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Updated: 22 May 2024

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Bishu Jyu Suketaka
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate

$5,124.23

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

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

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

Category Katana ( SHIN SHIN TO)
Age The third year of the Meiji era (1870)
Swordsmith Bishu Jyu Suketaka (備州住祐高)
Certificate NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Location Bizen province (Today’s Okayama prefecture)
Blade Size Cutting Edge Length: 66.8 cm (26.3 inches)
Curvature: 0.8 cm (0.31 inches)

More photos& videos available on request. Please feel free to contact us. 

In stock

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Bishu Jyu Suketaka with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate 

【Description】

 This blade was signed by Bishu Jyu Kuzan Suketaka (備州住久山祐高) in the 3rd year of the Meiji era (1870: The beginning the Meiji era). Suketaka was active from the end of the Edo period to the beginning of the Meiji era. Bishu, also known as Bizen, is the name of the province located in Today’s Okayama prefecture. He belonged to Osafune school and was an offspring of Sukesada (祐定). Other famous figures who belonged to Osafune school are Yokoyama Sukenaga and Yokoyama Sukekane.

When Suketaka started his career, it was the end of the Edo period when the military government of Samurai (Tokugawa Shogunate)controlled Japan, and feudal society was the norm. There was plenty of demand of weapons from Samurais back then. However, in 1868, there was a civil war between Tokugawa’s shogunate government and the new Meiji imperial government. After this battle, the Tokugawa shogunate was ousted, and the imperial government gained control. The whole feudal system was dismantled, and the new government took the social status of Samurai. The demand for Japanese swords decreased dramatically from the beginning of the Meiji era. Many swordsmiths lost their jobs or changed their career.

About Sukesada school

 Suketaka’s ancestors dated back to Sukesada school, one of the most famous schools, and flourished for generations among Osafune schools(The head branch). There were various styles forged by the generations of Sukesada during the Muromachi-Edo period. There were about 60 swordsmiths who used Sukesada as his maker’s name in Samurai history.

 The swordsmiths in Bizen produced many swords during the Muromachi period, as it was in the middle of the Sengoku period(Warring State period). The demand for weapons increased among strong feudal lords. However, The sword-forging tradition of Bizen province almost disappeared because of the disastrous flood of the Yoshii River (1591), which was close to Osafune school. Even after everything was destroyed, there were few remaining swordsmiths. One of them was a group of swordsmiths who signed Sukesada. The main member of the school was Yokoyama Fujishiro Sukesada, the fourth head of Sukesada School. And one of his children was Shichibei no Jyo Sukesada (七兵衛尉祐定). They became one of the pioneers that revitalized the sword-forging business in Bizen province. Suketaka was a descendant of this Sukesada.

The history of Osafune School

 It is said that Osafune school was founded by Mitsutada (光忠), who was active during the mid-Kamakura period. Bizen Osafune school was the biggest one of all other schools in Bizen province, and they received many orders from feudal lords or renowned Samurai. They were called Osafunemono and beloved by Samurai warriors.

 Among the swordsmiths who belonged to this school, Nagamitsu, Sanenaga, and Kagemitsu are known as Osafune Sansaku, the three renowned Osafune swordsmiths. There are also four other prominent swordsmiths who were from Bizen Osafune school. They are called Osafune Shiten-no, the four masters of Osafune school. Their names are Nagamitsu, Kanemitsu, Nagayoshi, and Motoshige.

 BIZEN is located near the Chugoku Mountains, where iron sands, one of the essential materials for making Japanese swords, were abundant. Furthermore, BIZEN swordsmiths had close access to Yoshi River, where they could find water and charcoal. This geological location contributed to the swordsmiths forging high-quality refined blades. We presume BIZEN was quite active in sword-forging from ancient times. It is said that BIZEN DEN was created by groups of swordsmiths there during the late Heian era (Late 12th century ). These ancient swordsmiths in Bizen province are called Ko-Bizen (Old Bizen) swordsmiths. By inheriting the sword forging techniques from Ko-Bizen swordsmiths, the Bizen Osafune school flourished from the mid-Kamakura period.

 

  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.

 

*Please keep in mind that there are a couple of tiny chip on the upper part of this blade. If you like to know the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.

 

【 Blade】
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa) 66.8 cm (26.3 inches)
Curvature(Sori) 0.8 cm (0.31 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



 

Kissaki: Kissaki is the tip of the Japanese sword.

 

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.

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

 This Menuki’s motif is the Yajiri/Zoku (鏃, the pointy part of an arrow). You would find its shape through the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread. Yajiris are usually made of iron. However, in ancient times, stone, bone, and copper were also used. There are several types of arrowheads based on materials. The Sekizoku (石鏃) is made of stone. It is thought to have been used since the Paleolithic period (approximately 22,000 years from around 38,000 years ago to 16,000 years ago), and rocks that could be easily crushed were used. The Douzoku (銅鏃) is made of bronze. And the Tetsuzoku (鉄鏃) is made of iron. It began to be used primarily as a weapon, replacing Sekizoku. From the Yayoi period onwards, only Tetsuzokus continued to be used. During the Kamakura period, archery became an essential martial art for soldiers and military commanders. Even after entering the Sengoku period, when guns introduced from Portugal became the star weapon on the battlefields, they continued to be used as a major weapon to signal the start of a battle, and in the Edo period, when the world was at peace—changed to the form of Kyudō (弓道). Because they were used for martial arts and cultural purposes, many arrowheads with special shapes were produced. Since bows and arrows were once primary weapons for Samurai warriors, it is understandable that such items were incorporated into the designs of sword mountings.

   

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 antique iron Tsuba has Kozuka and Kougai holes. We think this Tsuba’s shape is categorized as the Aoi Mokkou Gata Tsuba (葵木瓜形鐔). The Mimi (耳, edge of a Tsuba) and the center part of this Tsuba were finished thicker than other parts. The Nami (波, wave) pattern is designed this Tsuba. The scene of waves colliding with each other is engraved with careful brushstrokes. 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 Kimonos (traditional Japanese costume).

Saya Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.  

Authentication PaperNBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1020469)

  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 May 31th 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 :Niigata 073056

 The Board of Education in Niigata 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 700 Japanese swords for the past few years (~2024) 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.

【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, Canada, Mexico, Germany , Belgium, France, Finland, Hong Kong, 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.

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

【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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