Ko Goto Shakudo Nanako Kozuka.

NBTHK Tokubetsu Kicho Nintei-sho

Rare Ko-Goto kozuka. Ko Goto works date to the mid/late Muromachi (1440-1573) and Azuchi-Momoyama (1574-1600) periods. This one is the cicada theme. It is meant to remind us not to focus blindly on immediate goals. This relates to the wonderful Chinese story of the cicada, mantis and the sparrow. In this legend, a servant of the price of Wu witnesses the mantis as it was devoured by a sparrow. This happened because the mantis focused single-mindedly on the cicada it was stalking and did not take heed of the lurking sparrow. This warns us not to be eager to devour easily apparent opportunities because we may forget the dangers that surround us. This lesson changed the Price of Wu's battle plan to a successful one.

This kozuka is in wonderful condition considering its age of more than 500 years. The shakudo nanako ji has a rich black purplish color and the cicada's wings are covered with a sheet of real gold. Accompanied by a 1974 NBTHK Tokubetsu Kicho Nintei-sho paper.

Study notes:
Recent study with advanced students who have kindly shared there knowledge with me have indicated that this is most likely a work of the Nidai. More info to come ...

This kozuka is similar to the workmanship of Yujo, the first mainline master (1440-1512) shown below. The character of the nanako, the nanako placement, use of gold in the design, manner of the branches and overall feel of the piece are similar. Please see the reference photo below and compare it to this kozuka.