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Updated: 19 Apr 2024

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Chikanori
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate

$6,468.64

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

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

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

Category Katana ( SHIN SHIN TO)
Age the second year of the Keio era (1866)
Swordsmith Seki Zenjo Ke Chikanori (関善定家近則)
Certificate NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Location Mito province (Today’s Ibaraki prefecture)
Blade Size Cutting Edge Length: 61.2 cm(24.1 inches)
Curvature: 1.51 cm( 0.59 inches)

Thank you for visiting our website. This sword was sold as each antique Japanese sword is one of a kind. However, we might be able to show you something similar because we have various types of swords available. Also, there are ones that aren’t listed on the website yet. Our customer service will help you find your ideal blade you will cherish for generations. Please feel free to contact us or check the list of swords. We will be more than happy to help you.

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Chikanori with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate 

【Description】

Summary

 This blade was signed by Seki Zenjo Ke Chikanori (関善定家近則) in the second year of the Keio era (1866: The end of the Edo period). Chikanori was active during 1818-1864 (Late Edo period). He was originally from Mino province (Today’s Gifu Prefecture) and is said to be an offspring of Seki Zenjo Ke, one of the region’s seven most prosperous schools. He signed his ancestor’s name on the signature to show homage.

 Chikanori’s birth name was Kikuchi Toyosaburo. He was later adopted by the 5th-gen Kawamura Kansaburo, who lived in Mito province (Today’s Ibaraki prefecture). And he changed his maker’s name to Chikanori. He learned the sword-forging technique from Naotane, one of the most famous swordsmiths at the end of the Edo period. He improved his craftsmanship significantly under Naotane’s supervision. After finishing the apprenticeship, Chikanori returned to Mito province and became a Hanko, a swordsmith exclusively serving a specific domain or clan. It is said that he was also a Samurai who served Mito province. Mito province was controlled by Tokugawa family and gained political influence. Considering the fact he served this province, his craftsmanship must have been highly appreciated among Samurai there.

Mino Province

 The MINO swordsmith style, also known as MINO-DEN, basically has the TOGARI(Pointed shapes protruding from the Hamon )in a classic straight line and random temper line with some white Utsuri. MINO-DEN had its origin in YAMATO-DEN in the late KAMAKURA period(1280-1330). It flourished in the MUROMACHI period(1333-1573) and continued until the EDO period(1603-1868).

 MINO-DEN especially prospered during Sengoku Jidai(Warring State period) due to the high demand for weapons. And the location of Mino province beat others. Akechi Mitsuhide controlled Mino province, and Nobunaga Oda ruled Owari province. Tokugawa Ieyasu was the lord of Suruga (Neighboring areas). There was high demand from those powerful feudal lords and their retainers. Furthermore, so many wars occurred between the Kanto region and the Kyoto area.

 Mino is located in the middle, making feudal lords feel convenient to order swords from MINO-DEN. The blades forged in MINO provinces also had a reputation of their practical design and sharpness. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province. The tradition of excellent sword forging skills had been passed to the Edo period, and Chikanori is a good example.

 

  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.

 

【 Blade】
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)61.2 cm(24.1 inches)
Curvature(Sori) 1.51 cm( 0.59 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


 

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.

 The surface of this Fuchi Kashira is decorated with the Nanako-Ji (魚子地) technique. This process makes a uniform minimal protrusions pattern by hitting the Nanako-Ji Tagane (魚子地鏨, a chisel for this technique) on a metal surface. This decorative technique is often seen on sword mountings.

 About the design, you would find insects are engraved on it. Especially the Kamakiri (蟷螂, mantis) is conspicuous here. A mantis is also called the Ogami-Mushi (拝み虫) or Inori-Mushi (祈り虫) in Japanese. Both of these names mean a praying insect. Mantises hold their arms together, and their long wings cover their lower bodies. As this posture looks like a priest who prays to God, a mantis is likened to a “praying mantis.” A mantis is also said to symbolize the prosperity of descendants because it is prolific and has many children. This insect motif might have been incorporated into designs for sword mountings because of these religious or auspicious meanings.


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

 Seeing from the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, you would find the figure of an animal with curly hair. We believe this animal is the Karajishi (唐獅子). The Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and the Karajishi is a lion brought from the continent to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Karajishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and tail. In Buddhism, the Karajishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Karajishi is the origin of Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits). It shows that this beast motif has been familiar to Japanese people since ancient times. A religious design also appears in other sword mounting that we will mention later, so please continue to enjoy descriptions.

   
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 Yotsu-Mokkou-shaped Tsuba has a Kozuka hole. On the front, there is also an engraved inscription next to this hole. The typeface is old, and some characters are illegible. However, we could say it shows its maker’s name.

 The religious concept of Buddhism is expressed in this Tsuba. You would find Kanji (漢字, a system of Japanese writing using Chinese characters) letters engraved on it. While the font is slightly different, the same word expression is engraved on both the front and backside. It is written as follows: 南無妙法蓮華経 (Na-Mu-Myou-Hou-Ren-Ge-Kyou). This is the phrase used in the Hoke (法華) system of Buddhism. It means to worship the Buddha and follow the teachings of the Hoke Kyou (法華経, sutra of Hoke). There are many examples of Samurai incorporating religious beliefs into the design of armor, helmets, and sword fittings. We estimate this Tsuba was probably born in such a trend.

 

Saya Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.  

Authentication PaperNBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 144314)

  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 June 11th in the 11th year of Heisei (1999). 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 :  Ibaraki 9161

 The Board of Education in Ibaraki 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 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.

【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, 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.

【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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