KZ-117 Goto Mitsutaka Kozuka

Design of Tanabata

Kozuka by the Goto mainline master, Enjo Mitsutaka. Mitsutaka was the  13th master of the prestigious  Goto School and was also considered one of the best among all 17 mainline masters. He was also considered the best at attributing past works that were unsigned, and or repairing / remounting works of the older masters. Design is of Tanabata festival celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th month every year in Japan when Altair (Cowheard Star) and Vega (Weaver Star), which are normally separated by the milky way, are finally able to meet.

There are several folk tales describing the story of Tanabata, perhaps the most famous one is of Orihime and Hikoboshi as described in Wikipedia: Orihime (Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei (Sky King, or the universe itself), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (Milky Way, lit. "heavenly river"). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi ( Cow Herder Star) (also referred to as Kengyuu ) who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.
This design is of the tradition of the Tanabata where people write their wishes writes their on paper hang them bamboo. The bamboo and decorations are often set afloat on a river or burned after the festival, around midnight or on the next day.

This kozuka is done in the “modern” style of the Goto with unusual silver nanako and tastefully refined gold backing. The silver nanako surface has the beautifully cut design of the Tanabata symbol presented in shakudo and gold. The paper sheets done in gold appear like they are being blown by the wind, hanging from bamboo done in dark shakudo. Most interestingly, Mitsutaka's signature and Kao are written on the paper themselves(this itself is very unusual as they often signed on the obverse). The back of the kozuka is done in thick gold with Goto yasuri mei. In a custom fitted box and NBTHK certificate.


Goto Mitsutaka (Kao) NBTHK Hozon

9.7 cm x 1.43 cm x 5.4 mm