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, ( 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.
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:
Thanks and best regards,
(aka Barry Thomas)