picture of tanto

Meiboku Index and Site Guide


Introduction and Announcements


How to Read Japanese Signatures (mei)

Terminology for the Varieties of Mei encountered on nakago

Interpreting the various Japanese Dating Systems   

2. Japanese Zodiacal Method

3. Dating from Emperor Jimmu


Origins of Japanese Feudal Titles


Rokujűyoshű - 'Roads' & Provinces

Old Japanese 'Roads' and Provinces with Abbreviated Forms

Color-code map of the Old Japanese 'Roads' and sword-producing Provinces


List of Kanji used in Swordsmiths' Given Names in Romaji Order

List of Swordsmiths using Katakana and Hiragana in their Mei


Tameshigiri (Cutting Test) Inscriptions

Blade Characteristics of Japanese Swords

Sugata Forms
Sori Types
Kissaki & Fukura Types
Mune Forms
B˘shi Forms
Hamon Forms
Nie and Nioi Structures
Jihada Types
Nakago Forms
Nakago Jiri Types
Yasurime Types


Koshirae - Sword Mountings

Pictorial guides to the Constituent Parts of the Japanese Sword, and of the Buke Zukuri and Ito Maki Tachi Koshirae courtesy of Richard Stein

Articles Clive Sinclaire (British T˘ken Society) of the various Styles of Nihont˘ Mountings hosted by Richard Stein


Many of the terms needed to understand Nihont˘ are defined on site as they are introduced, but for a more complete list see the Glossary of Japanese Sword Terms by Richard Stein.

Nihont˘ Web Links

Recommended Nihont˘ Web Links
Some Commercial Nihont˘ Sites
Nihont˘-related Martial Arts Links
Other recommended Japanese Links


ę 1996 - 2007, 2014 Alan Quinn