ZOKUMEI(俗名)

What is Zokumei(俗名)? Zokumei refers to the real name of the swordsmith. It’s often seen in the swords made in Bizen province during the Sengoku period.

KINPUN-MEI(金粉銘)

What is Kinpun-Mei(金粉銘)? Kinpun-Mei refers to the gold lacquer attribution written on the NAKAGO(茎) of an unsigned sword. Most of them were written by the Japanese sword appraisers either Honami [...]

HONAMI(本阿弥)

What is Honami(本阿弥)? Honami family is a family of sword appraisers and polishers, which have continued for generations. The family originally served the Ashikaga clan and polished the [...]

KINZOGAN-MEI(金象嵌銘)

What is Kinzogan-Mei(金象嵌銘)? Kinzogan-Mei refers to the gold inlay attribution of the sword. Kinzogan-Mei is done to the swords which lost its MEI(銘) after O-SURIAGE(大磨上).

SHU-MEI(朱銘)

What is Shu-Mei(朱銘)? Shu-mei refers to the red lacquer attribution of a sword. It’s usually written on the NAKAGO(茎) of the swords, which have no signature from the beginning. Shu-mei is [...]

ORIKAESHI-MEI(折り返し銘)

What is Orikaeshi-Mei(折り返し銘)? Orikaeshi-Mei means to keep the original MEI(銘) by folding it back, so that the Mei should be upside down. Unlike GAKU-MEI(額銘) where a sword is shortened greatly, [...]

GAKU-MEI(額銘)

What is Gaku-Mei(額銘)? Gaku-Mei, also known as Tanzaku-Mei(短冊銘), refers to the patch signature in the NAKAGO(茎). This signature is often seen in the shortened sword. When a sword is shortened [...]

NENKI-MEI(年紀銘)

What is Nenki-Mei(年紀銘) ? Nenki-Mei refers to the production date inscription found on the back of the NAKAGO(茎). In most cases, the inscription is February or August. a Nenki-Mei of February is [...]

ZURYOUMEI(受領名)

What does Zuryoumei(受領名) mean? Zuryoumei was the honorary title given to a swordsmith by the imperial court, in recognition of his craftsmanship.  Origin This practice started in the early [...]

SAIDAN-MEI(裁断銘)

What is Saidan-Mei(裁断銘)? Saidan-Mei(裁断銘) refers to a gold inlayed MEI(銘) inscribed on the back of NAKAGO(茎). It says the result of TAMESHIGIRI(試し斬り), such as a name of the tester, the cutting [...]