Antique Japanese Sword Katana Katana Signed by Fujiwara Michitoki with NTHK Kanteisho
This blade was signed by Oushu Aizu Jyu Fujiwara Michitoki (奥州会津住藤原道辰) in the 4th year of the Bunkyu era (1864). The maker’s name Michitoki lasted six generations, and based on the year this blade was forged, we believe it is the 6th generation’s work. Oushu, also known as Mitsu province, was located in today’s Fukushima prefecture. And Aizu was one of the most prosperous cities. Oushu Aizu Jyu means that he resided in this area when he created the blade.
The generations of Michitoki belonged to Miyoshi Nagamichi School. And they served Aizu domain, which controlled Mutsu province. Aizu domain is one of the last domains that fought for the Tokugawa Shogunate at the end of the Edo period when a civil war happened between the Tokugawa Shogunate and Choshu-Satsuma alliances.
The Background History
Japan enjoyed a relatively peaceful time from the early Edo period to the mid-Edo period(the 1600s-1760s) because of the stable economy and the powerful government run by Tokugawa Shogun. Samurai didn’t have many opportunities to utilize his Katana sword in public or on battlefields during this time. Thus, they carried their swords more as a symbol of their social status. The demand for weapons decreased accordingly compared to the previous Warring state period called Sengoku Jidai. (1467-1600)
However, toward the end of the Edo period(1764-1876), the Japanese sword’s role changed dramatically. With the poverty spreading in Japan, there were so many riots initiated by the civilians. Japanese sword started to play an essential role in maintaining public safety.
Pressure from foreign countries to open Japanese borders also forced Samurai to order strong-looking swords to survive this tumultuous time. We believe many swordsmiths, including Michitatsu, made great efforts to forged high-quality, practical blades for their masters to prepare for battles.
There was a civil war between Tokugawa’s military government and the new Meiji government at the end of the Edo period. That means the original owner of this Katana might have seen the moment when Samurai’s life changed forever. This blade has a strong looking and must have been practical to use in that demanding time.
*Please keep in mind that there is a visible Kitae Kizu on the blade. If you like to see the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 72.4 cm (28.5 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：2.7 cm (1.06 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 Kashira part has a simple look. There are minor damages due to aging and use, so we hope you would enjoy them as antique textures. On the other hand, the Fuchi part is decorated with a geometric pattern, which is called the Saya Gata (紗綾形) pattern. It is a type of continuous design, and many Samurai loved it. According to a theory, this motif was brought from a foreign country to Japan in the Momoyama period (1568-1600). The Saya Gata pattern has a graceful appearance and represents the longevity and prosperity of the family.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
A pair of Niwatori (鶏, rooster and hen) are the motifs of this Menuki. In ancient times, this bird was used for rituals to offer to gods. It is said this is why the chicken pattern was incorporated into family crests.
As this bird tells the arrival of morning, people regard it as the Ake-no Tori (明けの鳥, bird of the dawn). Also, chickens have been treated as auspicious birds because they sing at first in the new year. In another theory, there is a wordplay: Yoikoto-wo “Tori”komu (良いことを取り込む, “take” good things). This Tori (取り) and Tori (鳥, bird) are associated based on the common pronunciation. Some people believe that this bird would bring a plentiful harvest or success in business. This Menuki design might have been chosen due to these ideas.
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.
This Tsuba is categorized as the Kikuka Sukashi Tsuba (菊花透鐔); it is designed based on the shape of a Kiku (菊, chrysanthemum). A long time ago, this flower 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). The chrysanthemum symbolizes autumn, and people have greatly appreciated it since ancient times. The chrysanthemum has been likened to the sun as its petals form radially. That is why this flower pattern is treated as the symbol of perpetual youth and longevity or good health.
Kougai：Kougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style.
This item is an antique Kougai (笄), which was used to arrange or fix the hairstyle of Samurai. The Kougai is usually stored in the Kougai Hitsu. The Kozuka (小柄) is often stored on the other side of the scabbard.
It seems brass is applied to the surface of this Kougai. About the design, a building that appears to be a shrine Torii and a hedge with many small flowers are depicted.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NTHK Kanteisho Certificate for the blade
NTHK, also known as NPO Nihon Touken Hozon Kai, is the oldest organization for sword authentication of Japanese swords in modern times. It was established in 1889 during the post-Samurai era. They authenticated the blade on July 26th in the 5th year of Reiwa (2023). 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 326182
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.
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 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.
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】
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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.