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Was wondering if someone could help me with some translations of some of my family heirlooms. I believe some of these are my "family crests" ? Thanks in advance for any help.

 

Mike Cash

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There are no family "crests" there.

For the second one, it would help tremendously if you told us what your family name is. You should find some little flat spot or some such thing on the stamp, by the way. That means "this side up".
 

Toritoribe

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The upper one seems like a Chinese poem 鳳立高崗 Ōtori (= a mythological bird) stands on a high hill.
 
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Yes, there is a flat spot with a silver diamond in it. Stamp is made out of ivory. Thank you
As far as a name, my grandmother named me "Murakami" when I was born. I'm not sure about a family name, I was told that I'm from a Samurai family. I seen pictures of my great grandfathers funeral in Japan.
Thanks for the help with stamp, any idea what stamp says?
 

Toritoribe

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That's it! The stamp is exactly for 村上 Murakami, and the left end one is the correct direction.

Here's an example of Murakami in seal script. (The form of 上 kami is a bit different from yours, but it's just a variation.)
 
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Thank you Toritoribe.
Is there a Samurai family in Japan named Murakami? I was told that my family (great grandfather) had one of the biggest collections of Samurai gear from Samurai in my family.
 

Mike Cash

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"Murakami" is a surname, although I suppose your grandmother was perfectly within her rights to turn it into a given name if she wished.

I don't think I've ever encountered a person of Japanese descent outside Japan who was told anything except that their family were all elite samurai. Funny how all the elite samurai emigrated instead of the starving peasants....
 

Toritoribe

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There were countless sumurai families in Japan, and Murakami is a very common family name. According to a site regarding Japanese family names, there are approximately 367,000 Murakami people in Japan. It's 36th place in over ten thousand family names.
 
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None of my Samurai family emigrated from Japan except for my grandmother because she married my grandfather who was stationed in Japan. I doubt my family in Japan would have anything to do with a "half breed" (me) anyway since my grandmother has passed. Just trying to connect some links of family heirlooms passed down from family in Japan. If needed I can get pics of letters sent with a address and name in Japan.
Is there an "elite Samurai" family named Murakami?
 
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I doubt my family in Japan would have anything to do with a "half breed"
I disagree. You are underestimating the esteem and admiration that children of mixed ethnicity tend to get viewed with. I think your Japanese relatives would be happy to find out that a branch of their family continues to thrive in the US, and that the people on those branches are curious about the Murakamis back in the old country.
 
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None of my Samurai family emigrated from Japan except for my grandmother because she married my grandfather who was stationed in Japan. I doubt my family in Japan would have anything to do with a "half breed" (me) anyway since my grandmother has passed. Just trying to connect some links of family heirlooms passed down from family in Japan. If needed I can get pics of letters sent with a address and name in Japan.
Is there an "elite Samurai" family named Murakami?
Yes. Not sure if this is much help but there are many samurais with the surname murakami. Here are two english links that I could find:

Murakami clan - SamuraiWiki
Japanese clans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I doubt my family in Japan would have anything to do with a "half breed" (me) anyway since my grandmother has passed.
Well I don't think many people in Japan will reject you for being a half breed nowadays but maybe someone from this forum can give their opinion on the matter. If your ties with them end with your grandmother (like if your father or mother never met them) then it may be difficult to rekindle the relationship but I don't think being a half-breed has much or any effect.
 

Mike Cash

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I doubt my family in Japan would have anything to do with a "half breed" (me)
You're probably way more uptight about it and fixated on your ethnic make-up than any of them are.

My children are "half breed" (a disgusting racist slur all, by the way) as you put it and it was never an issue with the in-laws whatsoever.
 
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Lol. I'll try not to go overboard. The gifts that have been passed down are quite expensive and have a history.
Another thing, my grandmother's first name was Noriko, and from what I was told she graduated top honors from Tokyo university. Don't know what year, she was born in 1928 I think.
 
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Thank you all for the information.
I'll try to get some of the letters with name and address on them, sounds like it will get me closer to maybe finding some relatives. My father lost contact with family over in Japan about 20 years ago.
Thanks again.
 
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You're probably way more uptight about it and fixated on your ethnic make-up than any of them are.

My children are "half breed" (a disgusting racist slur all, by the way) as you put it and it was never an issue with the in-laws whatsoever.
Really? I guess in english it does sound pretty bad but I have seen quite a few people identify themselves or other people as ハーフ

Lol. I'll try not to go overboard. The gifts that have been passed down are quite expensive and have a history.
Another thing, my grandmother's first name was Noriko, and from what I was told she graduated top honors from Tokyo university. Don't know what year, she was born in 1928 I think.
It sounds like a good story. (I don't mean this in a non-believing way) I would be interested in hearing how your grandmother and grandfather met.
 
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Well ハーフ is a more-or-less accepted term in Japan, and usually one of admiration.
Half-breed is a very outdated term and one with almost universally negative connotations.
ハーフ wouldn't be an acceptable translation of half-breed, or vice-versa.
 

Toritoribe

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Another thing, my grandmother's first name was Noriko, and from what I was told she graduated top honors from Tokyo university. Don't know what year, she was born in 1928 I think.
According to documents in Tokyo University, the number of female students in Tokyo University (Tokyo Imperial University at the time) was only one in 1941. (She was a postgraduate student, not an undergraduate student.) There were indeed several female 選科生, 聴講生, 専攻生 or 研究生 (not regular students but ones who took just a single or several classes), but the number of regular students was quite few before 1945 (two in the department of law, and one in the department of agriculture).

http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/content/400005586.pdf
(34 pages pdf file, all in Japanese)

This fact doesn't mean your grandmother was not one of them, of course.
 
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Really? I guess in english it does sound pretty bad but I have seen quite a few people identify themselves or other people as ハーフ



It sounds like a good story. (I don't mean this in a non-believing way) I would be interested in hearing how your grandmother and grandfather met.
I'm not quite sure how they met, my father did tell me that my grandfather was on his knees and offered his head to my great grandfather who was standing over him holding a katana. He said he loved my grandmother with his life, so he approved of their marriage.
So the story goes.
 
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Wow. Interesting. And... slightly macabre. Hope you find out the location of the remaining Murakamis. Would be interesting to know if they still had that sword in the family.
 

Mike Cash

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I'm not quite sure how they met, my father did tell me that my grandfather was on his knees and offered his head to my great grandfather who was standing over him holding a katana. He said he loved my grandmother with his life, so he approved of their marriage.
So the story goes.
Your family feeds you horsesh!t by the wheelbarrow...
 
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