Antique Japanese Sword Daisho Signed by Kanemoto with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
Both Katana and Wakizashi were signed by Kanemoto(兼元). According to NBTHK, these two blades were forged by later-gen Kanemoto during the late Muromachi period(1492～1569).
The swordsmith Kanemoto lasted 27th generations from the Muromachi period to the Heisei period(modern-day).
It is said the most skilled Kanemoto of all is the second-gen, also known as Magoroku, who was one of the most famous MINO swordsmiths from the Muromachi period. He forged swords in the Mino province, which is renowned for a particular sword style called MINO-DEN. Each gen of Kanemoto was good at forging swords with Sanbon Sugi tempering line(Hamon in Japanese). Sanbon Sugi tempering line resembles a small cedar tree/forest growing horizontally.
Those who forged swords in Mino province at the end of the Muromachi period are called Sue-Seki.
The MINO swordsmiths style, also known as MINO-DEN, basically has the TOGARI(Pointed shapes protruding from the Hamon )in a classic straight line and random temper line with some white Utsuri. MINO-DEN had its origin from YAMATO-DEN in the late KAMAKURA period(1280-1330). The school flourished in the MUROMACHI period(1333-1573) and continued until the EDO period(1603-1868).
MINO-DEN exceedingly prospered during Sengoku Jidai(Warring State period) due to the high demand for weapons. And the location of Mino province beat others. Akechi Mitsuhide controlled Mino province, and Nobunaga Oda ruled Owari province, and Tokugawa Ieyasu was the lord of Suruga (Neighboring areas). There was high demand from those powerful feudal lords and their retainers. Furthermore, so many wars occurred between the Kanto region and the Kyoto area. Mino is located in the middle, making feudal lords feel convenient to order swords from MINO-DEN. The blades forged in MINO provinces also had the reputation of their practical design and sharpness. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province.
While the signature of Katana is the standard type, that of Wakizashi is unusual looking. This is called Orikaeshi Mei(折返し銘). It is often the case that the signature was cut when adjusting the size of the blade. However, sometimes, Japanese swordsmiths folded the signature part and put it to the other side to keep the signature. That is why the signature of this Wakizashi looks upside down.
What is Daisho?
Daisho is a pair of two Japanese swords Samurai carried. During the Edo period, having Daisho in public places was considered social status for Samurai. Furthermore, Samurai were required to wear them under the law back then. Daisho is written as 大=Big and 小=Small. Dai part means Katana, and Sho part means Wakizashi. They have such a fancy appearance that we believe a high-ranked Samurai owned them. If you like dragon, we are confident you would like this pair of Daisho Koshirae.
These blades are appraised as a Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword).
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：63.3 cm( 24.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.51 cm(0.59 inches)
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 48.8 cm(19.2 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.27 cm( 0.50 inches)
The crystalline structure which forms along the cutting edge of a blade as a result of the hardening process
visible steel surface pattern created by folding and hammering during forging process
Nakago：Nakago is the tang of the Japanese sword.
Japanese swordsmiths left the black rust on the tang because it prevents red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, and it is a great indicator for a Japanese sword specialist to estimate when the sword was forged.
Koshirae: Koshirae is the mounting of the Japanese sword. There are several parts that consist of Koshirae such as Saya(Sabbard), Tsuka( Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
Gold-colored dragons are engraved on these Fuchi Kashiras. They twist their elongated bodies, and their big eyes give us a strong impression. Even in details such as each scale, are carefully carved and shows us its maker’s excellent skill. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is a symbolic beast of auspicious signs. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is Mizuchi (蛟, mythical animal in Japan which looks like a snake and have a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought that the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Same as Fuchi Kashira, the dragon is the principal motif of these Menukis. It looks they are made from copper and has beautiful black color. It seems dragons that are facing Tsuba’s direction are bringing the small ball in their hands. It might be Nyoi Houju (如意宝珠, Cintāmaṇi). It is a fantasy jewel that fulfills any desire, gives out treasure, clothes, food, and drink. Moreover, it heals illness and suffering, removes evils, purifies muddy water, and prevents disasters. By combining it with the dragon motif, the mystical impression of this work is strengthened.
Tsuba and Habaki：Tsuba is the handguard for the Japanese Sword and Habaki is the equipment to make the blade not touch its scabbard inside. It prevents the blade from getting rusty and chipped.
These Tsubas have Yotsu-Mokkou-shape. Mokkou shape, its origin is a shape of eggs that are rest in a nest. When a quince (it is written 木瓜 in Japanese) is cut into round slices, its cross-section looks similar to this shape; therefore, it was named Mokkougata Tsuba. Yotsu-Mokkougata (a combination of four Mokkou shapes) Tsuba is often seen as these works are categorized.
Dragons are designed and colored with golden metal. If you focus on the front of Katana’s Tsuba, you will find a small golden drop-shaped ball. It might be Nyoi Houju (如意宝珠, Cintāmaṇi), same as Menuki. In Japan, its shape is generally spherical at the bottom and curved and pointed at the top.
At the backside of Tsubas, you would find that dragon’s tail coils a point of a sword. There is a design which is called Kurikara Ken (倶利伽羅, the sword that Fudo Myo-O brings his right hand). Usually, this motif is depicted as a sword coiled with a dragon, so this tip could simply represent a unique shape of a tail in this Tsuba’s case. It is said the Kurikara Ryu (倶利伽羅龍) changed its figure to this fire. Fudo Myo-O (不動明王) is a protective god in Buddhism, particularly Japanese Shingon Buddhism. This god was also known as a god of wars.
Tsubas’ edges are framed with black colored metal, and the wave pattern is designed. Golden small dots might represent waterdrops. In Japan, some people worship a dragon as a water god. This faith is called Ryujin Shinkou (竜神信仰). As rice cultivation has been flourished in this country, water is always an essential resource. Lots of Samurais might have loved the combination of dragon and wave motifs.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Koduka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
Kozuka is put for Wakizashi’s handle. It is also decorated with the dragon motif. Unifying the entire design of sword mounting, the beauty of unity for this Daisho Koshirae is emphasized.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade
NBTHK, also known as Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai (the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword), is one of the oldest Japanese sword appraising organizations in modern-day Japan. They authenticated these two blades on June 25th in the second year of Reiwa (2020). They appraised them as Hozon Touken, the blade worth preserving for Japanese society. The purchaser will receive these original certificates as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Osaka 11603,11606
The Board of Education in Osaka prefecture issued a registration paper for this sword . In order to obtain this paper, the sword needs to be traditionally hand forged. With this paper, its owner can legally own an authentic Japanese sword in Japan. This paper will need to be returned to the board of education when the sword being shipped abroad but you can receive a copy of it.
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【Japanese Sword& Export Process】
The Japanese swords we deal with are hand-forged edged swords made in Japan. It was made from the traditional carbon steel called TAMAHAGANE(玉鋼). Samurai Museum is familiar with the proper legal procedure for an antique/ authentic Japanese sword to be exported from Japan. We have sent more than 300 Japanese swords to amazing owners who appreciate its historical value.
Each Japanese sword is registered under the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Board of Education in Japan.They issue a registration paper for each Japanese sword for its owner in Japan to legally possess it. The Japanese sword with its registration paper means it was traditionally hand-forged in Japan.
To legally export the sword from Japan to other countries, we will have to apply for its permit to the Agency for Cultural Affairs(Bunkacho) and return the original registration paper to the Board of Education. It normally takes around 2-4 weeks to receive this permit after submitting required documents. And we would like you to expect at least 1-1.5 months for your order to arrive at your given address after you ordered. For more detailed info, please click here.
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We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany , France and Hong Kong. If you don’t live in these countries and like to order, please contact us first before making a purchase. We offer Free International Shipping as long as we can send antique Japanese swords by either EMS or FedEx(Canada).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. When we receive an order from the USA, Australia or Canada we will use FedEx instead as EMS temporarily stops shipping from Japan to those countries due to COVID-19.
We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office/FedEx. We will put 100 % insurance on the shipping document without any extra charge. Based on the total amount, there might be a duty tax or other fee for you to pay, depending on the countries. We use package cushioning to protect the item and put it in a PVC pipe, which is one of the most secure packages because of its durability.
It will normally takes 5-14 days for the item to arrive at your given address after we dispatch it. Time of delivery is estimated as accurately as possible by the carrier but does not take into account any delays beyond our control such as by inclement weather, post office holiday seasons.
*Please keep in mind that due to the spread of COVID-19, there might be delays in shipping. If you like to know the detail about shipping, please feel free to ask us.
【How to make sure the condition】
Please keep in mind that what you are going to purchase is an antique item. We uploaded high resolution photos for you to check its condition thoroughly. If you like to see more photos with different angles, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to send them to you so that you can make informed decision. It is essential for us to know that you are happy with your choice of a sword. and we are prepared to use the best of our ability to serve you.
【The Art of Nihonto(Japanese Sword)】
Samurai’s history is a profound, eloquent legacy of ancient Japanese warriors in which millions of people worldwide are being fascinated. If you like to find out the art of Nihonto, please click here.
【A Guide to Japanese Sword Maintenance】
After acquiring an genuine Japanese sword, it is also important to know how to take good care of it. Here is the special video for you. Mr. Paul Martin, Japanese sword expert, shows you how to give proper maintenance to your sword. When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free sword maintenance kit, which appears in this video.