This is the jizai okimono created by Myouchin Muneaki in 1713. It’s currently confirmed as the oldest jizai okimono in existence. Jizai okimono is a kind of tankin where creatures such as dragons, lobsters, butterflies, and other animals are replicated realistically in metals such as iron, copper, silver, gold-copper alloy, or others.
About Tankin’s History
It was introduced to Japan from China as a manufacturing method during the Yayoi period (300BC-300AD), then from the Asuka Period on, it was used for Buddhist art, particularly metalwork ornaments using gold and Buddhist altar equipment.
After the Heian era, they devoted the technique for battle, making lots of armor, metalworking items to decorate sword scabbards, and other such items.
Guns were imported during the Muromachi and Sengoku periods, and for that they built secure, practical armor.
In the Azuchi-Momoyama period, they made tea utensils for the tea ceremony culture, especially posessions for Toyotomi Hideyoshi such as a solid gold tea kettle and other complex, elaborately made products.
During the middle era of the Edo Period, there was no war so tankin bloomed as a way to create ornamental art.
Extremely elaborate tankin techniques like “jizai okimono,” which allowed the craftsperson to freely change its shape, were established. These techniques could only be created in Japan.
Since the Meiji Period, the technique has extended to ordinary dinnerware, cookware, and other supplies.
This excellent technique has been passed on to the modern era.
15th Century – Shoulderless Two-plated Torso Armor
16th Century – Nanban Torso Armor
Lobster Jizai Okimono
From the latter end of the Edo Period, made by Myouchin Muneaki.
Carp Jizai Okimono
Meiji~Taisho Era, made by Takase Kouzan.
Snake Jizai Okimono
Showa Period, made by Muneyoshi.