Vintage Japanese Branding Iron - Yakiin - Yakin - Vintage Branding Iron - Metal Stamp - Ri in Katakana Character S147:
This is a vintage branding iron called a yakiin. These were/are used on wood, leather...food...anything you want to brand. Please see the last picture to see an example of how it can be used. I think they would look fabulous if used in pottery as a stamp. Also...I think they could be used with ink but as it is metal, the image wouldnt be as smooth and clear as a rubber stamp -please keep that in mind if that is how you want to use it. Simplified in the Heian period from the manyōgana kanji 利. The katakana syllable リ (ri), whose equivalent in hiragana is り (ri). It is the fortieth syllable of the gojūon order, and its position in gojūon tables is ラ行イ段 (RA-gyō, I-dan; “row RA, section I”). http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E3%83%AA Unlike the hiragana system, used for Japanese language words that kanji does not cover, the katakana syllabary is used primarily for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of loan words (collectively gairaigo), as well as to represent onomatopoeia, technical and scientific terms, and the names of plants, animals, and minerals.