Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Fujiwara Kuniyoshi with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade was singed by Fujiwara Kuniyoshi (藤原国吉), who was active during the An-Ei era (1772-1781: Late Edo period). He was originally an apprentice of Yamashiro no Kami Fujiwara Kunishige, who belonged to Musashi Taro Yasukuni school. Based on the fact that Yasukuni belonged to Shitahara school, we believe Kunishige and Kuniyoshi also were a part of this school.
Shitahara school had been the group of swordsmiths under the Hojo clan’s auspicious, powerful feudal line during the late Muromachi period. Most of the Shitahara swordsmith’s real sir name was Yamamoto. After the Toyotomi clan destroyed the Hojo clan in the Azuchi Momoyama period, Shitahara swordsmiths served the Tokugawa clan. They were known as Okakae Kaji, swordsmiths exclusively working for a specific feudal family. They kept forging for the Tokugawa clan until the end of the Edo period.
This blade is appraised as a Hozon Touken (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, well preserved and high quality with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length (Nagasa): 71.0 cm ( 27.9 inches)
Curvature (Sori): 1.2 cm (0.47 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 (Scabbard), Tsuka (Handle), Tsuba (Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira: A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
This Fuchi Kashira has a rough surface, which is a stone-like texture. Black paint is applied to its entire surface, and this coloring remains relatively in good condition. You would find that cherry blossom flowers are engraved on both Fuchi and Kashira parts. Cherry blossom is one of the seasonal things of spring, and it has been appreciated for a long time in Japan. Its pattern is designed for various items such as sword mountings, Kimonos (着物, traditional Japanese costume), and furnishings, etcetera. One theory says that the god of grain exists in cherry blossoms. Therefore, this flower pattern has been treated as the symbol of a plentiful harvest.
Tsuka and Menuki: Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Seeing from the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, you would find a figure of a fish on each side of the handle. In addition, a golden Hyoutan (瓢, gourd) is served with the fish. We assume these fishes are Namazu (鯰, catfish) due to their appearance. We think this Menuki’s design is related to the Hyounen Zu (瓢鯰図). It is originally a famous theme of ink painting. It depicts a man trying to keep a catfish with a gourd. While a man is not expressed here, common motifs exist in this Menuki. The Hyounen Zu is a question and answer of Zen Buddhism. It is thought this theme came from the proverb that means to succeed having difficulty. Since the motifs of sword mountings sometimes reflect the taste of its owner or his view of religion, the owner of this Menuki was possibly involved in Zen Buddhism.
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.
The Ume (梅, Japanese apricot blossom) is the principal motif of this Tsuba. The design features the Ume tree that grows and blooms while intertwining its branches with the hedge. Golden paint is applied to petals and buds. The design is enjoyable when viewed from either side, front or back.
Japanese apricot blossoms begin to bloom in winter when snow still covers its tree. So people thought this flower tells the arrival of spring. Same as cherry blossom, it has been appreciated for a long time in Japan. People enjoy its adorable petal shape and scent, and gracefully branched tree, and compose many poems. As it comes out in the cold season, it symbolizes the power of perseverance and vitality.
Saya: Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper: NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 351776)
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 Dec 10th in the 10th year of the Heisei era (1998). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade worth preserving for Japanese society. We are expecting to receive its authentication paper during early-mid November. 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: Ehime 27860
The Board of Education in Ehime 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.
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.”
【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 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, 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.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany, 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 take 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 a 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.