Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Hisayuki with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Bakufushi Hisayuki(幕府士久幸) on August 15th in the third year of Ansei era(1856) when he was 71 years old based on the signature and the NBHTK certificate.
Bakushi Hisayuki is also known as Kawai Hisayuki(川井久幸). He was active in sword-forging at the end of the Edo period. He served Tokugawa Shogunate as a Samurai as well. He was ranked as Hatamoto(Guardian of the banner), a high-ranked direct retainer of Tokugawa Shogunate. While forging swords for the Tokugawa government, he also worked as a military officer, exceptionally skilled at using Yari(spear).
He was born in the 6th year of Tenmei era(1786) as the first son of Kawai family, who belonged to Hamaoto rank under Tokugawa Shogunate. His family’s ancestor served Tokugawa Ieyasu(the first appointed Shogun in the Edo period) in Toe province(Shizuoka prefecture). And, Hisayuki’s family was a branch family and kept the Hatamoto ranking from his ancestors. Hisayuki’s real name is Kawai Kametaro(川井亀太郎). He lived in Koishikawa area in Edo city, Musashikoku.
Being interested in sword-forging, Hisayuki first became an apprentice of Hosokawa Masayoshi school. He mainly learned his sword-forging technique under the master Shimizu Hisayoshi. Later on, he also studied craft from Nakayama Ikkansai Yoshihiro. It was pretty rare to become a swordsmith from a Samurai family’s background. We assume he was eager to improve his sword-forging technique by learning from different masters.
During his career, he mainly focused on forging sharp and practical swords. Many of his remaining works are designed with a straight tempering line(Suguha). While he forged many Yari blades(spears), you rarely find a Katana blade signed by him. As a Samurai, he was also famous as the master of Yari fighting style.
He died at the age of 83 in the first year of the Meiji era when the Tokugawa government lost its power. This blade was forged when he was 71 years old, and we feel his vitality by appreciating it. Based on how refined this sword is, we believe this blade was ordered by a high-class Samurai who served Tokugawa Shogun at the end of the Edo period.
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 Hisayuki, 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.
You can see Yoshiyuki’s excellent craftsmanship by simply looking at this blade closely. We are confident you will be happy to own this piece of Samurai history.
This blade 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)：70.8 cm( 27.87 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.7 cm(0.67 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.
Horses and several types of flowers are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. Some parts are colored with golden metal. This Fuchi Kashira depicts horses relaxing in various plants; this work has a gorgeous look thanks to the effect of gold decoration.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Same as the Fuchi Kasira, horses are designed for this Menuki. They are running, opening their legs widely, and give a neigh. Horses have been around human life for a long time, as our food and for transportation or carriage of luggage. In Japan, horses were thought of as vehicles for gods to be dedicated to shrines in ancient times. It is said it is the origin of Ema (絵馬, picture tablet used as an offering at a shrine) today. Horses had been used as a tool for rituals and festivals. After the age that Samurai appeared, wearing large armor or performing archery riding a hose became martial arts. Equestrian tactics became the pillar of military action and security activities. According to a theory, that is why the Japanese sword began to have a curve to make it suitable for slashing (the Japanese sword was straight in the beginning).
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.
Circle-shaped Tsuba made from iron. It seems this Tsuba depicts several motifs. For example, you would find a cherry blossom on the right upper side. There is a Matsuba (松葉, pine needle)-like design at the left side of the Kozuka hole. Also, an abstracted design of two wild geese is arranged under the pine needle.
Cherry blossom is one of the seasonal things of spring, and it has been loved for a long time in Japan. Its pattern is designed not only for sword mountings but also for Kimono (着物, traditional Japanese costume) or furnishings. A 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.
The pine needle pattern has been treated as a lucky charm because the root of the two leaves are firmly connected and will not separate even if the leaves fall. Shoguns and Daimyos set their patterns in the Edo period and called Sadame Mon (定め紋). Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (1680-1709), the 5th Shogun of the Edo Shogunate, used the Matsuba design for his Sadame Mon. The pine tree itself is also one of the classical designs for Japanese people. As pine trees keep their green color throughout the years by withstanding severe heat and cold, this plant pattern represents eternal youth.
The wild goose is a migratory bird that represents fall. This bird is engraved by not only a relistic figure but also a very simplified shape: Hiragana (ひらがな, a kind of Japanese letter) “he (へ)” shape that sometimes makes also wild goose. This motif is also popular for family crests.
In this way, various designs are contained in one work; you would enjoy the design itself and the meaning of each motif.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
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 Oct 25th in the 2nd year of Heisei (1990). They appraised it as a 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 : Chiba 31460
The Board of Education in Chiba prefecture issued a registration paper for this sword . In order to obtain this paper, the sword needs to be traditionally hand forged. With this paper, its owner can legally own an authentic Japanese sword in Japan. This paper will need to be returned to the board of education when the sword being shipped abroad but you can receive a copy of it.
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 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, EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany , France and Hong Kong. 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 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.
*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.
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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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.