Posts Tagged ‘samurai equipment’

A set of saddle and stirrups, lavishly decorated in gold maki-e, and belonging to Shimazu Nariakira, has surfaced in Osaka. Held by Takatsuki City in Osaka prefecture, the saddle and stirrups might have been a gift from the shogunate to Shimazu Nariakira (1809-1858), second-to-last daimyô of Satsuma han, and adoptive father to Atsuhime, wife of Shogun Tokugawa Iesada.

Despite being associated with this 19th century figure, the saddle and stirrups are believed to date back to the Muromachi period. The date Entoku 2 (corresponding to 1490 in the Western calendar) is engraved into the underside, along with the kaô (a special kind of signature) of Ise Sadamune, mandokoro shitsuji (government steward) of the Muromachi shogunate. It seems likely that the gold foil decorations were, at least in part, added later, warrior accoutrements such as these having become far more a matter of display than of practicality as the Edo period went on; in the early Sengoku period, when these were fashioned, they were presumably fashioned with much more practical purposes in mind.

The city obtained these objects from a local collector in 1989. One record has been found indicating that they were given to Shimazu Narioki (Nariakira’s father), by Tokugawa Ienari at some point, in exchange for a 100,000 ryô payment (donation?) to the government. The Shimazu family then sold the set at auction in 1928, at a time of financial need.

The stirrups and saddle will be on display at the Takatsuki City Shiroato History Museum until May 16.

Original text provided on account of Asahi’s failure to archive. When Asahi starts archiving articles and making them available on their own website, I will stop posting full-text, and will encourage my readers to go through the official site.









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