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Iron Fan Kanji Translation Help Needed

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#1 Yoshimichi

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 07:08 AM

Dear NMB Members:

 

I have an iron fan that has kanji on one side, and a constellation of stars pattern on the other side. I have owed it for quite some time, and I would love to know what the poem or kanji on the one side refers to or says. One of my friends (now deceased) was a pilot on the Japanese side in WWII. He looked at it, and he thought it referred to something about foreigners, but he was not real certain. 

 

Can anyone decipher what the kanji might refer to? Any help is sincerely appreciated.

 

Regards,

Bill E. Sheehan (Yoshimichi)

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  • Iron fan.JPG


#2 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:13 PM

Hi Bill,

 

If you could shoot the four characters down each line, maybe two lines at a time, in say five photographs total , we will be able to see them more clearly. :)


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#3 Yoshimichi

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 05:56 AM

Dear Piers:

 

I have attached more close up photos of the fan kanji, shown reading from left to right, and the opposite side of the fan. I hope someone can decipher the story or message on the fan. Thanks again for any help with this translation.

 

Regards,

Bill E. Sheehan (Yoshimichi)

Attached Thumbnails

  • iron fan1.JPG
  • iron fan2.JPG
  • iron3.JPG
  • iron fan4.JPG
  • iron fan5.JPG
  • iron fan6.JPG
  • iron fan7.JPG


#4 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:06 AM

Ah, that's much better. Many thanks!


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#5 Yoshimichi

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 07:33 AM

Hopefully, the close up photos will make it easier to decipher. Thanks again, Piers.

 

Regards,

Bill E. Sheehan (Yoshimichi)



#6 Malcolm

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:35 AM

Hi Bill,

 

The reverse of the fan represents a star constellation, most likely the one commonly referred to as the big dipper.

 

This appears on many sacred and profane objects and can have a number of interpretations, allegiance to Myōken being one of them.

 

The constellation is also linked to the esoteric practices of Onmyōdō and Shugendō but it is difficult to make any interpretation without knowing what the other side is referring to .

 

Over to you Piers..............


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#7 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:27 PM

It was also used by Date in Sendai, Malcolm.


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#8 Yoshimichi

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 07:26 PM

Dear Malcolm and Piers:

 

Thanks for the information in the constellation on the reverse of the fan. I will look up the information on the groups you sited. Hopefully, if we can figure out the kanji, it will give some context to the constellation. Thanks again for both or your help.

 

Regards,

Bill E. Sheehan (Yoshimichi)



#9 Yoshimichi

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 07:57 PM

Dear Malcolm and Piers:

 

I found this interesting link discussing the Big Dipper worship and Myoken. Very interesting. Thanks for the leads.

 

https://japanesemyth...rship-in-japan/

 

Regards,

Bill E. Sheehan (Yoshimichi)



#10 Malcolm

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 08:45 AM

Thank you Bill.,

 

A bit of useless triviaKyoto was originally laid out using principles related to the subjects we are discussing.

 

It is no coincidence that the most inauspicious direction to the North East of Kyoto has a temple situated up in the hills to act as a conduit against potential malign influence from that direction.

 

In a similar vein, if you look straight up from the High Altar in Wells Cathedral, you will see a carving of the Green Man set in the ceiling stonework.

 

A hangback to the syncretic fusion of early Christianity and Paganism........... ;-)


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#11 Bugyotsuji

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 09:38 AM

Sawada Taira in his book Nihon no Furuju shows a Sendai long gun with a beautifully executed Hokuto Shichisei design. I also have a jingasa with this design on the top.

So your photos go from the end ... left to right above?


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#12 SteveM

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 05:24 AM

I have been looking at this for a few days, and must admit defeat. There are some bits that looked like they could be clues to the overall script, but I haven't found anything. 

国報忠 3rd picture. This I would guess is a patriotic slogan and is somehow related to the more common 尽忠報国 (chinchū hōkoku - "give all for country"). But other than this, it is kind of a dead end. 

陣前血 4th picture - another patriotic or martial slogan?

戌夷 5th picture - maybe a classical Chinese reference or allusion to foreign barbarians. 

And various other random kanji I can pick out, but don't help me much

 

Together they lead me to believe it is a text extolling martial virtue, but beyond that I can't help much. 


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#13 Malcolm

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Posted 05 February 2018 - 08:05 AM

Difficult thing to age also.

 

The fact that it's not all "bells & whistles" flashy suggests not originally a deliberate export item, so maybe the Sonno Joi   movement of the 1850's or later on in the Bakumatsu & Restoration?

 

Not 20th century, I think.


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#14 Yoshimichi

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 09:18 AM

Dear Steve and Malcolm:

 

Thanks so much for all of the help trying to translate the message on this fan. My older Japanese friend had a similar sense about the reference being something about foreign barbarians and a patriotic or martial reference of some kind, but he too was unable to nail down much more. You did a great job of providing great leads for further study and appreciation of this piece. I will check out the Sonno Joi movement. Thanks again for everyone's help.

 

Regards,

Bill E.Sheehan (Yoshimichi) 



#15 SteveM

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 10:20 AM

Edit to my earlier post: 4th picture should be 前囗血


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