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Sayagaki - not sure on a couple characters

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A bit hectic lately and have not been on NMB much... trying to get back into things so taking a shot at a Tanobe sayagaki translated on one of my swords. @Ray Singer has done much of the initial grunt work and I’ve added in a few parts. Red sections are where I am not sure I for it correct. I have Chinese language, so that helps to recognize the characters and radicals, but reads like gibberish to me, and I know one stroke or radical can throw the whole character off.


Would be interested if the formal writing has any “read between the lines” context but can also save that for a post in the Nihonto section. Let me know if I am off to a good start with the right characters at least to dive into the deeper meaning, if any, when I get some time. As always many thanks to the help from the board! Any yes... I know I need to get cracking with my set of flashcards I got off @Grey Doffin

and finally learn some more.


*I know the common terms we use among ourselves, itame, maru, suguha, hakikake, etc... left them for the most part when I wrote the English parts out.

Bingo kuni Ko-Mihara

Ko-Mihara of Bingo


Ō-suriage mumei nari

Cut shortened, without signature


shirake no tatsu o itame no hada-ai ni nioiguchi no tei maru ko-nie-deki no suguha o yaki qiang kanihorrega raku ga marami

??? hada of itame, nioguchi, and suguha of small nie deki ??? ??? straight blade?


帽子ガ丸ノ掃掛クテ稍深 返ルナド  
boshi ga maru no hakikake ku te yahukaku ku kaeru nado

Boshi ga?-maru of hakikake ??? deep ???


Nanbokuchō-ki no dōkō no tokushoku o shimesu yuhin nari

Nanbokucho characteristics and workmanship are shown



Nagasa 2 shaku 1 sun 9 bu jaku

Length 2 shaku 1 sun 9 bu



Jizai Kigai Shimotsuki

[jizai? assume signed/dated] November 2019 (Yeah... took me awhile to realize it was the Sexagenarian calendar)

End with his signature and Kao.






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13 minutes ago, ROKUJURO said:


that looks a bit like the GENJI-MONOGATARI on the SAYA!

That's why I'm glad Ray took the first crack at it and narrowed down for me areas to focus on, haha.

It does look great when I have it out on the stand.

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Shirakeutsuri (also spelled shirekeutsuri) -no-tatsu itame no hada-ai ni nioiguchi no shimaru ko-nie-deki no suguha wo yaki hosokani hotsure ga karami


boshi ga maruku hakikakete yaya fukaku kaeru nado


Nanbokuchō-ki no dōha no tokushoku wo shimesu yuhin nari



I'm not sure if he is just abbreviating the kanji 時, or if he is using a variant like 时. You can notice that the longer he writes sayagaki, the more confident and almost literary he becomes, often using a kanbun phrase (the date in this sayagaki), or unusual kanji rather than the standard kanji. This is evident with the use of 稍 as well. It is a seldom-used kanji meaning "somewhat" or "slightly". Also, note the difference between the big ツ and small ッ which can also cause confusion. 


You got most of it right, but a few things threw you off which (as you said) make the whole a bit difficult. The verbs and adverbs are accompanied by okurigana, so if you don't know you are looking at a verb (絡み) or an adverb (丸く) you are sort of guessing at the meaning. Of course, with kanji, you can often make a good guess at the meaning, but sometimes you can be way off. 


No need to look for hidden meanings in these sayagaki. I think its an honest, straightforward appraisal of the sword. Congratulations. 


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54 minutes ago, SteveM said:

No need to look for hidden meanings in these sayagaki. I think its an honest, straightforward appraisal of the sword. Congratulations. 




That's awesome, thank you so much. Makes a lot more sense now when I look up the characters. It's like when I used to have to go from modern to classical Chinese... almost a whole other language at times. I'll need to work on the finer strokes, this will help flag those for me for sure.




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