Gotô Ichijô was born in Kyôto in the third year of Kansei (1791) . He was the second son of GotôShichirouemon (Jûjô). He was originally called Eijirô and was adopted by Hachirobei Kenjô of the same surname (Gotô) at the age of eleven. He studies under Hanzauemon Kijô of the Gotô school. In Bunka 2 (1805), at the age of fifteen, he became the family head and took the name, Mitsuyaka. In Bunka 8 (1811), at the age of twenty-one, he took the name Mitsuyuki and in Bunsei 7 (1824) he changed his name again and became Mitsuyo.
In the same year (1824) he received the title of Hokkyô and in Bunkyû 3 (1863) the title was advanced to Hôgen. He died in Meiji 9 (1876) at the age of eighty-six. His early works followed the Gotô tradition, but later he developed a natural style, the Ichijô style, which is graceful and refreshing. As advocations he excelled in Haiko, waka, and painting. He was, indeed, the last soft metal artist of the Gotô family. In his works done in iron, fornidden by the Gotô family precept, he exercised discretion and signed these works as Hakuô or Totsuô Sanjin.
This tsuba is quite large and was done before 1863. It is signed Gotô Hokkyô Ichijô (Kao) 後藤法橋一乗(花押). It measures 4 inches or 10.2 cm by 3 ¾ inches or 9.5 cm. The omote is made of a rich dark shakudo and the ura is shibuichi. The design on both sides are snowflakes of varying designs.
This tsuba comes with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon papers attesting to the validity of the signature and the quality of the piece.