Antique Japanese Sword Katana Attributed to Sueyuki with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to Joshu Sueyuki (城州末行), who was especially active during the late Kamakura period (1293-1299). Joshu is another name for Yamashiro province. He belonged to Ayanokoji school located in Yamashiro province (Today’s Kyoto prefecture).
Ayanokoji school was founded by Sadatoshi (定利) during the mid-Kamakura period (1264-1275). The school’s name came from the fact that Sadatoshi lived in Ayanokoji city. Sueyuki was one of the prominent figures among those who belonged to this school. He forged blades with *Yamashiro Den tradition, one of the five Japanese sword-forging techniques.
Yamashiro province was famous for its sword-making style called YAMASHIRO-DEN. YAMASHIRO-DEN’s origin dates back to the Heian period(794 A.D) when the capital city was moved from Nara to Kyoto. The swordsmiths in Yamashiro province initially prospered by forging swords for court nobles and imperial families. Later on, they also forged swords for feudal lords after Samurai military government took control of Japan. There are so many renowned swordsmiths from this region.
It is said that the founder of YAMASHIRO-DEN was Sanjo Munechika. And there are four prestigious main branches in this region. They are Sanjo, Rai, Nobukuni, and Awataguchi. According to available records, Ayanokoji school had close ties with Sanjo branch.
One of the characteristics of YAMASHIRO-DEN is its elegant design and beautiful Jigane (steel surface pattern). This blade represents a great trait of YAMASHIRO-DEN.
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.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 71.2 cm (28.0 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 2.0 cm (0.79 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 books with old books binding style and fan patterns are engraved on this Fuchi Kashira. The gold color is used everywhere on the base of the elegant black luster of copper, giving it a gorgeous appearance. The use of wave patterns in the background adds to the elegance of the design.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This handle is wrapped with the Tsukamaki thread, and a Menuki is attached to each side of the handle. This handle’s Tsukamaki (柄巻, generic term for string wrapped around the entire handle), its type of Tsukamaki is called the Ikkanmaki (一貫巻). In this Tsukamaki method, rhombus patterns appear only on both ends of the handle, and the center of the handle is flat.
The Tsukamaki itself is initially intended to reinforce the handle and make it easier to fix the hand’s position when grasping the handle, so various threads and winding methods were used depending on how practical and decorative it is. This Koshirae’s handle is one of the methods born from such trial and error.
About the design of Menuki, we estimate that one is a Kijo (鬼女, a monster that turned a human woman into a demon, a female demon), and another character is a man who brings his sword in his hand. We are unsure what story scene this Menuki represents. However, this man seems to be about to slash the woman who attacks him. Same as the Fuchi Kashira mentioned above, it is a design that makes us feel the height of cultural education.
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 Tsuba seems to have a Tachi Goshirae Tsuba (太刀拵鐔) style. If you focus on four corners of this Tsuba, you will find a heart mark-shaped hole is engraved on each edge. It is called the Inome (猪の目) pattern. The Inome pattern has been used since ancient times. As its name implies, the boar’s eyes are the origin of this pattern. Some people believed the Inome design would work as an amulet to protect them from evil spirits or fire. Also, it is said it would bring good luck. This Tsuba has a gorgeous and elegant look thanks to its well-balanced symmetrical design.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
The Sayanuri (鞘塗, coating of sheath) of this scabbard is categorized as a type of the Kizami Zaya (刻鞘). This is a method of making a pattern with a certain width on the surface of a scabbard to enhance the decorativeness of the sheath. Depending on the width of this Kizami Monyou (刻み文様, engraved pattern), it is classified into the following types; Ichibu Kizami (一分刻), Sanbu Kizami (三分刻), and Gobu Kizami (五分刻), etcetera. Especially the one with a wider width of this carved pattern is called the Inrō Kizami. Even in the construction of a Katana Koshirae that excels in practicality, decorations that do not interfere with its practical use could be seen in these parts.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1019852)
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 March 10th in the 5th year of Reiwa (2023). 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 : Kyoto 27156
The Board of Education in Kyoto 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 an export permit. If you live in Japan, please click here before you make a purchase.
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, 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.
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.
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.