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Subject:Japanese cane - please help with inscription
Posted By: Mikeoz Tue, May 11, 2021 IP: 101.164.196.244

This is a Japanese walking cane featuring the image of an eagle about to devour a small monkey.

There is a carefully carved inscription that I would appreciate a scholar like I. Nagy explaining, if he would.

The inscriptions reads (as far as I understand):-

日本國神户楠前

曾奉乾命

岩本建春刀







Subject:Re: Japanese cane - please help with inscription
Posted By: I.Nagy Wed, May 12, 2021

日本国神戸楠前 - Nihon-koku, Kōbe, Kusunoki-mae
Kusunoki is an old town name, now integrated to Kōbe City)
曽奉乾命 - Katsute tatematsuru kenmei - Formerly
given (trigram) kenmei
乾 "ken" is one of the eight divinatory trigrams 八卦 "hakke" symbolizing "Heaven" as a male principle.
These trigrams are determined by the time of birth of a person, and are valid only for 60 years. When somebody reaches the age of 60, he returns his trigram (symbolically).This might have given a good opportunity to someone to get a nice cane carved to express his gratitude for his good luck during the previous 60 years.

Marking of the carver,
岩本建春刀 - Carved by Iwamoto Kenshun

With regards,
I.Nagy


Subject:Re: Japanese cane - please help with inscription
Posted By: mikeoz Thu, May 13, 2021

Dear I Nagy,

Thank you for explaining the inscriptions on my cane.

I'm surprised that there wasn't a name for the owner of the cane. Perhaps it was presented to him on his 60th birthday.

I understand the significance of the 60 years. On my 60th I changed my 號 from 石方 which I had adopted because of my obsession with seals, to 大笨, which I have used for the last 25 years.

The carver of the cane is certainly a great artist, the expression on the eagle's face and the fear in that of the monkey are extraordinary, particularly considering the small size and the medium in which it is carved.


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