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Updated: 23 May 2024

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Fujiwara Kunihiro
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate

$7,657.85

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, Germany , Hong Kong, France, Finland, 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 ( SHINTO)
Age Early Edo period (1624-1661)
Swordsmith Hizen Saga Jyu Kunihiro (肥前佐賀住国広)
Certificate NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Location Hizen province (Today’s Saga prefecture)
Blade Size Cutting Edge Length: 70.7 cm (27.8 inches)
Curvature: 1.8 cm (0.70 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 Fujiwara Kunihiro with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate 

【Description】

 This blade was signed by Hizen Saga Jyu Kunihiro (肥前佐賀住国広). Hizen is the province located in today’s Saga prefecture.  He resided in this province in his career. Kunihiro was especially active during the Kanei- Manji era (1624-1661-:Early Edo Period). Kunihiro’s birthname was Hashimoto Rokurozaemon. He was born as the first son of Hirosada, a renowned swordsmith in the same province. Hirosada was a younger brother of the first-gen Tadayoshi, one of the most famous swordsmiths during the early Edo period. His first son was Kanehiro, another prominent swordsmith in the province.

 According to the book (Kaihou Kenjyaku) published by Yamada Asaemon in the late Edo period, a blade forged by Kunihiro was ranked as Wazamono (good sharpness). Asaemon was hired by the Edo government as an expert on Tameshigiri or testing cutting. And in this book, he judged how sharp Japanese swords forged by prestigious swordsmiths were. 

 The swordsmiths in the Hizen province worked under the auspices of the Nabeshima clan. They could produce beautiful blades with Konuka Hada, whose steel surface is very smooth. This Hada is one of the most well-known characteristics of the blades produced in Hizen province. The swordsmiths also used and mixed carbon steel made in western countries. Since Hizenkoku flourished through international trading, it had easy access to western carbon steel.

The first-gen Tadayoshi (His uncle)

 The first-gen Tadayoshi was born and raised in the Saga domain. In 1596, under the domain’s order, he went to Kyoto to learn the sword-forging technique from Umetada Myojyu(埋忠明寿), one of the greatest swordsmiths in the early Edo period. He improved his craftsmanship and returned to the Saga domain two years later (1598). The first head of the Nabeshima clan, Nabeshima Katsushige, appreciated the work of the first-gen Tadayoshi very much. Then, Katsushige appointed him as his Okakaekaji, a swordsmith who exclusively forged swords for a specific domain or clan. And Tadayoshi started to stay near Saga castle, the Nabeshima clan’s headquarters. And he founded Hizen Tadayoshi school, which trained more than 100 swordsmiths during the Edo period. Kunihiro is one of them.

 

  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 Kitae Kizu on the Mune (backbone of the blade). If you like to know the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.

 

【 Blade】
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa) 70.7 cm (27.8 inches)
Curvature(Sori) 1.8 cm (0.70 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.

 The surface of this Fuchi Kashira’s Kashira part 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. On the other hand, the Kashira part has a simple look.

 About the design, the Fuchi and Kashira, each part is decorated with different motifs. On the Fuchi part, you would find small birds. And the principal motif of the Kashira part is the Shirasagi (白鷺, egret). The figure of an egret standing by the water and the aquatic plants growing at its feet are engraved. Egret is a popular motif because of its beautiful white feathers and elegant appearance. The plants are probably Kiri (桐, paulownia) flowers. Golden paint is applied to both Fuchi and Kashira parts, and these motifs remain relatively in good condition. 


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

 Gold-colored Ebi (海老, shrimp) is the motif of each Menuki. While this coloring has been partially faded due to aging, it adds decorativeness to this work. Judging from the shapes of these shrimps visible through gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, we believe this Menuki’s motif is an Iseebi (伊勢海老, spiny lobster). According to a theory, Japanese people already ate shrimp in the Heian period (794-1185). However, it was an expensive ingredient for ordinary citizens, so only the nobility and high-class people could enjoy it. People started using shrimp as a good-omen pattern and appreciated designing it for their family crests in the Muromachi period (1336-1573).

 In the Samurai’s society, as a shrimp is covered with a hard shell, it was thought that a shrimp represents the figure of a brave Samurai who wears armor. It has the meaning that wishes the fate of a Samurai will last for a long time. Shrimps have been likened to older adults because of their long feelers. Also, shrimps actively jump even though they are bowed. That is the reason why the shrimp pattern is treated as a symbol of perpetual youth and longevity. This animal shed its molt several times to grow up; therefore, some people have considered it is a symbol of success in life.

   

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. 

 Yotsu-Mokkou (四ツ木瓜)-shaped Tsuba that has Kozuka and Kougai holes. The same as the Fuchi Kashira of this Katana Koshirae, this Tsuba’s surface is also decorated with the Nanako-Ji technique. The Mimi (耳, edge) is thickly finished, and a dragon is designed on this part. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient foreign traditions and myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbolic beast of auspicious signs. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, the belly is the Mizuchi (蛟, a mythical animal in Japan that looks like a snake and has a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers and ears are cows. The dragon was thought to reign at the top of all animals because of its odd appearance.

 Another motif designed on this Tsuba is the Hanaguruma (花車). It is the design of the combination of multiple flowers and a graphic representation of an oxcart. It is said the Hanaguruma would invite gods. People used this pattern, wishing to obtain happiness. It is considered that each flower has its meaning. In this Tsuba, Kikus (菊, chrysanthemum) and probably Kuzu (葛, kudzu vine) are the primary plants of this Hanaguruma.

Saya Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.  

Authentication PaperNBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 144024)

  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 Feb 5th in the11th 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 : Tokyo 265593

 The Board of Education in Tokyo 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, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Finland 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.

【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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