© Copyright Robert Cole 2014 - No copying or distributing - Note: Missing graphics
The signature, or MEI, will be found on the OMOTE or "signature side." The reverse of the O-MOTE is the URA.
The signature of a sword is found on the side of the NAKAGO that was meant to face from the body when worn. If the sword was worn edge up, through the sash, the sword is a KATANA and the OMOTE will be signed KATANA-MEI.
Likewise, a sword slung from the belt and worn edge down is known as a TACHI and will be signed on the opposite side of the NAKAGO from that of a KATANA, in TACHI-MEI.
Dates are usually affixed on the URA.
Note: A sword signature, codified by
tradition in the Shinto period, has several normal
elements. First may be the Province of residence of
the smith. Second may be a title, if he is a titled
smith. see Titles
"Fujiwara" aand "Minamoto" are the ancient and
revered families of Japan and these were used in sword
signatures often as reference to cultural affiliation.
Minamoto refers to Samurai, Fujiwara refers to
Nobility and by extension, to the Emperor.
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