The above kanji are done in a style of Archaic Chinese Seal Script of the Eastern Zhou to Qin dynasty period. This style appeared very early in the development of Chinese writing, as far back in the Shang dynasty oracle bone script.

Unknown Kakihan (kao) of Tsubaco

NBTHK Hozon attribution to Shonai Shoami.

PROVENANCE:    Craig Harris
                                            Elliott D. Long

Tsuba by Shonai Shoami Tsubaco.
Inlay readings: OMOI - thought, feelings; KIMI - familiar, sensation, master or lord; ON - kindness, favour, obligation.
Late Edo period.
Displays influence from Yamashiro Kyoto ju.

Keshiire zogan: The design area (script) to be inlaid is carved into the base plate and a thick amalgam of gold is poured into the basin of the carved design. This is repeated until the design area has been filled. Then the surface of the plate is cleaned and the plate area and inlaid area are polished to the same level, leaving the inlay flush to the surface of the plate and covering the area of the pre-cut design. This style of inlay was used by the Kaga school and other kinko workers.

Nadegaku-gata shape. Rounded corners. Kaku mimi (rim).
6.8cm x 6.1cm x 0.4cm.