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.


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 Honami Ringa(本阿弥琳雅) and Honami Koson(本阿弥光遜) [...]


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


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).


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


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


What is Gaku-Mei(額銘)? Gaku-Mei, also known as Tanzaku-Mei(短冊銘), is used to retain the original MEI(銘) by cutting it out and attaching it into the NAKAGO(茎) when a sword is shortened greatly.


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 [...]


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


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 [...]

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