SIGNED: KOFU NO JU AKAO YOSHITSUGU SAKU
NBTHK HOZON KODOGU
The founder of the Akoa Ke, Shodai Yoshitsugu was said to have been a pupil of Umetada Myoju, though this seems to be debated.
From the Nidai forward they became Tsubako.
The school apparently began in Echizen, but different generations moved around working for various Lords. As such many different inscriptions are seen in their mei such as; Echizen Ju Akao, Akao Kinai, Akao Bushu, Akao Tashichi. As well they worked in different styles, the works of Akao tsubako Kofu Tatstoshi and Tokinao so resembled Akasaka works, they were for a time thought to have been Akasaka Tsubako. There are those with a distinct Shoami influence as well.
Shakudo ji Sukashi are the most commonly seen examples of Akao work. Works were produced in shibuichi, yamagane and iron, though early on iron or tetsu was rare. Later works were increasingly done in iron with nikubori and nunome zogan with sukashi, adding the Shoami feel.
The above example and those signed "Kofu Ju" are thought to date to around Meiwa (1764-1779)