Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Fujiwara Teruki with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Houshu Takada Jyu Fujiwara Teruyuki (豊州高田住藤原輝行), who was especially active during the Enpo era (1673-1681: the early Edo period). Houshu is another name for Bungo province in today’s Oita prefecture. Tadaka is the name of the village he resided in when he forged this blade. Takada is also the name of the school he belonged to.
Takada school was founded by Takada Tomoyuki in Takada village, Ohita prefecture, during the Nanbokucho period. (1334-1338 A.D). Tomoyuki went to Bizen province(today’s Okayama prefecture) to master the sword-forging techniques of BIZEN and came back to the village and trained his apprentices. That is how Takada school started. Those who forged swords in Takada village before the Edo period are called Taira Takada and Fujiwara Takada during the Edo period. This blade is categorized as a Fujiwara Takada sword.
During Sengoku Period(the warring state period: from late 15 C to late 16 C), the Takada school forged many swords for feudal lords on Kyushu island. It is said that the reputation of the blades forged by Takada school was close to MINO or BIZEN swords, two of which are the most famous sword forging places. This highly skilled sword forging technique was passed down to later generations in the Edo period.
Generally speaking, Kyushu island was prosperous in sword-making because of the long trading history with Asian countries. To gain an advantage in trading, many feudal lords on this island fought against each other. Takada school was able to receive many orders as the demand increased among those lords. The material of Japanese swords(high-quality iron sand and charcoal) was abundant in the mount Sobo Katamuki, located near Takada village. We believe Takada school prospered because of its geographic location and natural resources.
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)： 72.2 cm (28.4 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.9 cm ( 3.58 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.
Little birds and sailing ships are designed on this Fuchi Kashira. Golden paint is applied to these birds, and it adds elegance to this work.
There is such a design that combines small birds and waves. It is called the Nami Chidori (波千鳥). Nami (波) means waves, and Chidori (千鳥) is a plover. The Nami Chidori pattern represents happy marriage and family safety. In Japan, people have treated it as a good omen design since the Nara period (648-781). Waves are compared to the world, which describes determination: overcoming difficulties with a partner even if there are small or big waves (difficulties/ troubles). Also, the plover pattern is used as a prayer. The Japanese name of the plover: Chidori, was associated with the word Chidori (千取り, which literally means get a thousand). Therefore, its design contains prayers for victory and wishes for goal achievement.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
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.
While the letters have worn away due to aging and become difficult to see, we could find the engraved inscription around the Nakago hole (center hole) of the front. We think it is written as follows: 藻柄子 宗典 (Mogarashi/Souheishi Souten). According to a theory, he worked actively during the middle of the Edo period. He lived in Hikone (彦根) area, Oumi-no Kuni (近江国, today’s Shiga prefecture). He was good at the Takabori Iroe (高彫色絵) technique and originated the Hikone-Bori (彦根彫) style. He trained many disciples and played an active role in his longevity over 75 years old. The second Souten was the first’s son. He followed the first’s designs and created lots of excellent Tsubas. It is said that many fake Souten Tsubas were made; it shows his works were highly appreciated.
About the theme of this Tsuba, we would categorize it as the Kassen Zu (合戦図). It depicts a scenery of a battlefield. Many Samurai warriors are depicted on this Tsuba. They wear armor and bring weapons, and they are jostling and fighting each other. It is so powerful that we could almost hear their roars in battle. They have stern expressions, and their brave appearances on the battlefield are expressed here. Gold and silver inlay is applied to several parts, and it adds decorativeness to this work.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1019905)
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 March 10th in the 5th year of Reiwa (2023). 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 : Niigata 062173
The Board of Education in Niigata 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 an export permit. If you live in Japan, please click here before you make a purchase.
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* 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.
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“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】
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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.
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