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Vol. 102 (2016) No. 12 p. 736-741




Steel of Japanese swords has been produced with Tatara process from iron sand and charcoal. Carbon dissolved in steel was absorbed from wooden charcoal fuel during the production of the steel. From the decay of 14C activity in the steel, the 14C age of Japanese sword can be determined. The 14C ages of 4 Japanese swords were measured with accelerator mass spectrometry and calibrated to calendar years. Each 14C age provided plural calendar year periods with definite probabilities, and one of the periods agreed with the production year of each sword that was determined from the sword master’s name cut in the grip of his sword after taking the age range of charcoal used for steel production and usage for several generations of the same names of sword masters into account.

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