The microstructure of oxide scale formed in the early stage of oxidation of cold-rolled sheets of 17%Cr-Mn-Ni austenitic stainless steel was examined using SEM and TEM. Samples were oxidized at 973 to1373K for 1 to 15min. Nodules were observed on the surfaces of specimens oxidized at 1173K. The nodules were composed of two layers, which comprised Fe oxides and Cr-rich Fe-Cr-Mn oxides, respectively. The other scale was composed of two layers of Fe-Cr-Mn oxides with different compositions. Nodules were not observed on the surfaces of the specimens oxidized at 973 and 1373K. After oxidation at 1373K for 1min, the scale was composed of three layers. The first layer consisted of Fe-Mn oxides with a spinel structure, the second consisted mainly of Cr oxides, and the third consisted of Cr-Mn oxides containing a small amount of Fe.