Museum piece with extraordinary history. This altar table was one of 4 pieces we acquired at auction from the private residence of the 14th and final Daimyo (Lord)of the Tokushima Han (clan) Hachisuka Mochiaki of Awa Province on Shikoku Island in central Japan in the Edo Period. He lived 1846-1918. Hachisuka Koroku, his great grandfather, was one of Hideyoshi's (the 2nd Shogun) top generals in early Edo Period and Hideyoshi awarded the Hachisuka the province of Tokushima in Awa (Shikoku) and they ruled it throughout the Edo Period until the Daimyo system was abolished in the Meiji Period in 1868. Quick to see the direction in which the wind was blowing, he pledged loyalty to the Imperial forces. In 1869, with the hanseki hokan (Abolition of the han system), he was appointed Governor of Tokushima Prefecture. In 1872, Hachisuka went to Great Britain and attended Oxford University. After returning to Japan, he was chief advisor to the Meiji Emperor. In 1882, Hachisuka was envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to France, and received the title of kōshaku (marquis) under the new kazoku peerage system. After returning to Japan, he served as a member of the House of Peers, Governor of Tokyo Prefecture, President of the House of Peers, Minister of Education, and Privy Councillor. He died in 1918, and his grave is located in Tokushima.
The condition is excellent with minor lacquer wear on the top. The intricate carvings in gold gilt on wood are of: mythical kirin, turtle, cranes, peonies and vines all symbols of longevity and purity in Buddhism. H:51cm x W: 33cm. Ask for shipping quote.