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Difficulty Reading Variant Kanji - Can Anyone Help Please

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#1 Bazza


    Sai Jo Saku

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 03:13 PM

All, this is my first translation assistance request (I think??!!).  The subject mei is on a sword I am cataloguing for an auction for a very good friend.  This is a quid pro quo unpaid service to my friend that in turn (a) gives me translation practice, ( B) raises the profile of Nihonto up for sale over the usual uninformed scrappy catalogue descriptions, thus © giving more substantial information to potential bidders, and finally (d) giving me an opportunity to see more Nihonto than I might usually encounter!!  A further motive to ask here is to give NMB members something of interest to chew on.


The (not very good) blade is 56.2 cm long in a Meiji period one-handed kyuu-guntou koshirae, the scabbard being black-painted iron.


The blade is signed and dated.  The date is composed of somewhat variant characters, but I believe these are easily read as KANBUN JUU SAN NEN NI GATSU HI - ostensibly A Day in February 1673.


Kanbun nenki 1.3MB.jpg


The mei, however, is a horse of another colour, or a different kettle of fish, take your pick.  I can read some characters, but cannot gain enough context to research the mei.  The main difficulty to my eyes is determining the radicals.  Here is what I can read:

KO  ?  ?  ? KAMI   KUNI  ?

-  The first two might be a province or area within a province as the 2nd kanji has an 'I' look about it

-  The 3rd kanji might be JUU (resident)

-  The 4th and 5th kanji might be a town or title, with the last two being the smith's name KUNI ?


-  The 4th kanji is I know not what and the smith's name is KAMIKUNI (no such smith listed!!) with the last kanji maybe being KIN - respectfully (doesn't make sense).  The rhs bottom "stroke" as a semi-circle of the last character is likely to be the 4-stroke GUCHI kanji.


I hope enlightenment is on the way.  Here is the mei image:


Variant mei kanji 1.2MB.jpg


Thanks and best regards,


(aka Barry Thomas)

#2 k morita

k morita


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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:01 PM



小林伊勢守国輝 (Kobayashi Ise-no-kami  Kuniteru).

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K Morita

#3 Bazza


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Posted 25 July 2017 - 05:05 AM

Well. I'll be hornswoggled!!  It's a signature and smith I'm quite familiar with, but darned if I could read it.  I'll study the KAISHOU stroke order and this little gem to see what I was missing.  A very "colloquial" writing style I guess, and no doubt a glaring gimei.  To the books...


Morita san, thank you so very much for your time.  You are a veritable treasure when the going gets tough.


Very best regards,

Barry Thomas.

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