Copper kozuka with design of Shishi on the front and Peony (Botan) on the reverse. The plate has a stone-textured effect (ishime-ji). The Peony is carved in katakiri bori style with gilding on three of the leaves. Mumei. Edo period.
Katakiri bori is designed to simulate sumi-e ink painting and involves incising the metal to produce a V-shaped groove, the angle of one side being far greater than the other. This style of carving was developed by the famous machibori artist Yokoya Somin.
I originally thought this kozuka might have been from the Goto school, however I asked Robert Haynes (through Elliott Long) and Robert replied “The kozuka is not Goto, it is Yokoya school and a very fine piece”.
Legend has it that the dew of the Botan (Peony) contains the cure for the problem created by the bug living inside the lion dog. Therefore, the animal can never stray too far away from the flowers or it will have to suffer the torment of the bug.
Length – 9.6 cm
Width – 1.4 cm