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Updated: 13 Jun 2024

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana attributed to Ko Mihara
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate

$7,360.00

DELIVERY TIME : Approx. 1-1.5 months
*We ship from Tokyo, Japan. There might be delay in shipment depending on countries.

SHIPPING TO :
USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany , Hong Kong, France, Australia
*Please contact us prior to purchase if your country isn’t listed.

INCLUDED : NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate, Koshirae Mounting, Shirasaya Case, Traditional Sword Carrying Case, Sword Maintenance Kit, Full Exportation Support

Category Katana ( KOTO)
Age Late Kamakura- Nanbokucho Period (Early-Late 14th century)
Swordsmith Attributed to Ko-Mihara (古三原: Unsigned)
Certificate NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Location Bingo Province (Today’s Hiroshima prefecture)
Blade Size Cutting Edge Length: 69.4 cm (27.3 inches)
Curvature: 1.51 cm (0.59 inches)

Thank you for visiting our website. This sword was sold as each antique Japanese sword is one of a kind. However, we might be able to show you something similar because we have various types of swords available. Also, there are ones that aren’t listed on the website yet. Our customer service will help you find your ideal blade you will cherish for generations. Please feel free to contact us or check the list of swords. We will be more than happy to help you.

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana attributed to Ko Mihara with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate 

【Description】

 This blade is attributed to *Ko-Mihara, a prestigious school in Bingo province (Today’s Hiroshima prefecture). According to recent studies, it is general knowledge that Mihara school was founded by Kokubunji Sukekuni (国分寺助国) in the late Kamakura period (Late13th century-Early 14th century). Two of the most prominent figures in this school are Mihara Masaie (三原正家) and his son, Masahiro (正広).

 Mihara school is divided into three categories in Japanese sword terminology depending on the period. When the blade is older than the Nanbokucho era(the 1300s), it is called *Ko-Mihara (Old Mihara). And it is called Mihara for those forged in the early-Mid Muromachi period. Finally, Sue-Mihara(Late Mihara) is used for the late Muromachi period. Based on the NBTHK appraisal of this blade, it was approximately forged during the late Kamakura- Nanbokucho era (Early-Late 14th century). That means it is about 600 years old.

 In Bingo province, many lands were owned by politically powerful temples of the Yamato region (today’s Nara prefecture) from ancient times. And many Samurai formed military groups to protect those lands, being hired by temples. And quite a few swordsmiths moved from the Yamato region to the Bingo region to forge blades for those Samurai.

 It is said that the swordsmiths in Yamato region strongly influenced how swords were forged in the Bingo province because of the history above. The blades forged by Mihara school had distinctive characteristics of Yamato DEN, one of the five Japanese sword traditions (Gokaden). The swordsmiths in the Bingo province, including Mihara school, produced many swords during the late Kamakura period-Muromachi period due to the high demand for weapons.

 Bingo is located near the Chugoku Mountains, where iron sands, one of the essential materials for making Japanese swords, were abundant. This geological location contributed to the Mihara swordsmiths forging high-quality refined blades. We presume Bingo was quite active in sword-forging from ancient times.

 The swords forged in Yamato DEN tradition are famous for their beautiful Jigane, steel surface, and straight tempering line(Suguha). This blade has a beautiful Jigane with a Suguha tempering line, which shows an outstanding characteristic of the Yamato DEN sword.

 

  It 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.

 

【 Blade】
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)69.4 cm (27.3 inches)
Curvature(Sori)1.51 cm (0.59 inches)


 

Hamon
The crystalline structure which forms along the cutting edge of a blade as a result of the hardening process
Jimon(Jihada)
visible steel surface pattern created by folding and hammering during forging process



 

NakagoNakago 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(Scabbard), Tsuka(Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).

 

Fuchi-KashiraA pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.

 A variety of family crests are designed on this Fuchi Kashira. For example, we could find the Hanabishi (花菱), Mitsu Hanabishi (三つ花菱), and Mukai Tsuru Bishi (向かい鶴菱), etcetera. Each family crest is carefully carved down to the smallest detail, demonstrating the maker’s high skill level.

 The family crest is one of the unique Japanese cultures that has continued from ancient times to today. It represents one’s lineage, rank, and social standing of a family. According to a theory, during the period that strong clans gained renown, people started using the family name. The name of the land was used as the family name to distinguish the family members who moved to other areas from the others. Therefore, a family crest has a role in showing the family name. After that, court nobles and Samurai families also started using family crests. They favorably used family crests for arms such as swords or armor.

Tsuka and MenukiTsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.

 A combination of a seashell and flowing water is the motif of this Menuki. Golden paint is applied to each seashell. Various designs use seashells; a single shell and a combination of several different kinds of shells have been used. The seashell pattern is often designed with a seaside scene or wave pattern, as seen in this work. You would feel the refreshing atmosphere of summer. Bivalves, especially clams, their shells cannot be combined with any other clam’s frame; therefore, its pattern represents happy marriage.

 Seashell is called Kai (貝) in Japanese. Because of its pronunciation, the seashell has another meaning. There is a word Yarigai (やりがい, worthwhile). As a part of this word has the same accent as Kai (貝 is read Gai in some cases), Japanese people found this meaning. Also, since seashells are hard and combine only with their pair, people thought it represented a robust defense. Due to these meanings that inspire warriors who go to the battlefields, Samurai warriors might have loved this motif.
   

Tsuba and HabakiTsuba 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. 

 This oval-shaped iron Tsuba has Kozuka and Kougai holes. This Tsuba depicts a landscape. There is a lakeside in the foreground of the screen, and a group of buildings resembling mansions and pavilions could be seen in the mountains.

 There is an engraved inscription around the Nakago hole. Some of the engraving lines have become unclear due to aging. However, it is probably engraved as follows: 長州萩住 友久作 (Choshu Hagi-Ju, Tomohisa Saku). It is challenging to identify because there were multiple metalworkers with the same name. It is said that all of them were good at landscape designed works, same as this Tsuba.

KougaiKougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style.

 This item is an antique Kougai (笄), which was used to arrange or fix the hairstyle of Samurai. The Kougai is usually stored in the Kougai Hitsu. The Kozuka (小柄) is often stored at the other side of the scabbard.

 About the design, it is a combination of a cran and the Ryusui Sasa (流水笹) pattern. A proverb says that cranes and turtles live long life. It says cranes have even one thousand years lifespan; therefore, cranes and turtles have been considered the symbol of longevity since a long time ago. Also, as cranes make compatible couples, their pattern represents happy marriage. Due to its pure white feathers and dignified appearance, it was favorably used as a good omen design for various ornaments or furnishings such as Kimono (着物, traditional Japanese costume) or Obi (帯, belt for Kimono).

 The Ryusi Sasa pattern is a combination of flowing water and bamboo grasses. The flowing water is always pure without being muddy and is said to wash away hardships and disasters, so it represents auspicious patterns.

 

 

Saya Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.  

Authentication PaperNBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1017101)

  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 the blade on June 3rd in the 4th year of Reiwa (2022). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially worth preserving for Japanese society. The purchaser will receive this original certificate 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 49916

 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.

 

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【About us】
 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 500 Japanese swords for the past three years (~2023) 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 an export permit. If you live in Japan, please click here before you make a purchase.

【Payment Method】
We accept payment through Stripe (Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. Also, you don’t need to make an account on Stripe for the checkout. 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, CAD,EUR CHF or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate. 

* If the amount is above 1 million JPY, Stripe or wire transfer will be the only options for payment.

【Shipping】
 We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Australia. 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 EMS. 

 We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office. 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.

* If you live in Australia and like to purchase an authentic Japanese sword, please click here to know the detail.

*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.

【Review】
 Here is one of the reviews we received from a customer who purchased an authentic Japanese sword from us. For more reviews, please click here.
“My experience overall with the whole process was wonderful. I had many questions about the history and process to purchase these treasures. All my questions were answered very timely and complete. The staff is very knowledgeable and very well versed if any questions do arise.”

【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.

【How To Contact Us】
 Please contact us through email, Facebook Messenger or Live Chat if you have any questions. You can find each icon on the right side of the website. Please click one of them to reach us. We will reply to you within 1-2 business days.

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 Whetstone Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it. If  you have any difficulty assembling the sword or cleaning the blade, you can feel free to contact us.

 

MORE ANTIQUE JAPANESE SWORD FOR SALE

SWORDS WITHOUT CERTIFICATES FOR SALE

READ KATANA ARCHIVE ARTICLE(Episode1-8)

LEARN JAPANESE SWORD TERMINOLOGY

 

 Thank you for reading all the information on the page. If you have any difficulty choosing the right Japanese sword for you, we will be more than happy to help you find the one that speaks to you the most. Please feel free to contact us.

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