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The Goto head family

The Head Family
Family pedigree of the Goto head

The head family of Goto continued from the founder Yujo to the 17th head Tenjo. At the time of the 6th head Eijo, the Goto family was appointed as an official craftsman by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tycoon of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

The founder Goto Yujo (1440 - 1512)

Goto Yujo
Goto Yujo
(1440 - 1512)

Born in 1440. Son of Goto Mototsuna. It is generally believed that he was born in Mino Province (=Now Gifu Prefecture). 
Childhood name is Keiko-Maru. Common name is Shirobei. Announced himself Yujo after he entered the priesthood and shaved his head.
Received a stipend from the Ashikaga Shogun family. Served the 8th Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa.
He brought together the Mino-bori carving styles and established new style which is called the "Goto style".
There is no piece of his works of which his name is inscribed. All pieces that are assured of his works are ones Yujo's posterity or some others certified.

The 2nd head Sojo (1461 - 1538)

The second son of Yujo. Common name is Jiro. Announced himself Sojo after he entered the priesthood and shaved his head at the age of 40. It's offten said that Sojo's carving style is similar to his father's, however, more sophisticated than his father's. Sojo's acheivement is huge as he established the Goto style and consolidated the foundations of the Goto's tradition.
There is no piece of his works of which his name is inscribed. All pieces that are assured of his works are ones Goto posterity certifed.

The 3rd head Joshin (1512 - 1562)

Kozuka made by Joushin

The eldest son of Sojo. Given name is Yoshihisa. Common name is Shirobei. He announced himself Joshin after receiving the "Hogen" rank and entering the priesthood and shaving his head.
He served the two Ashikaga Shoguns Yoshiharu and Yoshiteru as a metal-carving craftsman and also as a policy advisor. He was also a warrior who lived in the period of Civil War (=the Sengoku period). He died on the battlefield in 1562.
His handiworks are full of masculine dynamism, and we can feel his character from those pieces of works.

The 4th head Kojo (1529 - 1620)

The first son of Joshin. Childhood name is Koichiro. Common name Shirobei. Announced himself Kojo after he entered the priesthood and shaved his head.
He served Oda Nobunaga. In 1581, he was assigned by Nobunaga to serve as the Oban and Bundo positions which control monetizing across the country. After Nobunaga's death, he was also assigned the same positions by Nobunaga's successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Toyotomi government gave important posts to him in metal-carving and economy.
It is generally said that Kojo's carving style is smilar to the founder Yujo's.
There are only several pieces of works which are inscribed his name.
Deceased in 1620 at the age of 92.

The 5th head Tokujo (1550 - 1631)

The first son of Kojo. Childhood name is Genjiro. Succeeded to the name "Shirobei" from his father. 
Tokujo was assigned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to serve Oban and Bundo positions (=issurance of money) with his father. In 1588, he overseed to issue Tensho Oban oval gold coin by order of Hideyoshi. He is very important person not only in the monetary history, but also in the metal-carving history of Japan. Before Tokujo, men of the Goto family had made only what is called Mitokoromono (=Kozuka, Kougai and Menuki). Tokujo started making sword guards (=Tsuba). His wife came from the Honami family that is famous for appraisal of Japanese swords. And more, the Gotos were related to the Kano family that is famous for painting. We can know from the facts that the Gotos tried to continue family by marital ties with other forceful families.

Mitokoromono by Goto Kenjo
by the 7th
Goto Kenjo