Antique Japanese Sword Daisho Signed by Tsuguhira/Unsigned Masahiro with NBTHK Certificate
Katana signed by Tsuguhira
The first-gen Omi no Kami Fujiwara Tsuguhira(近江守藤原継平) is an apprentice of the second-gen Yasutsugu(康継). The first-gen, Yasutusu, was one of the most famous swordsmiths in Echizen province during the early Edo Period(early 17th century). The master Yasutsu’s metalwork technique was so great that Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa allowed him to engrave Mitsuba Aoi(a family crest of the Tokugawa) on his forged blades.
The first-gen Tsuguhira lived in Echizen Province(today’s Fukui prefecture) first and then moved to Edo city with his master.
The sword maker’s name Tsuguhira lasted 6th generations, and we believe this blade was forged by the second-gen Tsuguhira based on how he signed the blade. The second-gen Tsuguhira learned great sword forging techniques from his father. He forged swords during the mid Edo period,(Early 18th century) It is a rare item because there aren’t many remaining work created by the second-gen Tsuguhira today.
The second-gen Tsuguhira us famous for having written a book called “Tsuguhira Oshigata,” where he hand-traced swords stored and inherited among Tokugawa shogun family for generations. He was allowed by the eighth Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune to publish this book. This fact indicates that the second-gen Tsuguhira was a reputable swordsmith trusted by Tokugawa Shogunate family.
Echizen Province, this swordsmith’s origin, was famous for forging razor-sharp, practically-designed swords. The Edo government, run by Tokugawa clan, ordered many blades from the swordsmiths in this province during the Edo period(1603-1868). Some swordsmiths moved from Echizen to Edo city because of Shogun’s request.
Wakizashi Unsigned Masahiro
This Wakizashi is attributed to Hizen Masahiro while there is no remaining signature on the tang. Masahiro is a renowned swordsmith from Hizen province. (today’s Saga prefecture). The smith name “Masahiro” lasted six generations and NBHTK doesn’t specify which Masahiro forged this blade.
The first-gen, Masahiro, was the grandson of Tadayoshi, the founder of Tadayoshi school in Hizen province. At the beginning of his career, Masahiro signed as Masanaga and then changed it to Masahiro in 1625 A.D(the second year of Kanei). He was especially highly regarded among the Nabeshima clan, a powerful feudal family in Hizen province. Nabeshima Katsushige is the one who ordered Masahiro to change his maker’s name. Masahiro was selected as Okakae Kaji for Nabeshima clan, meaning he was exclusively forging swords for the feudal family. It was quite honorable for any swordsmiths to be an Okakae Kaji. It is said that Masahiro’s forging technique was so great that he sometimes forged swords on behalf of Tadayoshi. The swords forged in Hizen province are known as Hizen To, famous for their beautiful Jigane (The steel of a constructed blade). You can see a beautiful example of Hizen To from this wakizashi.
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. While different swordsmiths forged these two swords, they come with a pair of Daisho Koshirae(sword mountings). Koshirae also got appraised by NBTHK. That means Samurai back then carried these pair of Daisho. They have such a fancy appearance that we believe a high-ranked Samurai owned them. And based on the style of the sword mounitngs, they are categorized as DENCHU KOSHIRAE(Sword mountings for entering a castle), which is very formal style of the mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 65.6 cm(25.82 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.3 cm( 0.51 inches)
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：45.4 cm( 17.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 0.8 cm(0.315 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.
The combination of bamboo forest and a tiger is a famous theme brought to Japan from the Continent. It is called Take-Tora Mon (竹虎文) in Japanese. The tiger is a brave animal. According to a theory, people considered the tiger pattern would protect people from evil spirits. Therefore, its pattern has been treated as a talisman. The tiger design has also been regarded as the symbol of life activity when “tiger” is written by a Japanese Kanji character (漢字, a kind of Japanese letter) based on its meaning. It is said people wished boys’ healthy growth by using the tiger pattern. As bamboo keeps its green color throughout the years by withstanding severe cold and heat, this plant pattern represents eternity and longevity.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The Karajishi (唐獅子) is the motif of these Menukis. The gold is applied on their bodies so that the color combination of Fuchi Kashira’s black, Tsuka-Maki thread’ white, and Menuki’s gold makes noble impressions for these swords’ appearances. Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and Karajishi is a lion brought from China to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Karajishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and the tale. In Buddhism, Karajishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Karajishi is the origin of Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits).
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.
Japanese apricot blossoms are engraved for these Tsubas. Its branches, buds, pistils, and stamens are colored with gold. This flower begins to bloom in winter that snow covers its tree so that this flower tells the arrival of spring. It has been appreciated for a long time ago in Japan. People enjoy its adorable petal shape and scent, gracefully branched tree, and compose many poems. As it comes out in the cold season, it symbolizes the power of perseverance and vitality.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Cherry blossoms are designed for these Sayas with the Makie technique. Makie is a typical Japanese lacquer art technique developed uniquely in Japan for about 1200 years. Firstly, it needs to draw a picture with lacquer on the surface with a thin brush. Next, sprinkle the gold powder from above to show the pattern before the lacquer hardens. This technique makes a gorgeous and elegant look to works.
This flower is one of the seasonal things of spring, and it has been loved for a long time. Some people believed that the god of grain exists in cherry blossom. Therefore, this flower pattern has been treated as the symbol of a rich harvest. People held a traditional custom under cherry blossom trees to pray for a bumper year in ancient times. According to a theory, it is the origin of the cherry-blossom viewing picnic today.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Certificate for the blade＆ Koshirae
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 blades on Nov 5th in the 42th year of Showa (1967). They appraised Katana as Tokubetsu Kicho Token, and Wakizashi as Kicho Token. The sword mountings for these swords were also appraised by NBTHK as Tokubetsu Kicho Kodogu in 1967. 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 : Fukuoka 51431,51432
The Board of Education in Fukuoka 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.
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 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.
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, Australia, 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(USA, Australia, 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.