I ran across an auction of a set of Japanese bench chisels, and there wasn't a lot of info provided (and yes I bid because I'm an easy mark), so I'm trying to gather some details from the photos. The only visible markings are stamped on the chisel itself, and I'm wondering if anyone knows anything about it or has suggestions on where to look for further details.

Here's a zoomed version of the stamped markings with some photo sharpening: photos of two of the chisel's markings

I've sent a note to the auction house for more photos of the storage box or any other identifying info, but I haven't heard back.

Thanks for taking a look!

  • 2
    Might be better off asking in the Japanese Language stack for an English spelling of the name on the maker's mark. japanese.stackexchange.com Oct 21, 2022 at 16:38
  • @UnhandledExcepSean Great minds! I already started writing up a post. Thanks!
    – EyePulp
    Oct 21, 2022 at 16:53
  • Hi, welcome to SE. I think the Japanese stack might not be as good a place to ask as one might think, given the specialist nature of the subject (you might get a translation but without context, which is effectively useless). "or has suggestions on where to look for further details" I think your best bet is going to be to ask among aficionados of Japanese chisels, and one of the woodworking forums will be a good place to start. Try SawMillCreek first and if there's nobody there who can help directly you might still get a pointer to a better venue.
    – Graphus
    Oct 21, 2022 at 17:06
  • "Here's a zoomed version of the faded markings with some sharpening" Two things I wanted to note re. this sentence. The first is if you re-ask the question elsewhere be sure to say you sharpened the photo. Because of the context I was initially very confused as this portion of the chisel is of course not involved in the sharpening process :-) Second is the markings aren't faded. Virtually no amount of use could actually wear away stamps on steel (even if it is much softer than the steel at the cutting edge). These are just faint and/or partial stamps, which is surprisingly common.
    – Graphus
    Oct 21, 2022 at 17:13
  • Thanks @Graphus - good suggestions, refinements made.
    – EyePulp
    Oct 21, 2022 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


Thanks to your Japanese Learning stack question, I was able to find the manufacturer. Nagahiro is the English translation according to Google.

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Partial image from a seller

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Seems like a match to me; the seller site also seems to refer to is as Osahiro (Nagahiro). From what I can determine, Osahiro is the brand, but Nagahiro is the blacksmith and a well known one at that.

  • 1
    Hah - I checked that question a few minutes ago (before coming checking here) -- And came up with the exact same results (even the same seller of new-old-stock chisels in a similar red velvet box). Perfect. Thanks for the follow up and the earned check mark.
    – EyePulp
    Oct 21, 2022 at 19:35

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