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Help with translation of a Sendai Tsuba NBTHK Paper


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Dear All

I am in the process of translating the paper for this tsuba:





What I have not being able to work out so far, without any knowledge of Japanese only by counting kanj strokes, is :


一(つ)蝶 (に)瑞(祥)文様尽図鐔
Itotsu Chō ni zuishō mon'yō 尽zu  tsuba
One butterfly with a Mizusho pattern tsuba

無銘 仙台
Mumei Sendai
Without Signature Sendai

竪丸形 赤銅磨地 金銀素銅象嵌 丸耳 片櫃孔
Tatemarugata Shakudo migaki-Ji Kin Gin Suaka Z\=ogan Maru Mimi Kata hitsuana
Vertically elongated Circular Shape Shakudo Smooth  Surface Gold Silver Copper Inlay Round Edge Single hitsuana

Migi Wa T\=o-Ky\=okai Ni Oite Shinsa No Kekka, Hozon-T\=os\=ogu To Kantei-Shi Kore O Sh\=o-Suru
Upon examination by this organization, the item mentioned herein has been appraised tosogu worthy of presentation, which judgment is hereby certified

平成 二十年 六月 二十七日    
Heisei Nij\=unen Rokugatsu Nijūnana-nichi
Heisei 20th Year 6th Month 27h Day
(27th June Heisei 20th - 27th June 2008)

K\=oeki-zai Dan H\=ojin Nihon Bijutsu T\=oken Hozon Ky\=okai
Public Foundation The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords


What is bugging me at the moment is block number 2 (the description). 
Can any of you kindly confirm the identification of the kanji and provide me with the transliteration and translation.

Any comment or improvement on the translation of the other blocks is of course welcome.


Thank you in advance

Best Regards

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I think you have characters correctly in section 2. I hope more skilled language folks will chime in for confirmation.


I think 瑞祥 in the description means auspicious, which I believe means for good luck in the future etc.


While searching auspicious patterns with google, this image has two patterns in your tsuba in the middle row:


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Hitotsu*. Chō ni zuishō-mon'yō-zukushi-zu tsuba.


One. Tsuba with design of butterfly with auspicious symbols.


The character 尽 (zukushi) implies many, or replete with, or covered in (among other things). In this case it implies a background filled with the auspicious symbols. Sometimes the word 散 (chirashi), meaning "scattered", is used to similar effect.


Actually, I don't see any butterflies on the tsuba...is there one on the reverse? 


* This particular ordinal system used on these certificates is a sort of formal system wherein all entries are enumerated by the header "hitotsu" (one). I read somewhere quite recently that this was meant to imply that no particular entry is any more important than another, and so instead of numbering them in descending numerical order, they all are labelled as "one". I don't know if this is true or not, but it was an explanation that piqued my interest.


** 鑑定書 I would translate this as "Certificate of Appraisal"





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2 hours ago, Bugyotsuji said:

All good points above. Hitotsu is a way of drawing attention. Ten rules for an organization for example will all start with Ichi 一 often with a comma 一、


One other thing that bothers me slightly is the three Shichi-yō Mon (seven-star Kamon) in copper and silver. I know that the Daté clan in Sendai used a nine-star Kuyōmon, but regardless of that, the paperwork should surely have mentioned the presence of these… and the vines(?)


蔦 tsuta 葛 kazura 唐草 Karakusa 葉 Ha, happa 七曜紋 Shichi-yo Mon, i.e some of these?


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Steve, Peter and Piers


Thank you for your interesting insights.


The butterfly is on the back




The complete picture of the NBTHK certificate is (the stamp of the lower right side is a watermark of mine):




I do not see any reason to doubt it, but Piers your point is a legitimate one, unless the Shichi-yō Mon is one of the lucky patterns.

Further research is required it seems.


Again thank you for your input.





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