Antique Japanese Sword Katana attributed to Nagamori with Hozon Certificate
This blade was attributed to Takada Nagamori (高田長盛), who was active during the Eisho era (Late Muromachi period: 1504-1521). Nagamori belonged to a prestigious school named Takada(高田), and he was one of the most prominent figures in the school.
Takada school was founded by Takada Tomoyuki in Takada village, Bungo domain(Ohita prefecture), during the Nanbokucho period. (1334-1338 A.D). Takada Tomoyuki went to Bizen province(today’s Okayama prefecture) to master the sword-forging techniques of BIZEN and returned to the village and trained his apprentices. That is how Takada school started.
Those who forged swords in Takada village before the Edo period were called Taira Takada and Fujiwara Takada during the Edo period. Based on the remaining work of Nagamori and the authentication paper, this blade is categorized as a Taira Takada sword.
During Sengoku Period(the warring state period: from late 15 C to late 16 C), the Takada school forged many swords for many Samurais in Kyushu island. It is said that the reputation of the blades forged by Takada school was close to MINO or BIZEN swords, two of which are the most famous sword forging places.
The Bungo domain was ruled by Otomo Yoshishige(Sorin) during the Sengoku period. Yoshishige and his domain built a strong military and political base there. Yoshishige was known as one of the most famous warlords on Kyushu island. It is said that Takada swordsmiths forged swords for those who served the Otomo clan. Nagamori was one of them, and he received the letter 鑑 (Aki)from Otomo Yoshiaki, the 20th head of the Otomo clan. And Nagamori changed his maker’s name to Akimori (鑑盛). This story indicates that Nagamori was one of the most highly-regarded swordsmiths in the domain.
Generally speaking, Kyushu island was prosperous in sword-making because of its long trading history with Asian countries. Many feudal lords on this island fought against each other to gain an advantage in trading. Takada school received many orders as the demand increased among those lords.
The material of Japanese swords(high-quality iron sand and charcoal) was abundant in mount Sobo Katamuki, located near Takada village. We believe Takada school prospered because of its geographic location and natural resources.
Its sword mounting is also worth mentioning. There is signature on both Tsuba and Fuchi Kashira. And, The metal decoration of the Saya (scabbard) and Fuchi Kashira have matching theme. We believe These metal parts were made by the same metal worker.
This blade is appraised as a Hozon Token(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, well preserved with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 64.8 cm ( 25.5 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.3 cm ( 0.53 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(Scabbard), Tsuka(Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
The wave pattern is engraved in semi-three dimensionally with strong carving lines. The rough movement of the waves creates an animated image. This motif is often seen in sword mountings and frequently combined with the dragon design. We estimate it is because of a belief that worships the dragon as a water god.
As waves’ movements continue endlessly, the wave pattern represents eternity, immortality, longevity, birth, etcetera. Also, since tides repeatedly change the shape and terrain of rocks, some people hoped for a strong will by using this motif. People used this pattern wishing for an indomitable spirit to rechallenge time and time without giving up. Thanks to its dynamic design, this motif has been appreciated, especially for men’s Kimono (traditional Japanese costume).
There is an inscription on the Fuchi, which says 秋府住本堂直長, who was active during the late Edo period in Dewa koku (Today’s Yamagata prefecture). Based on the style, we believe both Fuchi Kashira and Kojiri (decoration on the bottom of the Saya) were made by him.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
We have to speculate what kind of design it is in the form that could be seen through the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread. We estimate this Menuki’s motif is probably the Kaki (柿, Japanese persimmon). The fruit part is expressed with copper’s brown color. Japanese persimmon is an autumn fruit that bears bright vermilion fruits. In this work, we could see golden paint is applied to leaves. It seems this coloring was initially put on the entire leaves but faded off due to aging.
Since persimmon trees have long lives, Japanese people thought that the persimmon motif represents longevity. Also, another theory says that the Japanese name of persimmon Kaki (written as 柿) was associated with the word Kaki-Atsumeru (かき集める, gather). So, this idea says the persimmon design would gather happiness. These auspicious meanings might have inspired this Menuki’s design.
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.
This iron Tsuba has Kozuka and Kougai holes. If you focus on the center part, you will find that there is an engraved inscription. As the surface has worn out due to aging, it is challenging to read. We think it is probably written as Kunihiro (国廣). This Tsuba does not have decorations such as gold or silver inlays; therefore, you could directly enjoy the color and texture of the material. You would find minor dents and scratches on the surface. These are the traces of this Tsuba’s long history. We hope you would appreciate them as antique textures.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 3028518)
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 Jun. 3rd in the 4th year of Reiwa (2022). They appraised it 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 : Nagano 14597
The Board of Education in Nagano 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 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 the export permit.
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.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, 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.
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“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.
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【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.
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