It looks like japanese but I'm not sure. It's inscribed on my sword (https://i.stack.imgur.com/jWo97.jpg)

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not about history as defined in the help center. Try the Japanese or Chinese language SEs. – Spencer Jan 13 '19 at 21:01
  • @Spencer so how old does the sword have to be to qualify? – Solar Mike Jan 13 '19 at 21:17
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    Are mods and mods equivalents trying to keep "Be Nice" policy to a new contributor? He guessed it would be a historical stuff. That's enough. – user12387 Jan 14 '19 at 1:34
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    @KentaroTomono No moderators were involved in this action, but putting a question on hold should not be considered a punishment. Questions ought to be opened or put on hold on the basis of their own merits; leaving polite, constructive comments is where we be nice to the OP. – Semaphore Jan 14 '19 at 6:01
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    @SolarMike What reason would that be? There's a substantial difference between asking about a historical coin or sword - for which we have many, many questions - and asking what language the inscription on a modern item is in. The latter is not obviously tied into history unless the language is a historical one, or uses terminology of historical significance, or that the object is itself the target of historical investigation (e.g. "I am trying to date this sword, which has this inscription" would considered be on topic, imo). – Semaphore Jan 14 '19 at 7:45

The language is Chinese.

Here's a clearer image (taken from http://iantiqueonline.ning.com/group/whadjafind/forum/topics/japanese-kanji-katana-samurai-sword-i-d-help?)

enter image description here

The text is verbatim:

enter image description here

張武傑 (seal of a person called 張武傑). Maybe this is supposed to suggest that 張武傑, which sounds like a Chinese person's name, was involved in the manufacturing.


The name of a company called 联合 cutting tools. 联合 should not be translated into union here, but treated as a proper noun. It might be in imitation of an American company originally called Union Cutlery Co., now called Ka-Bar Knives., Inc; this company's Chinese name is frequently rendered as 联合刀具.


Special steel. According to baidu, this is a non-standardised grade of steel, so it doesn't really mean anything.

According to an iknife.org thread posted back in 2004, it is of a low-quality imitation manufacture of a Japanese-type blade. Unfortunately the full text was not archived, so here are some snippets:

说垃圾还是算对它客气了,420的钢,刀面很窄,拿着像根铁条,还很重,绝对超了1KG了(怀疑柄里面加了铅块)。 塑料的鞘,中国地摊 ... 刃纹是机磨出来的,还是特整齐的波浪状纹,什么横手切先统统没有,很圆滑的就收尖了(搞笑啊~)。 上面还有“联合刀具,特殊钢”的钢印~当卖菜刀啊?! ...

Calling it rubbish isn't even doing it justice. It is a steel of 420 [grade? length?], the surface is very rough; it feels like an iron bar when holding it in hand, and far exceeds 1 KG (I suspect lead blocks have been added to the inside). The sheath is made of plastic, Chinese street stall ... the patterns on the blade were produced by a machine process, and are in a perfect wave shape. There's no demarcation between yokote and kissaki (unique features of Japanese samurai blades; see image below)

enter image description here

and the tip rounds off extremely smoothly (LOL~). The steel also has the inscription 联合刀具 特殊鋼 ~ is this supposed to be for chopping vegetables?!

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    The text also has orthography issues, and doesn't match the writing style of either China or Japan completely, which I've outlined in the Chinese SE answer at the bottom. – dROOOze Jan 13 '19 at 23:39
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    Yes, right! There was never a single person called 張武傑 in the history of Japan. Bingo! They are Chinese! I was so confused! – user12387 Jan 13 '19 at 23:39

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