Tokuoki (篤興) was born on November 17th of Bunka 10 (1813) and he passed away on December 10 of Meiji 24 (1891) at the age of 79. He was the eldest son of Yahan Teigogai. He married the eldest daughter of Kawarabayashi Hideoki (川原林秀興) and became his student. He worked in Kyôto. After the Meiji Restoration, he was placed in charge of the government office for the encouragement of industry located in Kyôto.
Tokuoki’s (篤興) family names were Sasayama (篠山) and Fujiwara (藤原). His art names were Bunsen (文僊), Bunsendô (文僊堂), Hôsendô (方仙堂), Ikkôsai (一行斎), Manundô (万雲堂), Masaichirô (政一郎), Ôsumi (大泉), Sensai (仙斎), and Shôkatei (松花亭).
Sasayama Tokuoki (篠⼭篤興, 1813–1891) belonged to the renowned Ōtsuki (⼤⽉) School of Kyōto kinkō artists and hadstudied with Kawarabayashi Hideoki (川原林秀興, 1788–1851), who was the best student of master Ōtsuki Mitsuoki (⼤⽉光興, 1766–1834). At that time, the Ōtsuki School had given rise to many outstanding artists, e.g., Ōtsuki Mitsuhiro (⼤⽉光弘), Minayama Ōki (皆⼭応起), Tenkōdō Hidekuni (天光堂秀国), and Matsuo Gassan (松尾⽉⼭), and among them, Tokuoki was held in particularly high esteem. In Bunkyū two (⽂久,1862).
Tokuoki (篤興) received orders for making the fittings of a sword worn by the Tokugawa Shōgun, for which he was rewarded with the honorary title of Ōsumi no Jō (⼤隅掾). The year after, in Bunkyū three (1863), he had the honor ofmaking sword fittings for Emperor Kōmei (孝明天皇, 1831–1867) and was given the art name Ikkōsai (⼀⾏斎) on thisoccasion. Tokuoki’s workmanship mostly follows b the style of the Ōtsuki School, which is picturesque motifs interpreted in takabori relief with iroe accents, but he made also much use of flush hira-zōgan, katakiribori, and other forms ofdecoration. Tokuoki’s forte were bold motifs, but which retain the classical elegance of Kyōto aesthetics, and his works are certainly of outstanding quality.
This tantô tsuba is a superb example of his work. It is oval in shape. It measures 2.724 inches or 6.92 cm by 2.03 inches or 5.16 cm. The thickness at the mimi (rim) is 0.19 inches or 0.48 cm. This is an iron tsuba that is decorated with fluffy golden clouds done in gold hira-zogan floating over a turbulent sea done in kata-kiribori and raised carved motif with golden drops of sea spray throughout. Both sides are decorated in this manner. It is signed Tokuoki Tsukuru (篤興造)(made by Tokuoki)。
This tsuba is in excellent condition and comes in a custom made fitted wooden box. It is accompanied by NBTHK Hozon Tosogu papers attesting to the validity of the signature and the quality of the workmanship.