Two by Mitsuyoshi

two iron tsuba by Kofu Mitsuyoshi
6.5 cm H x 0.4 cm T, eggplants / 6.6 cm H x 0.5 cm T, Shinto straw rope

I found the nasu motif tsuba first and was attracted to the modern feel in the sukashi depiction of the eggplants and the texture of the carving. Showing two rather than the typical three nasu is unusual as is the small size.

Later I ran across the shimenawa motif guard and before seeing the signature noticed that it used the same design approach as the nasu guard. Single straw ropes like these are used with household shrines, or they are combined in massive temple ropes like this.

I don’t recall coming across that motif on a tsuba before. Mitsuyoshi was an interesting designer.

More on shimenawa here:

Incomparable dignity and the craftman’s skill, the largest Shimenawa (Shinto straw rope) in Japan

Update: Looking through the Baur collection catalog I came across another Mitsuyoshi:

A variation on the one above, a bit fancier and with added gohei.