Can you help with the gold inlaid signature on this iron tsuba? The signature is not in a seal, but the cursive (correct term?) style of writing has me lost with the first character. It is a bit like Kaze/fu but I don’t think so. The second kanji appears to be ‘chika’
A description of the tsuba is as follows, and my best guess as to school would be Kaneie.
A maru gata iron tsuba with a black patina, slightly dished with rounded edges and the usual pair of kogai and kodzuka hitsu (the kodzuka hitsu is lined on the straight edge with apiece of shakudo). The nagako ana is rather wide and is fitted with copper seki gane to top and bottom. The tsuba has a simple design, carved in shallow relief (sukidashi takabori) and depicts a peasant in a straw cloak and hat, with a hoe over his shoulder, crossing a low bridge on stilts. Above the man is a flock of 15 birds (geese?) flying in squally weather, as depicted by driving rain and bamboo bending in the wind (a similar scene on birds, wind and bamboo is shown on the reverse.
The design is plain and without embellishment with, for example, gold nunome and yet the signature is inlaid with gold, even though it would be hidden by the seppa. The cursive script makes it difficult to read, the first character is unknown, but the second appears to be ‘chika’.
Height: 7.8 cm, Width: 7.6 cm, Thickness (rim): 0.4 cm
(just a guy making observations, asking questions, trying to learn)