Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by 7th-gen Ishido Korekazu with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by the seventh-gen Ishido Korekazu(七代石堂是一) in 1844(Late Edo period).
The first-gen Korekazu was originally from Omi Koku(Today’s Shiga prefecture). It is said that he was a descendant of Ichimonji Sukemune(一文字助宗) from Bizen Koku(Today’s Okayama prefecture). He moved to Edo and founded Edo Ishido school at the beginning of the Edo period.
This school flourished during the whole Edo period and became one of the most popular ones in Edo city, Musashi Koku. Ishido Korekazu became an Okakaekaji for the Edo government in 1721, exclusively forging swords for the Tokugawa clan. In total, the smith name “Korekazu” lasted 8th generations.
The seventh-gen Korekazu, who was active at the end of the Edo period, is especially highly regarded among Japanese sword experts because of his superb craftsmanship. 7th-gen Korekazu is also known as Unjyu Korekazu.7th-gen Korekazu’s real name is Masataro, and he was born in 1820 and learned the sword-forging technique from his aunt Kato Cho Unsai Tsuna Toshi, who lived in Dewano Kuni(Today’s Yamagata prefecture).Later on, he became a son-in-law of 6th-gen Ishido Korekazu and eventually took over Edo Ishido school. Seventh-gen Korekazu forged swords up until the early Meiji period. He died at the age of 75 in the 24th year of the Meiji era.
The 7th-gen Korekazu was ordered to forge a sword for Ise Shrine in Mie prefecture and Toshogu Shrine in Tochigi prefecture.
And he was allowed to inscribe the Tokugawa family emblem on these swords. Furthermore, in 1854, he was ordered to forge a sword for sending to the USA and created Naginata for the UK, which was gifts from Japan for diplomatic relations. This fact indicates that Korekazu was one of the Edo government’s trusted swordsmiths and played an essential role at the end of the Edo period.
The 7th-gen Korekazu was a great master as well because he trained quite a few renowned swordsmiths, such as Katsumura Norikatsu. His sword style is called Bizen-Den, and he was great at forging blades with Choji Midare Hamon, which makes Bizen DEN special.
Based on the signature on the tang, it was ordered by the person name “信繹誠之,” and he did Tamashigiri(test cutting) by using this blade forged by 7th-gen Ishido Korekazu. The signature mentions that the sword was forged in Feb in the 15th year of the Tenpo era(1844). and Tameshigiri (test cutting) was done on April 5th in the same year.
It also says that the Tameshigiri was conducted in the execution chamber in Kozukahara, Senjyu(Tokyo area). Dead bodies of inmates on death row were often subjected to Tameshigiri. According to the tang statement, this blade cut through the shoulder to the chest area, which is considered the most hard-to-cut part of the human body. This statement proves this blade’s sharpness.
The inscription also mentions that extraordinary high-quality carbon steel was used to forge this blade, and the person who conducted Tameshigiri was also able to cut deer horns.
This blade has approx 76.2 cm long and must have been practical to use at the end of the Edo period. You can appreciate Korekazu’s craftmanship very well by looking at the beautiful Hamon and Jigane. If you are interested in an antique Japanese sword related to Ishido school, you would be pleased to see it.
TThis blade 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. It accompanies with gorgeous sword mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：76.2 cm( 30.0 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(Sabbard), Tsuka( Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
Japanese apricot blossoms are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. The golden metal was applied to some parts so that it makes an elegant look for this work. According to the signature that was signed at the Fuchi, its maker is Shigeyoshi (重義), who lived in Bushu (武州, part of today’s Tokyo, Saitama, and Kanagawa prefecture). Japanese apricot blossoms begin to bloom in winter; therefore, people thought this flower tells the arrival of spring. Japanese people enjoy its adorable petal shape and scent, gracefully branched tree, and compose many poems since ancient times. As it comes out in the cold season, it symbolizes the power of perseverance and vitality.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
It is challenging to judge what the motif of this Menuki is from what we could see, but it looks like a container for something. Since we could see a mesh pattern, it might depict a woven basket from bamboo.
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.
Yotsu Mokkou-shaped iron Tsuba that has Kozuka and Kougai holes. Several birds are flying, and the sea is spreading under their eyes. There is a classical Japanese design that contains a combination of birds and waves. It is called Nami-Chidori (波千鳥). This motif represents happy marriage and family safety. It is said Japanese people enjoy it since the Nara period (648-781). Nami means waves, and Chidori means plovers. Waves are compared to the world, meaning it describes the determination: overcoming difficulties with a partner even if there are small or big waves (difficulties/ troubles). Also, the plover pattern is used as a prayer for victory or achievement of a goal.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade
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 Nov 9th in the second year of Reiwa (2020). 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 : Kanagawa 81081
The Board of Education in Kanagawa 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 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, 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(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.
*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. 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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.