojiro and Mr. Torigoe Ichitaro, but when I looked at KANEIE from the view¬point of the mei on my own, I discovered that there existed two product groups. One of these is a mei style that is the same as this KANEIE and is a product group with a fairly large ji form. The tsuba with the TOKUSA KARI (Horsetail reed cutter) picture (Figure 2) is one of this classification. The other is a product group with a fairly small sized mei, and the tsuba with the TOKUSA KARI (Horsetail reed cutter) picture (Figure 3) is one of this classification.

Therefore, first, I will try to comment while comparing the two tsuba with the TOKUSA KARI picture that are classified in these differentiated product groups.

Comparing the mei, and commenting on their specifics, the details of the mei are as fol¬lows. [TN: In the following, although some of the details may be a little difficult to see in the pictures of the tsuba, later in the article there are either magnifications or hand drawn enlarge-ments of the specific features discussed.]
(1) In the overall shape of the ji of the mei, notice that of Figure 2 is fairly large in comparison to that of Figure 3, is broad horizontally, and that of Figure 3 has a tendency to be long vertically.
(2) The horizontal strokes have a bit of a tendency to go up and to the right in Figure 2, and this can be particularly clearly recognized in the YAMA, SHIRO and IE.
(3) If you look at the relationship of YAMA and SHIRO the seventh stroke of SHIRO hangs from the second stroke of YAMA, but its position in Figure 2 is such that it is almost in the middle of the second stroke of YAMA, in other words, it becomes a section which abuts the end of the first stroke of YAMA. However, in Figure 3, it is not in the center, but is over to the right.
(4) As for MI, in Figure 2 the corner of the second stroke is round, but in Figure 3 the corner of the second stroke is square, and the end of the stroke springs upward.
(5) As for IE, in Figure 2 the third stroke is especially up and to the right, and the ninth and tenth strokes are almost touching the eight stroke, and in constrast to this, in Figure 3 the ninth and tenth strokes pass through the eighth stroke, and are also intersecting the seventh stroke.

Work style
If you gaze at these while comparing the work styles, in Figure 2 there is the same TOKUSA KARI picture as in Figure 3, but the necessary elements for the construction of the main theme, which are the three pictures of the distant view of the moon, the geese and the mountain range; the mountain and the pagoda; and the close-up view of the tokusa and the person cutting these; are arranged scattered about as individual pictures in their separate places, and moreover, give the impression of being made to conform to the face of a futatsu mokko gata tsuba. [TN: That is the shape of the tsuba that is shown in Figure 2.] There is no emphasis point anywhere, and due to the space being open on the left side, the composition becomes very unstable. Whether this is called classic elegance or is called classic clumsiness, this is a pose which does not seem to greatly adhere to anything in particular. Furthermore, if you look at the reverse, this feeling is deepened even more. It does show a relationship with the topic on the obverse, but is the destination of the flying geese towards the drying net, or the water surface which has the rock-filled basket? You get the feeling that the geese, the drying net, and the water surface with the rock-filled basket have just been tentatively arranged.

But with Figure 3, first, compared to Figure 2 as a picture, it is completed with a different appearance, and is skilfully done. The crescent moon (mikazuki, or three-day moon) and mountain range in the distant scene, and the human cutting the tokusa underneath the tree in the close-up scene, are very harmonious and stable due to the inclusion of the large tree at the left, and shows superior composition. This completes the picture throughout the entire width, and a world of India-ink painting referred to as a high distant landscape is composed.

If you gaze at the scenery, the blue white light of the crescent moon shines high, distant, and coldly on the standing tree and the human cutting the tokusa (horsetail reeds), and it is almost as if you can even hear the sound of the man working and the cutting of the tokusa. With the theme of the tokusa cutting as being alive, it is harmonious with the kobushi gata (fist-shaped) tsuba, it has a fineness to it without any feeling of breaking up or contradictions, and has an intense pictorial composition. We can probably say that the true value of KANEIE is heightened even more, especially because of this.

Lastly, a special trait is the composition of the ura (back). It looks as if it has some relation to the theme on the omote (front), and in actuality, it shows another independent landscape scene.

Thus, looking at the two tsuba, you probably notice that there are clear differences in the mei style and the work style. However, as to whether we can say that these embrace the entire range of KANEIE tsuba, this must be sufficiently investigated. Therefore, I have attempted to investigate the mei and work styles of some ten plus KANEIE TSUBA that have appeared in books printed before this. (Refer to the table)


If an attempt is made in regard to classifying the mei style, in KANEIE TSUBA there are those with a mei of JOSHO FUSHIMI JU KANEIE, and those with a mei of YAMASHIRO NO KUNI FUSHIMI JU KANEIE. First, if we investigate in regard to those with a mei of YAMASHIRO NO KUNI FUSHIMI JU KANEIE, as can be seen in the following, there are points which stand out clearly, and they can be divided into two product groups. These are viewed as DAIJIMEI (Large Ji Mei) and SHOJIMEI (Small Ji Mei). (Figure 4 and Figure 5).

[TN: In the following text, the numbers in circles associated with pictures of tsuba correspond to the numbers of the tsuba that are listed in two tables at the end of the first of two articles. The numbers are consistent through both articles, and please note that all prime numbers (x') refer to the Shojimei. I have rearranged the layout of the original article so that the illustrations are closer to the related text. Now then as for the pronunciations of DAIJIMEI and OSHODAI, I cannot find any "authoritative sources," so I have taken a guess and used these results throughout the article.]

First, I will present the special features. (See Figure 6)
1. In the Daijimei the ji are comparatively large, are fairly spread out horizantally, are loose, and those in which the traces of the tagane can be seen are comparitively numerous. In the Shojimei the ji are comparitively small, and show a ji form in which the ji are a bit cramped in the vertical direction.

2. In regard to the relationship of the positions of the SHIRO ji and the KANE ji, in the Daijimei as is shown in Figure (1), the SHIRO ji is always higher than the KANE ji, but in the Shojimei, there are also exceptions (for example, the Chokaro of Plate 4), but most of them are as is shown in Figure 2, where they are in the same position, or else SHIRO ji is in a lower position.
3. In the horizonal strokes, in the Daijimei they show a tendency to go upward to the right, and this is particularly noticeable in the YAMA ji, SHIRO ji, and IE ji, but in the Shojimei they are comparatively level.

4. In regard to the spacing between the YAMA and the SHIRO, in the Daijimei they are extremely close, and there is insufficient space between the 2nd stroke of YAMA and the 5th stroke of SHIRO and they are parallel as is shown in Figure 3. However, in the Shojimei, those in which there is comparatively sufficient room, and are not parallel, as is shown in Figure 4, are seen more frequently. Furthermore, in regard to the contact position of the 2nd stroke of YAMA and the top of the 7th stroke of SHIRO in the Daijimei, as is shown in Figure 5, it is in the center, and coincides with the end of the 1st stroke of YAMA. However, in the Shojimei, as is shown in Figure 6, it is away from the center of the 2nd stroke, towards the right. (Figure 6, Plate II)
5. As for the MI ji, in the Daijimei it gives the impression of a roundess, and as in Figure 7, the bend in the 2nd stroke is round, the end seems to flow on, and does not have a hook or brush-up on it. As for the Shojimei, as is shown in Figure 8, it gives the impression of squareness, the bend in the 2nd stroke is square, and the end has a hook on it. (Figure 6, Plate III)

6. As for KANE in regard to the relationship between the 6th stroke and the seventh stroke, as is shown in Figure 9, in the Daijimei, the 6th stroke slants upward from the bottom and has a hook in it, but in the Shojimei, it is horizontal, as is shown in Figure 10. Also, in regard to the 8th stroke (last), in the Daijimei, it appears fairly curved, as is shown in Figure 11, but in the Shojimei it is horizontal and has hard stops, as shown in Figure 12. (Fig ure 6, Plate IV)


7. In IE, in regard to the kanmuri (crown at the top of the ji), in the Daijimei, as is shown in Figure 13, the 3rd stroke goes from bottom to top at a slant, but in theShojimei, as is shown in Figure 14, the 3rd stroke becomes almost horizontal. Also, if you compare the spacing between the beginning of the 3rd stroke at the bottom and the upper section of the 6th stroke, with the spacing between the upper end of the 6th stroke and its bottom end, in the Daijimei as is shown in Figure 15, it is almost 1:2, and the spacing between the 4th stroke and the 6th stroke becomes narrow, as if to crush the upper half, and the circular form of the 6th stroke becomes large. In the Shojimei, as is shown in Figure 16, it becomes a proportion of almost 1:1, the upper half gives the impression of being elongated, the spacing between the 4th stroke and the 6th stroke becomes wide, and the circular shape of the 6th stroke becomes small.

Also, in regard to the 9th stroke and the 10th stroke, in the Daijimei, as is shown in Figure 17, they either do not touch or only slightly the 8th stroke, and they do not intersect with it. However, in the Shojimei, as is shown in Figure 18, the 10th stroke completely passes through the 8th stroke, and even reaches the 7th stroke. (Figure 6, Plate V)

I have divided the product group signed YAMASHIRO NO KUNI FUSHIMI JU KANEIE into the Daijimei and the Shojimei, based on the above characteristics. In the next article, I will compare the mei of JOSHU FUSHIMI JU KANEIE with the mei of YAMASHIRO NO KUNI FUSHIMI JU KANEIE. As is clearly shown in Figure 6, the special characteristics of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 can be recognized as being the same as in the Daijimei.


I have divided the works of KANEIE into the groups of dai and Shojimei, viewed from the appearance of the mei, but I will now look at the works of KANEIE from the standpoint of work style, based on this classification.
1. Over appearance as pictorial tsuba
In the overall appearance as pictorial tsuba, the pictorials with the Daijimei have more of an air of antiquity, a free expression appears in which they largely do not adhere to anything, and gives the appearance of elbow room as the [being by] founder of pictorial tsuba. Here, while having an esteem for space, this was gradually widened, and gives the impression becoming more simplistic, changing to the abstract. Moreover, these pictures certainly do not show a stabilized appearance and composition, they a certain type of imbalance, and being that, I think they seem to pursue the main theme down to the bare essentials. Looking at this from the standpoint of a product, first, in the YAMASHIRO MET BISHAMONTEN ZU (Figure 1), neither the tree nor Bishamonten is the center, the tree is arranged so as to compressed into the periphery of the picture, the space at the bottom left is too empty, and the imbalance of the picture stands out, but being thus, it has great air of antiquity.

Even in the Tokusa kari Zu (6)(figure 2), in the same manner as presented previously, as a picture, there is no point of emphasis, the space at the lower left is empty, and an unstable composition can be seen.

In the ENKO HOGETSU ZU (5)(figure 7), as a composition in which the enko (monkey), tree, and moon are towards the right, the left is large and empty, this is not stable, and even though one can absorb the meaning of the principal theme, there is the impression that this is only a portion of a single picture. However, it does not adhere to a composition as a picture, and this being the case, it harmonizes with the shape of the nadegaku tsuba and makes the most of the large space, and overall has an air of calmness.

In the ISARIBUNE ZU (9)(figure 7), as for the man in the boat on top of the waves fishing, he is wearing a straw hat so big that it hides his body, moreover, the greater portion becomes a large space, it has the appearance of imbalance, and the instability is noticeable, but somehow there is a stronger appeal to something or other than to what is here, and this is where the depth of the modeling strength of KANEIE shows, which appears due to the harmony with the round shape of the tsuba. [TN: Another way to say it is that, by its emptiness, it says more than if it were occupied by picture elements.]

In the SOTOBA SANSUI ZU (10)(Figure 7), the mountains and a tower are drawn in the upper right edge, and a torii is drawn as if peeking in at the lower left edge, and except for these, the empty space is broadened to the maximum and this is a strange composition. Moreover, the tower in the distance appears larger than the torii in the foreground, and this is an imbalance, but it has a freedom to it, space is skilfully used for a raw material of iron, and it gives the impression of adding some sort of majesty to the mysterious.

In the GEKKA GYOSHO ZU(11)(Figure 7), the large moon, which is somewhat distorted and made abstract, as if it had been drawn in one stroke with an ink brush, is in the upper portion of the picture, the form of the boatman riding in the single small boat is in the lower part, and it is unclear from the composition whether the emphasis is on the moon or the person. This is absolutely different than the SANSUI picture, which is composed precisely, and has a free and wild air to it that is unobstructed by composition. It is free and open, and moreover, the small boat is drawn slanting along the circle which forms the tsuba, and though it has this imbalance, it gives no feeling whatsoever of an imbalance. The space is greatly broadened, and a yet deeper symbolic meaning is hinterd at in the simple appearance. This is a bold technique, shows the light of a cold moon and a desolate atmosphere, and a world which is peculiar to KANEIE appears.

Lastly, in the DARUMA ZU (2)(Figure 7), all of the fine, detailed metal work is discarded in contrast to that of the picture, the circle which forms the shape of the iron tsuba, the empty space, and the Daruma are in harmony, and a method is used which gives a creative appearance that could also be called an ultimate appearance, in which nothing could be placed between these elements. However, this degree of skill in the use of space, and this degree of skill in simplified composition is probably something that cannot be seen anywhere else.

No matter which it is, in these product groups, the tendency to simplification is conspicuous. These are pieces in which the space is broadened to the extreme, the imbalanced pictures stand out, and the composition is also unstable, but these show a superior modeling strength in which the circle, futatsu mokko gata, kobushi gata and such of the tsuba are in harmony with the raw material of iron. These can probably be said to exhibit splendidly the art of KANEIE.

The intention of this type of craftsman can even be recognized on the back of the tsuba, and has a type of appearance which is connected to the main theme on the obverse, or to put it another way, is a lingering memory of it. This is also something that could be called "The method which goes between conceptualism and reality" of Mr. Kuwahara Yojiro. In the YAMASHIRO MEI BISHAMONTEN ZU (12)(Figure 8) that is thought to be a product from his initial period, just by the fact that the branches of the tree are on the left, and the mountain and main temple of the monastery are on the right, there is not even a thicket of reeds on the surface of the water, is a scene that is a lingering memory of the main theme on the obverse, which cannot be called a SANSUI ZU (Picture of mountains and streams). In the TOKUSA KARI ZU (6)(Figure 2), this realism can be seen yet more clearly, but this also shows a tendency towards a sketch style, this is gradually simplified in other works, and shows a pattern in which this space is broadened still more. In the ENKO HOGETSU ZU (5)(Figure 8), the mountains and the dead tree, and in the GEKKA GYOSHO ZU (11)(Figure 8), the mountains and the geese done in abstract are drawn, respectively, and in every case the large earth and sky are empty, and along with being simplified, show an appearance of symbolism.

This type of experiment can also be seen in the YAMASHIRO MET BISHAMONTEN ZU (12)(Figure 8) in which the high treetops and geese, and yet again in the KASUGANO ZU (3)(Figure 8) in which the branches of the symbolic style maple, in both cases, are arranged peeking in right and left edges of the scene, and the center is large and empty. In the DARUMA ZU (2)(Figure 8), an absolute void appears, and moreover, this makes the main theme appear as even more flawless, and the pictures on the front and back show complete harmony. This is an expression which must truly be admired, is on the boundary of the extremity of Zen, and it seems that one can see form which reaches the void.

[TN: The last passage is of a religious nature, and rather than try to interpret the religious meaning, I have translated it fairly close to its literal, rather than symbolic, meaning. It is my understanding that to reach a state of nothingness is to reach the state of a Buddha. Suffice it to say that the author seems to regard viewing these works of art as a religious, rather than an asthetic, experience.]

I wonder if this type of presentation method isn't the principal characteristic of the Daijimei product group?

RO Shojimei
In the Shojimei the pictorial style shows a tight and fairly well arranged composition, and in this presentation method the imbalance, and the abstraction and simplification, which could also be called symbolism, cannot be recognized. A completed ink drawing is shown to the utmost, the pictorial style gradually becomes an elaborate composition, and seems to rise to a lofty presentation.

A more characteristic trait is the fact that a presentation method is common in which somewhere in the picture there is a thicket of rushes, or the waves which appear on the surface of the water, that are done in kebori, and this is something which absolutely cannot be seen in the Daijimei product group.

Looking at the products, in the KARA JINBUTSU ZU (19)(Figure 9), there is a tree and person gazing at it, and below this a thicket of reeds, and these three are extremely well balanced and stabilized as a composition, and there is an rozogan (inlay of mist) done in gold to the left of the thicket of reeds, and the person who has stopped along the way increases the feeling of stability due to this rozogan, and at the same time the picture is pulled together.

The construction of this type of elaborately arranged picture can be recognized in all of the Shojimei product group. In the ENKO HOGETSU ZU (1) (Figure 9), the three items of the enko (monkey) on the right, the tree trunk on the left, and the moon reflected in the water at the bottom left show a composition which is in harmony and is extremely stable. In the KISHO ZU (8)(Figure 9), the thicket of reeds is placed ahead in the path of the person walking, the three items of the mountains and tower, person, and reeds show a composition that is in equilibrium and stabilized, and the person places his foot in just the right place on the other side [of the tsuba].

Even in the ENSAN GANRAI ZU(10)(Figure 9), the three items of mountains and geese; two geese; and the rocks, surface of the water, and thicket of reeds; are in harmony, and form a stabilized composition in the picture. It seems as if the geese are really flying in the sky, and there is an impression as if even now one is stoppping at the sound of water on the surface of the water.

Also, in the TSURI JINBUTSU ZU (12)(Figure 9), this is a composition in which a wide space has been emptied, but what is drawn here is a high distant mountain and water surface that has been placed in the far distance, abstraction and simplification cannot be seen, and since the steep mountain range, the person on the shore of the lake, and the water of the lake form a balanced and stabilized scene, it imparts a feeling of composure to the onlooker. The scene in which the solitary fisherman is suspending a line in the water, facing the boundless lake surrounded by deep mountains is well presented, the fishermen harmonizes with the mountains and lake, harmonizes with nature, only nature exists there, and in this type of elegant simplicity, a scroll of mountains and streams is brought forth having an appearance which delivers the soul from the cares of this world. No matter which of these we choose, I think that this type of neatly arranged composition, with no wasted strokes, and which is reminiscent of a water color scroll, is the impression [people have] of a tsuba of KANEIE.

This type of discussion shows even more clearly the advance of the maker in. the composi tion of the obverse [of the tsuba]. In SHOFU ZU (17) and SOTOBA ZU (22), the reverse shows a connection to the obverse because of the main theme, but this is produced in the RIHAKU ZU (20), KISHO ZU (8)(Figure 10) and such, and is produced in the CHOKARO ZU (4),(9) (figure 10) and such. No matter which product it is, a scroll of SANSUI scene appears, and there is absolutely no tendency toward simplification or abstraction.

For example, in the KARA JINBUTSU ZU (19)(Figure 10), a scroll of a SANSUI scene is drawn that is completely independent of the picture on the front, is elaborate, and it seems as if you can even hear the power of the geese alighting in the distance and the sound of the ripples lapping against the edge of the small boat floating on the vast lake.

Also, on the other hand, in the TSURI JINBUTSU ZU (Figure 10), a little bit of a tower and mountains, and in the bottom, a thicket of reeds, are shown, and the space is greatly enlarged, but even in a large space broadened in this manner, there are no places which appear as abstractions or in a symbolic style, and a far distant sansui (mountain and stream) scene is shown as much as is possible.

This type of presentation method in which an independent sansui scene is composed on the obverse is a special characteristic of the Shojimei, and I think that this is a form which cannot be seen in the works of other kinko.

As was presented above, the presentation method of the Daijimei and the Shojimie are diametrically opposite, and show their respective characteristics very individually. If you compare those that show the same respectice subjects, such as the DARUMA ZU (2)(3)(6), ENKO HOGETSU ZU (5)(1)(2), and the TSURI JINBUTSU ZU (9)(12)(The above are in Figures 7, 8, 9, 10), I think you will understand this even more.

In contrast to one that advances simplification, abstraction, and furthermore, symbolism, the other goes to great heights of a lofty sansui (mountains and streams) theme.


(I)Conditions of the mimi
As for the conditions of the uchikaeshi and the sukinokoshi mimi, these seem to be done by the same methods, and are very similar, but if you compare the width of the mimi, you will see that in the Daijimei it is very fine, while in the Shojimei, there are also some that are fine, but there are also some that are a comparatively wide, flat, dote mimi style. I think that there is a relationship with whether the ji is thick or thin.
(RU)Thickness of the ji
These are hira ji (flat ji), the Daijimei are very thin, and the majority are about 1.7 mm at the nakago ana, but in the Shojimei, there are also some that are thin, but there are also many that are around 2 mm thick, or even thicker than that.
(HA)The shape of the mounains in the scenes
If you study closely the shape of the mountains, you will see that in the case of the Daijimei, most of them become like those of Figure 19, the mountain ridge line is simplified in a single line, and furthermore, if you look at this in cross section, you will see than the niku (meat) is lost. Thus, they look more like hills than mountains, and they do not give an impression of steepness. In the Shojimei as is shown in Figure 21, the mountain ridge lines form steps, or they are stacked one on the other, and if you look at this in cross section, you will see that there is niku, as in Figure 22. Therefore, the mountains are like mountains, they give a feeling of being high and distant, and the steepness is brought out.

(NI) Condition of the waves
Looking at the engraving method for the waves, in the Daijimei they are regular and thick, and have the characteristic of being stacked double, their number is also comparatively few, and they have an abstract look. However, in the Shojimei, they become thin and deep kebori style lines, and in the majority they become piled on each other in an irregular fashion.
(HO) Condition of the takabori
Overall, as for the condition of the takabori, jinbutsu (people) and such all become flattish in the Daijimei the inner portions are lower than the outside, there is a tendency for them to be concave, there is no niku, and those that are not a complete three dimensional configuration are in the majority. However, in the Shojimei, are done in takabori (high relief), the inner portion is higher than the outside, they become convex, there is niku (meat), and they show a three dimensional configuration.

As was presented above, when an attempt at observation is made in regard to the mei and work style, based largely on the characteristic traits of the mei, they become divided in to the Daijimei and Shojimei groups. Furthermore, in regard to these respective groups, based on the fact that these show different presentation methods, they can again be divided into the Daijimei and ShOjimei. In the end, characterisitc traits can be recognized accompanying the Daijimei and Shojimei, and there are differences between them.

Considering these types of clear differences, if one were to consider these to be changes in a single generation with the same person, this seems to be unreasonable due to the overwhelming number of points of difference. These types of differences show individualistic traits, and in the end, I think it would be proper to consider the [makers of] Daijimei and the Shojimei to be separate individuals.

This being the case, the question comes up as which was the shodai, but until now, the people who discuss the generational separation of KANEIE all say that the JOSHU mei is that of the shodai or the OSHODAI. Also, Mr. Wada Tsunashiro says that in the shodai KANEIE "Besides the pieces signed JOSHU mei, there are also some with a YAMASHIRO mei," and besides the JOSHU mei, places a number of pieces with a YAMASHIRO mei in the shodai, and the venerable Akiyama Kyusaku, Mr. Kokura Soemon, and Mr. Kuwahara Yojiro also seem to think about the same. Even though it is unclear as to which YAMASHIRO mei indicates KANEIE, this kind of thinking is also in line with some of my way of thinking this time, and I think this is also appropriate. I will also think further about various points, will consider products of the Daijimei group containing the JOSHU mei as works of the shodai or OSHODAI, and consider the product group of the Shojimei to be works of the nidai or the MEIJIN SHODAI.

If we try to make this sort of conjecture, I think we can understand even better the different work styles of the two product groups. Mr. Wada Tsunashiro indicates that, "The shodai KANEIE, - - -makes a refined work by making the design simple - - -. The nidai KANEIE - - - does elaborate people, mounains and streams and such on the obverse in takabori, - - - does a simple sansui (reeds, geese, waterfall in the mountains, and the like) on the reverse, and even though he is called MEIJIN SHODAI because at first glance it is finer than shodai, he does not reach the majesty and refinement of the shodai works." However, this presents important points extremely simplified, and while they show the pictorial style which can be seen in the product group of the OSHODAI, the space is widened, they gradually become simplified and abstract, and furthermore, as for the method which shows a sketch style appearance, the apex of this appears in the DARUMA ZU. [TN: In the following, references are made to Zen Buddhism, which I know very little about. As an over-simplified explanation, one who has achieved enlightment can act very complicated, and yet seem very simple, and the simplest things seem to be all encompassing. They are not hurt by what they do, and will do nothing to hurt anyone else.] However, in regard to this type presentation method, to make a few explanatory remarks, it is just as if a Zen priest, as a presentation of SATORI NO KYOCHI (The sphere of enlightenment), has wildly drawn what seems to be an India-ink picture, while developing a sphere of simplicity. Boundless ideas are transmitted to the viewer due to the opening of the space. Moreover, it is free, expansive, and is not bound by anything. Sometimes, while showing a very unstable composition and appearance, in actuality, it pursues to the finest details the deepest heart of the main theme, and this could be said to show the magnificent modeling strength of the maker.

In contrast to this, the presentation method which can be seen in the product group of the MEIJIN SHODAI is one in which the most you could say is that it is like a scroll an India-ink artist has drawn, shows a stabilized fine appearance and composition, and moreover, the pictorial style gradually matures and has a style in which a high distant sansui (mountains and streams) scene is established. It has a classic elegance and does not permit following in the path of another, and we truly state that the words of Inaba Michitatsu of "This engraving of sansui is first class" is right on target. Looking at them in this manner, I think the differences between the two seem to be self evident.

Also, if we look at this by taking the conjecture one step further, based on this type of a classification, I think we can also make presumptions in regard to the process of the establishment of the respective product groups of the OSHODAI and MEIJIN SHODAI KANEIE. In other words, in the OSHODAI, the YAMASHIRO MEI BISHAMONTEN ZU (12), the TOKUSA KARI ZU (6) and such, are placed in his early period, and this gave rise to the TO SANSUI ZU (10), the GEKKA GYOSHO ZU (11) and such, and the conclusion is that this is the line that is tied to the YAMASHIRO mei product group. Also, in the MEIJIN SHODAI, in the early period, there is the SHOFU ZU (17) and the SOTOBA ZU (22), these gave rise to the ENKO HOGETSU ZU(1), (2) and such, and finally, while discovering the finished style as an India-ink drawing, the process of going on to the ENSAN GANRAI ZU (10), KARA JINBUTSU ZU (19), the TSURI JINBUTSU ZU (12), and such, was conceived.


In the above I spoke in regard to the mei as well as the work style of KANEIE and further presented one way of thinking in regard to the separation of the generations, but in the literature up till now related to the mei and work style of KANEIE are vague in regard to the points to look at so as to place which works of KANEIE in what generation. These are truly unclear in regard to specifics. In regard to the product group of the JOSHO mei, differences in the mei inscription seem to clearly indicate a OSHODAI and a MEIJIN SHODAI, but when it comes to the product group of the YAMASHIRO mei, without any clear indicators, it was nothing more than vague arguments about the separation of generations. This time, from a different viewpoint, I have shown the relationship between the separation of generations to the mei as well as the work style, and have tentatively classified all of the product groups of KANEIE in the two classifications, with the product group of the DAIJIMEI being the shodai or the OSHODAI, and the product group of the SHOJIMEI being the NIDAI or the MEIJIN SHODAI. I have divided KANEIE into two generations, the SHODAI or OSHODAI, and the NIDAI or MEIJIN SHODAI, and have clearly shown the separation of generations in, of course, the JOSHU mei, but in the YAMASHIRO mei as well. Also, by means of classifying them in this manner, I think I was able to indicate one comparatively clear method of identifying which KANEIE tsuba belong to which generation. (Takeuchi Fumio)

The method of thinking presented here is one way of looking at the various mei of Kaneiye. In regard to my views, I think that there are probably some opinions which say that this is nothing more than a redundancy of the research done up until now, opinions which seem to say that rather than conducting various investigations it is better to just say that KANEIE is KANEIE and still other opinions, but because I have dared to express them here for the purposes of my own studies, with the vanity of a beginner, I hope that you will tolerate any insufficiencies.

I would like to express my deep thanks to Mr. Harry Watson (AFU) for his inclusion of this article in his first 1995 AFU Quarterly. A great deal of appreciation is also given to the NBTHK for allowing this very educational article to be used for study purposes in solving the great mystery of the master craftsman KANEIE. Also, I would like to offer my apologies for any editing I may have done that is only expressive of my opinions.


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