I like stories, legends, and a tsuba that tells one. So of course I fell for this tsuba, even though by decision I shy away from smaller tsuba. Really glad I did. Arrived yesterday, picked up today at Post Office. Had fun all evening so far in study.
A short link to tell the tale of the Minogame in Japanese Culture (most probably know it, but it was new to me):
"The minogame is said to live at least a thousand years (with some living up to 10,000 years!) and have a long, hairy tail, which is actually seaweed and algae that have grown on its shell due to its ripe old age! It has very similar to the real-life common tortoise, which can live for hundreds of years. In Japanese culture, the minogame represents longevity and wisdom, and is a long-revered symbol of both. In art, it is often shown with other gods and symbols of longevity, such as the crane, or Taoist deities such as Jurōjin. The minogame is also depicted with the Three Jewels, which represent fortune."
This work is by Miyake Jiryusai Tomohide, son of Miyake Terumitsu, Yokoya School (was some confusion in Haynes index on this point).
NBTHK Hozon in November 2018: