Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Fujiwara Kunitomo with NBTHK JUYO TOKEN Certificate
Echigo no Kami Fujiwara Kunitomo
This blade was signed by Echigo no Kami Fujiwara Kunitomo (越後守藤原国儔), who was active during the early Edo period (Early 17th century) in Yamashiro province (Today’s Kyoto prefecture). He was born in Hyuga domain (Today’s Miyazaki prefecture) and moved to Yamashiro province.
He is famous for being the master who trained Izumi no Kami Kunisada and Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke, two of whom were renowned swordsmiths during the same period. Due to the similarity of how Kunitomo signed and the other two signed, it is believed that they learned sword-forging techniques from Kunitomo.
Kunitomo was a nephew of Horikawa Kunihiro, one of the most famous swordsmiths during the early Edo period in Yamashiro province (Today’s Kyoto prefecture). He belonged to Horikawa school Kunihiro had founded.
They also collaborated to make blades, which is called Gassaku. One of their Gassaku is designated as an Important Cultural Property in Japan, and another Gassaku is classified as an Important art object.
It is said that Kunitomo regularly did Daisaku for Kunihiro. Daisaku is a regular act where an apprentice or a child of the swordsmith signs his master’s name with his master’s permission or forges a blade on behalf of the master. That means that his master highly acknowledged Kunitomo’s craftsmanship. That is also why there aren’t many remaining blades signed by Kunitomo, who dedicated his career to helping his master.
Considering the fact that they forged blades together and Kunitomo did Daisaku for Kunihiro, they must have had a very close relationship and trusted each other. He also received Echigo no Kami, an honorable official title given by the emperor for his excellent craftsmanship.
Izumi no Kami Kunisada
Kunisada, also known as Inoue Yoshihiro, was born in the 17th year of the Tensho era(1589) in the southern part of Miyazaki prefecture(Kyushu island). Later on, he moved to Kyoto and became an apprentice of Horikawa Kunihiro, one of the most famous swordsmiths in the early Edo period(early 17th century). He also learned the sword-forging technique from a senior apprentice, Echigo no Kami Kunitomo. Kunisada moved to Osaka in 1620 after his master, Kunihiro, was deceased. He became an independent swordsmith in Osaka city. He is known as one of the most influential swordsmiths to make Osaka a famous place for sword-forging in the early Edo period. Osaka was the center of business back then. Many renowned swordsmiths moved to Osaka to meet the demand from high-class Samurai.
Kawachi no Kami Kunisuke
The first-gen Kunisuke was born in Ise province(today’s Mie province) and served Seki Kazumasa, the head of Kameyama castle. However, after the Seki clan was destroyed, he moved to Kyoto. He became an apprentice of Horikawa Kunihiro. After Kunihiro deceased, Kunisuke learned the sword-forging technique from Echigo no Kami Kunitomo. Eventually, he moved to Osaka with Izumi no Kami Kunisada to become an independent sword maker in the seventh year of Kaenei(1630).
This blade is appraised as a JUYO TOKEN(重要刀剣) 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, exceptionally well preserved and of high quality with artistic value. JUYO is one rank higher than Tokubetsu Hozon. To be eligible for a Juyo Token, it needs to be appraised as a Tokubetsu Hozon Token first. It is extremely rare for an antique Japanese sword to be appraised as JUYO TOKEN, and it is highly desirable among Japanese sword collectors.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 76.1 cm (29.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.5 cm( 0.59 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.
Habaki：Habaki is the equipment to make the blade not touch its scabbard inside. It prevents the blade from getting rusty and chipped.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK JUYO TOKEN Certificate for the blade (No. 8553)
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 Apr. 14th in the 1st year of Heisei (1989). They appraised it as JUYO TOKEN, the blade exceptionally 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 : Nara 11769
The Board of Education in Nara 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 for the past three years (～2022) 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. 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 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, 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 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.
* 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.
【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】
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【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.