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Translation from saya restoration?

Paul Costello

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I am currently restoring an edo(ish) saya. The lacquer was ruined so I sanded it back to re lacquer it... and underneath I found this!


I have attached pics at different light levels as well as one where I have tried to clarify the characters. Green is for parts I’m not sure if it is faint writing or just discolouration.

Its still intersting even if you can read it though! :)


Any help is greatly appreciated!




ps I will try to get better pics soon




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Hello Paul,


Thank you for posting this question. I want to keep you interested in The Carving Path, but help with the translation of such writing might also be found at the International Netsuke Society Forum. A limited few of our TCP members might be able to assist with the translation too. Please let us know what you find out about the writing. Good luck!



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I consulted a couple of japanese lecturers at uni and they managed to translate some of it (kinda). Apparently its quite bad hand writing. Their best guess is as follows:




(plural of above)




To cross.


They really weren't sure about the last couple of characters. Im sure that it may make so sort of sense in a different word order or with correct characters!

Was hoping for a name or date or something but this is still nice! :D

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