Antique Japanese Sword Katana Attributed to Shimada with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to a work of Shimada school, according to NBTHK’s appraisal. Shimada school was founded by Yoshisuke (義助) during the mid-Muromachi period and lasted by the late Edo period. The group of Shimada swordsmiths resided in Shimada city, Suruga province (today’s Shizuoka prefecture). Other famous swordsmiths from this school are Sukemune, Hirotsugu, Sadahiro.
The first-gen Yoshisuke was active during the Kosho era(1455-57). It is said that the first-gen Yoshisuke was a descendant of Bizen Ichimonji Sukemune, one of the most famous swordsmiths in Japanese history. The first-gen Yoshisuke served a powerful feudal family named Imagawa. It is said that he received his maker’s name 義 from Imagawa Yoshitada.
Shimada school interacted with other schools in Soshu swordsmiths living near Odawa castle in Kanagawa prefecture. The Suruga domain was vital for strong feudal lords such as Takeda, Tokugawa, and Hojo clan during the Sengoku Jidai(Warring state period: Late Muromachi period). The swordsmiths in Shimada school received many orders from these powerful feudal families. The first-gen Yoshisuke had mastered excellent craftsmanship, and it was passed down to swordsmiths in Shimada school.
This blade has a beautiful engraving on both sides.
You can find the engraving of a Tsurugi (Double-edged blade) and dragon on one side. This blade is Kurikaraken, which is the sword that Fudo Myo-O (不動明王, acalanātha) holds with his right hand. Fudo Myo-O is one of the objects of worship in Buddhism. According to a theory, it is the incarnation of Dainichi Nyorai (大日如来, Mahāvairocana, the principal image of esoteric Buddhism). Kurikara-ken was named after its appearance that Kurikara Ryu-O (倶利伽羅龍王, dragon) is winding around the sword. It is believed Kurikara-Ken could cut off worldly desires: Sandoku (三毒). Sandoku is the three fundamental human desires; Ton (貪, greed), Jin (瞋, anger, grudge), Chi (癡, delusion, complaint).
The dragon itself is also a popular theme for decorating the Japanese sword. In Japan, people appreciate the dragon design as an all-purpose auspicious pattern. The other side has Sanskrit letters and a lotus inscription. The lotus is revered in Buddhism. It was thought that the appearance of beautiful flowers blooming in the muddy water symbolized the Buddha. Nyorai (如来, Buddha, Tathagata) is standing on the pedestal made of this flower.
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)： 62.5 cm( 24.6 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.6 cm( 0.63 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
Horimono: Engraving on the blade
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.
Habaki：Habaki is the equipment to make the blade not touch its scabbard inside. It prevents the blade from getting rusty and chipped.
We would judge that a pattern in which two motifs are arranged facing each other is the Daki-Gyouyou (抱き杏葉) pattern. The Gyouyou (杏葉) initially refers to a kind of harnesses that is a decorative metal fitting attached near the horse’s tail. This design was brought to Japan from the continent. Ohtomo Yoshishige (大友義鎮, well-known as Ohtomo Sourin, 大友宗麟) is one of the famous Samurais who used this motif for his family crest.
There is a similar design that is called the Daki-Myoga (抱き茗荷) pattern. It depicts a combination of two gingers that are facing each other. The difference between the Gyouyou pattern and the Myoga pattern is whether veins are depicted in leaves. Also, the Gyouyou pattern is not a plant design. Myoga has the same pronunciation as another word, “Myoga (冥加),” which means divine protection; therefore, this motif has been treated as a good-luck design. It is seen at shrines and temples in various parts of Japan. Also, it is quite a popular motif for family crests.
You see another design in this Habaki. It might be a kind of Kawari-Ne Zasa (変わり根笹) pattern. The Sasa (笹, bamboo leaves)pattern has been treated as an auspicious design, the same as the bamboo motif.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3026497)
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 Aug 27th in the 3rd year of Reiwa (2021). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade 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 : Saitama 82319
The Board of Education in Saitama 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 400 Japanese swords for the past three years (～2022) 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 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 either EMS or FedEx(Canada).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. When we receive an order from the 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.
* 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.
【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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