Tsuba with Carved Inscription "Carved on the occasion of living in Gojō of Jōshū by a resident of Kanazawa of Kaga"
Tsuba with carved inscription "Carved on the occasion of living in Gojō of Jōshū by a resident of Kanazawa of Kaga". This is a very interesting piece. Only the front of this tsuba is carved and inlaid, back is blank. It is made from a cast metal but as inscription states, the design is carved. There is additional hand written card that comes with this piece, written by the previous owner that states:
"This must be a work of Genji Motofusa of Mizuno mainline from Kanazawa of Kaga (Bunka to Tempo years). The Mizuno Genji line (first generation was Yoshitaka (Genroku years) who studied under Gotō Enjō) had no heirs after the seventh generation. For this reason, the fourth head of Mizuno branch family Mizuno Genroku Mitsumasa selected a talented disciple called Motofusa and sent him to Kyoto to study under Gotō Tōjō. Gotō was a founding family for Mizuno. After his return Motofusa inherited the family business as the eighth generation Mizuno Genji. Because Motofusa was a silver craftsman, and he revived the Genji line, it is believed that this tsuba has a deep significance."
It is impossible to say If previous owner theory is right. However based on the fact that is it made in cast iron and only one side is decorated. I think it is safe to say that it was not made to serve as a useable tsuba.
Inscription on tsuba is very interesting in itself. It is written is such a way that name of the maker of this tsuba is hidden from us, but know to those who meet him.
My theory about this piece is that it was made by a craftsman who was learning his skill in a different workshop. And this piece was made as a keepsake that he left after going back to his original place of work.
Because of the inscription this is a very interesting piece of history.