I was asked if the letters of the image are Japanese or not.

I answered they must be Chinese since Japanese does not have the first letter.

What would the first 4 letters stand for?

Thank you for your help in advance!

enter image description here

  • 1
    See japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/61332/… 联 may not exist in Japanese now, but it was used as a shorthand form of 聯. Japanese no longer uses it, and replaced it with 連. Also, if you manage to get a clearer picture of the seal on the left, that may give more clues.
    – dROOOze
    Jan 13, 2019 at 21:46
  • Thanks! I did not know even if I am a native Japanese. lol.
    – Kentaro
    Jan 13, 2019 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


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 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.

In terms of orthography,「联」is normally only used in Mainland China, while「鋼」is normally not used in Mainland China. The structure of「联」, simplified from「聯」, is exactly analogous to the simplification of「關」to「関」.「関」is now normally only used in Japan.


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