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Goto Teijo  後藤程乘, a futodokorimono, circa 1650

Certification: NBTHK Tokubetsu hozon

Goto Teijo (1603-1673), ninth Shirobei master, was the son of Kenjo, the seventh Shirobei mainline master. His real name was Genichiro, which was changed to Mitsumasa after his twenty-second birthday. Mitsumasa's uncle was Sokujo Mitsushige (1600-1631), the eighth Goto Shirobei master. Sokujo died at a very early age, and because his son Renjo, at four years old was too young, Mitsumasa became the guardian of the family. He was to fully inherit the title as head of the Goto during Kan-ei 13th (1636), becoming the ninth master. In the third year of Shoho (1646), when he was forty-four, Mitsumasa changed his name to Teijo. For some time, Goto Teijo was in the service of Tokugawa Ietsuna, the fourth Shogun. He also worked for the Maeda family as second master of the Kaga Goto school. When Renjo came of age around Shoo 1st (1652), Teijo retired as head of the family. Soon after this, he became a full-time retainer of Maeda Toshitsune (1593-1658). Along with his cousin Enjo, Teijo Mitsumasa continued to work for the Maeda clan in Kaga, and the Edo Baku-fu, until his death in the first year of Enpo.

The Goto school artists are known as Iebori, or "House carvers", producing fittings suitable for court functions. Besides the making of sword fittings, the Goto family also operated the National mint that produced most of the gold coins used during these times. 

Shakudo-nanako with the design showing branches of snow covered winter fruit (mikan/mandarin oranges) in shakudo, gold, and silver. Both signed Teijo (程乗) with Kao.

This set comes from a formal wakizashi koshirae belonging to a blade by Nanki Shigekuni.

Photos by Jack Edick