Help ID an old Deba knife

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AnthonyC

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Anyone here read Japanese? A buddy brought in an old knife to work to see if I could sharpen it on my Tormek. Turns out it is a 180mm Deba with Japanese markings on it. His parents got it 40 some years ago and his wife was trying to use it as a chef's knife (and was very frustrated with it, for obvious reasons). Not sure what kind of steel, simple wood handle. Probably not a top of the line, steel looks stamped, not folded or clad. But I'd be interested in what the lettering says.

Thanks.
 

woodworkcan

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The first two characters (bottom in your pic) indicate the type of steel. I cannot tell you more.
BTW the picture should be flipped vertically to read japanese.
 

tripleq

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No mention of the steel. The first set of characters say 'registered' and the second are 'Sho (or Shou) Riki' which may indicate the maker but I can't find anything specific for such a maker.
 

woodworkcan

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It looked like 鋼 which means hagane (steel), but it is partially worn off. I agree with you.
 

tripleq

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It looked like 鋼 which means hagane (steel), but it is partially worn off. I agree with you.
Oh... it is soooo easy to get mixed up. I spent enough years living in Japan to attain a certain fluency but I also lost a lot of brain cells getting choked out ;)
 

AnthonyC

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Thanks all. I rotated the image on Dropbox. I'm uploading one that has the handle but most of those characters are worn through.
 

tripleq

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So the 1st two characters on the handle are the same as the last two on the blade. Again, I'm assuming this is the maker. The last two handle characters would translate roughly as 'separately chosen', indicating it was selected by the maker I guess. I did a little more research and I can't really find anything about this maker which usually indicates little interest in terms of collectability.
 

tripleq

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Anthony - I've taken another look at your pic while researching and I noticed that I may not have read the 1st character of the 2nd set of the blade properly yesterday because of the wear. Putting it together with the handle gives it another meaning that probably won't be very helpful. In the context the characters on the blade seem to translate as 'power of god separately chosen (or selected)'. If correct this would also mean the last 2 characters on the blade after 'registered' would be 'power of God'. Kind of strange. I’m not a native speaker but given the wear, context and related searches in a few languages that’s the best I can come up with. Hope that helps you out a bit.
 

AnthonyC

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Thanks for looking. I'd give the overall fit and finish a mid grade. Back edge of the knife (facing the handle) is rough and sharp. Blade seems to have held its edge and the mild patina makes me think it's mild or carbon steel. Definitely no cladding and while I don't have a microscope, it looks like a uniform grain structure (i.e. no folds and forge marks).

I'll let him know it's probably not worth a million dollars :)
 

tripleq

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Thanks for looking. I'd give the overall fit and finish a mid grade. Back edge of the knife (facing the handle) is rough and sharp. Blade seems to have held its edge and the mild patina makes me think it's mild or carbon steel. Definitely no cladding and while I don't have a microscope, it looks like a uniform grain structure (i.e. no folds and forge marks).

I'll let him know it's probably not worth a million dollars :)
No problem. This one is actually bugging me. The 'power of God (more accurately 'God Power') is a translation of what the characters mean individually. They could be read as 'Shin Ryoku', 'Jin Ryoku', 'Jin Riki' or 'Shin Riki'. I've done searches for all with no results.
 

Noodle Soup

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Thanks for looking. I'd give the overall fit and finish a mid grade. Back edge of the knife (facing the handle) is rough and sharp. Blade seems to have held its edge and the mild patina makes me think it's mild or carbon steel. Definitely no cladding and while I don't have a microscope, it looks like a uniform grain structure (i.e. no folds and forge marks).

I'll let him know it's probably not worth a million dollars :)
The fact it is marked Japan in English would make me believe is was an export item rather than anything especially high end. I've saw other knives of similar appearance that were from the 50's and 60's.
 
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