Try identicate kanji form

Hi Everyone, I'm a new member, Jairo Araujo from Brazil.

I'm posting photos of my katana. After try understand the signature, please if someone can help me i will be glad.

Lets start with signature, first kanji of signature is 國 (KUNI) but i cant identify the second.

In the other side, have a mensage, I think it was not made in manufacturing process, i think it was made after, says "横山大膳X康子X" ("Yokoyama daizen xxx Yasushiko XXX")

Suemitsu Katana Kaji says frequently Japanese soldiers wrote their names or messages in military swords, i dont know if is correct or not.

横山 - can be "Katsutoshi, Yokoyama, Mizushi and Yohayama" i think is a surname,
大膳 - can be "Taizen, Daizen or Oozen" i think is a proper name,
Kanji X - i dont find this caracter,
康 - can meaning "Surname",
子 - can meaning "child",
康子 - can meaning a proper name "Yasushiko, Sadako, Yasuko, hideko, Michiko and Kouko" but all names ending in KO (子) are female names, like Tomiko, Akiko etc.
Kanji X - i dont find this caracter.

looking more closely there are bright yellow spots in the corners of Kanji message.

Antiques Swords ( identify sword like a Japanese Gunto and not a chinese junk, but dont have time to search deeply about Kanji.

if anyone could help me it would be great, more photos on:


someone can help?

someone can help?


Hi !

Very hard to say from the picture. The sword is in a bad shape, so it's quite difficult to set on other details to confirm the mei.

It looks like KUNINORI (國儀).

I agree with you that on the ura side the inscription has been added later (much more).


Kunitora maybe?


What do you thing about 國虎 Kunitora?

The second kanji is

The second kanji is difficult. There is clearly a "HI" radical in the upper-right corner. I looked through all of the KUNI-something in Hawley, and didn't find anything.




Kanji Draw

I was able to draw the kanji, but still can not find it.

see on link below

upside down?

An idea: Maybe we are looking at it upside-down. On a shortened nakago, sometimes the original mei is folded over to the other side, which makes it upside-down on the nakago. In your picture, I can almost see a seam (crack) to the right side of the 2 kanji.
If I'm right, the mei is really "something-KUNI".



Dear All,

This is my first post on the forum so hello and kind regards to everyone.

I don't think that this is a mei that has been folded as it is normally easy to spot the extra thickness of metal where the metal has been folded back. There's an example here:

I'm inclined towards Sylvain's answer for the second kanji - "tora" 虎 (it looks a lot more like it if it is increased in size). This has some support in Hawleys where there are a number of smiths signing with this name throughout the shinto and shin shinto period.

As to the writing on the other side of the blade, I'm utterly clueless.

I hope that helps some,

not Tora?

Hi, I really don't see how it can be Tora. I'm looking at "TORA" in the "5 Kanji Styles" dictionary, and it's really not even close.
This dictionary shows multiple hand-written styles for each kanji, including the 5 major styles such as KAISHOu, SOSHOu, etc. For TORA, it actually shows 31 examples.
In this kanji, the bottom-most radical is the only part I see that would possibly match TORA.

As for the "folded mei" theory:
It may be a bad theory, but I see a hint of a rectangle surrounding the mei. For reference, if we assume that the tang is 1" wide, I see a faint horizontal line about 1/2" above KUNI, and also about 1/8" to the right of KUNI. Note the little blob to the right of the upper-right corner of KUNI - that blob is sitting on the vertical line that I see.
One thing that might NOT support the theory is that the top+right stroke of KUNI looks correct as a single stroke - upside-down it doesn't look normal.



The other side is roughly this:

The "KANE" is the one you called "kanji X". It is a stylish way to write it.
The "SHI/KO" in this case (I think) is a title, similar to "Mister" in English.
"MOTSU" means (in this case) "carried" or "owned".

So, I think it is saying that this blade was carried by someone known as Kaneyasu.
"Yokoyama Daizen" is a character in Kabuki...?


name guesses

Here's a couple of guesses for the name:


Kabuki Thief

I understand all, but one question remain in my head, why someone put a "Kabuki Thief" as a title in a katana?

In mainly stories about Yokoyama Daizen, this guy is evil and a traitor. (

Kuniteru e Kunitora

Please look at these:

Kuniteru (

Kunitora (

Kunikore ( I dont found any picture of signed katana)

Kunikage (
I found this, but i cant see signature image

Many thanks for all people help.


The Kuniteru is definitely possible for the name, but not the same smith probably.
As for the Kabuki: Perhaps it is the name of an actor who played Daizen...? Just a guess.


Signature mistery solved

Hi everyone

The signature was solved by Markus Sesko粟田口-school-4/

Check this picture, no doubts

Many thanks for all, I'm very happy