Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Fujiwara Masanori with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by Yamato Daijyo Fijiwara Masanori(大和大掾藤原正則), who was born in Miyatsu city, Tango koku(northern Koyoto prefecture). Based on his remaining work, he was active during the early Edo period(the 13th year of Keisho-the fourth year of Keian:1608-1651). Masanori is famous for having forged extremely sharp blades and was popular among high-class Samurai.
It is said that he was a descendant of Yamashiro koku Sanjyo Yoshinori(山城国三条吉則), one of the most famous swordsmiths during the Muromachi period（Prior to Edo period).After learning the sword-forging technique from his father, Norimitsu(則光) in Miyatsu city, Norimitsu, he moved to Kyoto city.
Masanori eventually was noticed and supported by Matsudaira Hideyasu, the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo government. Hideysu was the feudal lord of Echizen province during the early Edo period. He then moved to Echizen province to serve the Matsudaira clan. He became an Okakaekaji for Matsudaira Tadanao(松平忠直), who was the first son of Matsudaira Hideyasu. An Okakaekaji means those who exclusively forged swords for specific Samurai or clan. It was honorable for any makers to serve this position back then. He also received an official title of Yamato Daijyo from the emperor for his excellent craftsmanship.
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.
Cutting Edge Length (Nagasa): 70.3 cm (27.7 inches)
Curvature (Sori): 1.97 cm (0.77 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.
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. It adds decorativeness to the work instead of gold or silver colorings. This Fuchi Kashira gives the impression of being simple yet sturdy.
Tsuka and Menuki: Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
You would find the figure of the dragon coiling its body around the blade. This design is called the Kurikara Ken (倶利伽羅剣). The Kurikara-ken was named due to the appearance that Kurikara Ryu-O (倶利伽羅龍王, dragon) winding around the sword. It is believed that the Kurikara-Ken could cut off worldly desires: Sandoku (三毒). Sandoku is the three fundamental earthly desires; Ton (貪, greed), Jin (瞋, anger, grudge), and Chi (癡, delusion, complaint).
The Kurikara Ken is the sword that Fudo Myo-O (不動明王, acalanātha) holds with his right hand. Fudo Myo-O is one of the objects of worship in Buddhism. This god was also known as the god of wars. According to a theory, it is the incarnation of Dainichi Nyorai (大日如来, Mahāvairocana, the principal image of esoteric Buddhism). Fudo Myo-O also brings another sword called the Sanko-Duka-Ken (三鈷柄剣). It is a sword that has a characteristic shape handle; its handle has the structure of the San-Kosho (三鈷杵, a type of item of esoteric Buddhism). It is an esoteric Buddhist tool for prayer, meditation, purification, and amulets. A view says that this sword would exorcize evil spirits. Both motifs are presumed to be influenced by esoteric Buddhism that came from the continent. In addition, these designs were often incorporated not only into sword mountings but also into blade carvings. We would say it is one of the elements that reveal the religious views of the creator or owner of the blade.
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.
Same as the Fuchi Kashira, the Nanako-Ji technique is used on the surface of this oval-shaped Tsuba. And golden metal is applied to its Kozuka and Kougai holes. This Tsuba might look simple at first glance. However, if you look at it from the side, you can see that the Mimi (耳, Tsuba’s edge) part is decorated with plant patterns. Golden paint on these flowers adds decorativeness to this work. One of these plants is probably the chrysanthemum. A long time ago, the chrysanthemum was used as a medicine for obtaining a long life in the continent, and it was brought to Japan with this thought in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemum symbolizes fall, and people have greatly appreciated it since ancient times. Since its petals form radially, the chrysanthemum has been likened to the sun. That is why this flower pattern is treated as the symbol of perpetual youth and longevity or good health.
Saya: Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper: NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1019389)
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. 14th in the 4th year of Reiwa (2022). 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: Yamanashi 501
The Board of Education in Yamanashi 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 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.
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.
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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.