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Thread: Help identifying makers of Japanese chisels

  1. #1
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    Help identifying makers of Japanese chisels

    I purchased a couple of chisels in Japan when we visited in 2001. I really like the quality of these chisels. I didn't think to ask my extended family in Japan who made the chisels and was wondering if anyone could give me some help. I'm attaching the photos (not sure if the same person made both chisels) below. Let me know if you need a larger picture and I'll send one directly to you via email.

    I'd really like to know who the maker(s) are.

    Thanks in advance,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails J handles.jpg   J small chisel.jpg  
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  2. #2
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    Hi Lee

    I can read the Katakana on the sticker, it says "Takahashi", that would be the maker of the chisels, and the other Kanji on there looks like "En-Jyu" which would roughly translate to "Extended Happiness"

    >> 延寿 <<

    Japanese script above

    Other than that, the pictures are a bit hard to make out, I know it is not an easy thing to take picture of.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    I can also see the price tag...8,000 Yen (about $80!) Nice...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Cook View Post
    I can also see the price tag...8,000 Yen (about $80!) Nice...
    Actually, in 2001, it was more like $65
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Yeah, but that 8,000 was a lot to pay for a tool....in 2001

  6. #6
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    Stu,

    I didn't know if the sticker was the maker or might be the store name. The two chisels I bought seem to have different kanji on the back of the blade. I'll see if I can coax a better picture out of my camera.

    Greg,

    8000 yen seemed like a lot at the time to me, too. The other was 9500 yen but thought it was going to be a once in a lifetime chance to buy some good ones. The shop I was at had four walls of chisels. I was so hard to choose. The owner even burned my name into the handle using romanji (english). Hoping to go back over in a couple of years.

    Thanks again.
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  7. #7
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    new photos

    Here are updated photos of the chisels. Hope these seem better than the first attempt.

    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sml chisel5.jpg   wide chisel5.jpg  
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Laird View Post
    Here are updated photos of the chisels. Hope these seem better than the first attempt.

    Thanks.
    Lee, in the first photo the chisel maker is as Stu said Mr. Takahashi. After TakahashiSan's name is written "toubutsu", which roughly translates to sword thing. A search for Takahashi toubutsu received no hits. In the second photo the chisel has a very cursive script so it is difficult for me to make out. I can tell you though it is it is not made by the same maker as the first. I'll ask my wife and see what she says about the second.

    Where in Japan did you buy them?

  9. #9
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    Al,

    I was in Kumumoto, in 2001, visiting some of my wife's family and they drove me around trying to find some good chisels. First place they stopped was what would seem to be their version of a Home Depot. After seeing the kinda "cheepie" chisels they remembered a place that has what I was told were hand made. It was a small little building/house and had walls of chisels and I think they also had some saws and maybe planes. The owner burned in my name on the handle.

    I thought there was a good chance that there was two makers involved. Both really seem to be well made and hold an edge. The smaller of the two chisels has two hollows on the back while the larger has only one. I hoped someone could help identify the makers so I might buy some more from the same maker.

    Really appreciate you and your wife's assistance.

    Regards.
    Lee Laird
    Austin TX

  10. #10
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    Lee,

    I got a make on the first. It is as said before Takahashi but the second kanji is pronounced hamono so a search on TakahashiHamono brought up a web site. As a matter of fact Takahashi Hamono is a rather famous brand in Japan. The web site below is in Japanese so you will need a Japanese language set up on your PC to view properly. With a language package installed on your PC you can do a search for hamono from Yahoo Japan and you will get many hits.

    http://www.takahashihamono.jp/

    The second one is too difficult to read. A little bit like old English calligraphy. It could be Takahashi but it is too cursive to read clearly.
    Last edited by Alex Reid; 04-14-2008 at 12:50 AM.

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