A Goto unboxing at the Met

Thanks to Markus Sesko, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The New York Token Kai, a group of fifty or so sword students were invited to a lecture and viewing at the museum on the swords of Echizen Yasutsugu and the Shimosaka school.

Visitors to the Japanese arms gallery at the Met will be familiar with the Mito Tokugawa collection of Goto kodogu on permanent display. There are mitokoromono from each of the first 15 mainline generations along with additional kozuka and menuki. (Ex. coll. Robert H. Rucker, NY, Rogers Fund, 1945).

Seldom (never?) seen on display are the lacquer boxes that originally housed the collection. Markus retrieved these from deep storage and brought them out for study along with the above mentioned swords.

Markus looks on as Edward Hunter removes the lid of the outer storage box
Setting aside the outer storage box. The lacquer inner box is wrapped in furoshiki.
Unwrapping the box holding the menuki collection
The inner box lid removed. The box for the mitokoromono collection is on the right.
The top tray holding the Goto origami is removed and unwrapped.
The set of drawers is removed and one opened. The name of each generation is written in lacquer.
Menuki from the last five generations remaining in storage inside the box.
The wrappers containing the origami

See also from Markus Sesko:

Further details on the attribution of the various items and some photos can be found by searching on “Goto” at the Met Museum site:


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