Sebastian Izzard, ed., One Hundred Masterpieces from the Collection of Dr. Walter A. Compton (New York: Christie, Manson and Woods International Inc., 1992), no. 71.
Goto Sojo (1461-1538) was the second Shirobei mainline master of the Goto school. He was born in Kyoto and was the second son of Goto Yujo (1432-1512). His style is very close to Yujo, with whom he worked for over thirty-five years, and he used many of the same design. He died at Sakamoto in Omi province while in the service of Ashikaga Yoshiharu and Kuchiki Tanetsuna of Omi. He was buried in Kyoto at the Rendaiji temple.
The workmanship of these menuki demonstrates his typical stylistic traits. The tri-indented cartouches (suhama) are each quatrefoil with joined lines, and the teeth of the lions are almost hidden inside the mouth. These traits combined with the heads and tails which would fit into a diamond form, the small sparse nanako dots, the even wall construction of the backs, the well-filed edges, and the center poles (rectangular in shape for the inside menuki and round and tubular for the outside menuki), confirms this pair as classic examples of Sojo's work.
Goto Enjo (Mitsutaka, 1721-1784) was the thirteenth Shirobei mainline master of the Goto school.