Antique Japanese Sword Daisho Signed by Masanori with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by Yamato Daijyo Fijiwara Masanori(大和大掾藤原正則), who was born in Miyatsu city, Tango koku(northern Koyoto prefecture).
Based on his remaining work, he was active during the early Edo period(the 13th year of Keisho-the fourth year of Keian:1608-1651). Masanori is famous for having forged extremely sharp blades and was popular among high-class Samurai.
It is said that he was a descendant of Yamashiro koku Sanjyo Yoshinori(山城国三条吉則), one of the most famous swordsmiths during the Muromachi period（Prior to Edo period).After learning the sword-forging technique from his father, Norimitsu(則光) in Miyatsu city, Norimitsu, he moved to Kyoto city.
Masanori eventually was noticed and supported by Matsudaira Hideyasu, the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo government. Hideysu was the feudal lord of Echizen province during the early Edo period. He then moved to Echizen province to serve the Matsudaira clan. He became an Okakaekaji for Matsudaira Tadanao(松平忠直), who was the first son of Matsudaira Hideyasu. An Okakaekaji means those who exclusively forged swords for specific Samurai or clan. It was honorable for any makers to serve this position back then.
The swords forged during the Keicho era(1596-1615) are generally called Keicho Shinto. Osaka castle, Himeji castle, and other gorgeous-looking castles were constructed during this time.Many feudal lords preferred fancy-looking items, and this trend applied to Japanese sword making as well. You can see a gorgeous Midare tempering line on this blade.
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. Both scabbards are also coated with stingray skin. We are confident you would like this pair of Daisho Koshirae. And based on the style of the sword mounitng, they are categorized as DENCHU KOSHIRAE(Sword mountings for entering a castle), which is very formal style of the mountings.
This blade is appraised as a Tokubetsu Hozon Token(特別保存刀剣) issued by NBTHK(Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai:日本美術刀剣保存協会). This authentication paper was only given to authentic Japanese swords, especially well preserved and high quality with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 64.4 cm( 25.35 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.2 cm(0.47 inches)
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 54.0 cm( 21.26 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.2 cm(0.47 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.
At the Fuchi part, there are several letters that are written in an old typeface. These letters are inlaid with golden metal (probably brass).
The Kikkou (亀甲, turtle’s shell) pattern is designed for the Fuchi part of the Katana’s handle. It is a continuous geometric pattern connecting regular hexagons up and down. According to a theory, this design was brought to Japan from the Asuka (592-710) to the Nara period (710-794). A proverb says turtles live a long life; therefore, turtle and turtle’s shell pattern represent longevity. In addition, as this continuous hexagonal pattern does not get out of its shape, people wished for eternal prosperity by using this design. When this design was brought to Japan, the aristocracy monopolized it so that ordinary people could not even see it. It was such a prestigious design at that time. The Kikkou pattern was applied to various items such as Kimono (着物, traditional Japanese costume), Obi (帯, belt for Kimono), porcelains, etcetera. Samurais started using the Kikkou pattern in the Kamakura period (1185-1333), and it has become widely known among the general public.
If you focus on the Fuchi part of the Wakizashi’s handle, you will find a geometric pattern; the Saya Gata (紗綾形) design. It is a type of continuous pattern which many Samurais loved. According to a theory, this motif was brought to Japan from the Continent in the Momoyama period (1568-1600). The Saya Gata pattern has a graceful appearance and represents the longevity and prosperity of the family.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
For the Katana, two different motifs are designed for its Menuki. One side is the Samurai, who wears armor. As he brings the sword, it seems he is on the battlefield. Now please look at the other side. Although its entire shape is unclear, it might be the dragon motif due to its characteristic elongated body with scales. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as 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.
For the Wakizashi, we would guess that it might be a kind of fruit or vegetable that is designed for its Menuki. One of them is colored with golden metal.
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.
The Chou (蝶, butterfly) is the motif of these Tsubas. It depicts a butterfly resting with its wings upright. It is said the butterfly pattern has been used since the Heian period (794-1185). This design was brought from the Continent to Japan, and people introduced it in various fields. As proof of this, butterflies have also appeared in stories, such as Heike-Monogatari (平家物語, The Tale of the Heike). This insect design gradually began to be used as a family crest, and it spread nationwide by being used by the Taira (平) clan. Taira no Kiyomori (平清盛, 1118-1181), who was the leader of the Taira family, used the Agehachou (揚羽蝶) crest. That is, it was treated as a symbolic design of the Heike(平家). According to a theory, about 300 Samurais used this motif for their family crests in the Edo period. It tells us the close relationship between the butterfly pattern and Samurai culture.
One of the most famous Samurais, Oda Nobunaga, used seven family crests in his life. Among them, there was a butterfly design. Using this crest, he called himself a descendant of the Heike clan to replace the Muromachi Shogunate, governed by the Ashikaga (足利) family, who follows the Genji (源氏) clan. It was one of his strategies to gain control over the government.
Among the various animal patterns, people preferred the butterfly pattern due to its growth process, beauty and auspiciousness. A larva becomes a chrysalis, and it grows up to a butterfly. As this insect changes its looks, it symbolizes being reborn; therefore, Samurai loved this design. Also, as butterflies make a couple on good terms, this motif represents happy marriage.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate for the Katana/ Wakizashi 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 Feb 25th in the third year of Reiwa (2021). They appraised them as Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially 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 : Tokyo 179515, 159463
The Board of Education in Tokyo prefecture issued a registration paper for this sword . It is called Jyu Token Rui Torokusho(銃刀剣類登録証). Bunkacho(The Agency for Cultural Affairs) acknowledges a Japanese sword with this paper as a work of art.
The sword needs to be traditionally hand-forged and made of Tamahagane carbon steel to be registered in the system. With this paper, its owner in Japan can legally own an authentic Japanese sword. Based on this registration number, we will apply for its export permit.
This paper will need to be returned to the board of education when the sword is being shipped abroad, but you can receive a copy of it. An English translation of this registration paper is available on request.
Samurai Museum is located in Tokyo, Japan, exhibiting antique artifacts related to the Samurai history. Samurai Museum Shop is the place for those who are interested in Japanese culture and craftsmanship. We deal with antique Samurai swords/armor, traditional crafts made in Japan and so on.
【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 350 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.
It is allowed for residents in Japan to own authentic Japanese swords without a special license as long as they come with registration papers. Please feel free to contact us if you are a resident of Japan, whether temporarily or permanently. We will also assist you when you leave Japan and need to obtain the export permit.
We accept payment through Stripe(Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. After confirming your payment, we will apply for an export permit. You may either pay in JPY, USD, AUD, EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
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. By mastering how to clean the Japanese sword, its aesthetic beauty will last forever.
When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free Japanese sword maintenance kit. It comes with four tools(Choji Oil, Uchiko Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.