Kyo-Kinko Crane Menuki
"Kyo-Kinko" is a general citation or attribution to the metal craftsman located in and around the Kyoto area, with no particular inclination to a school or individual maker. The stylistic workmanship is provincially characteristic of the "Kyo" region. Kyoto was the seat of Imperial rulership for centuries and long has been regarded as the cultural heart of all Japane. Thus, it became the center of refinement for some of the most skilled artisans and schools in just about every medium one might imagine, including sword crafts, lacquer, screens, pottery, textiles, and even a distinctive and elaborate form of meal known as Kaiseki.
Kyo-Kinko sword fittings can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from other schools of fitting makers because there were a number of schools and great craftsman that originated in the Kyoto area. An attribution of Kyo-Kinko therefore defines an origin, but the work may lack enough specific character or peculiar details of workmanship to clearly define them from any specific school or maker. So, while quality is high, the actual maker is unclear. Obviously, Kyo-Kinko can also be natural choice of identification when a piece lacks an original signature as well for if a signature were present and authentic, then the judgement on the certificate would confirm it.
Cranes, or "Tsuru" are a holy animal in Japanese religion and culture. Most notably, they are symbolic of longevity. A proverb says the crane lives a thousand years, and the tortoise ten thousand. Cranes are ubiquitous in both feudal and contemporary Japanese society and symbolize good fortune and fidelity.