Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Hizenkoku Hirouji with Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by Hizenkoku Hirouji(肥前国広氏) during the early-mid Edo period according to NBTHK, who appraised this blade. The age isn’t mentioned in the certificate, but we called NBTHK to headquarter to confirm this information.
Hizenkoku, located in Saga prefecture, is the name of the place where Hirouji forged this blade. There were so many renowned swordsmiths who resided in this province. It is said that the reputation of Hizen province started to spread from the beginning of the Edo period when Tadayoshi(忠吉) founded the school there.
Tadayoshi is known as one of the greatest swordsmiths in the early Edo period in Japanese sword history. We believe Hirouji isn’t a direct descendant of Tadayoshi, but this blade has many features of swords forged in Hizeon province.
The swordsmiths in the Hizen province worked under the auspices of the Nabeshima clan, a powerful feudal line in Kyushu island. They were able to produce beautiful Jigane-patterned(Nashijihada) blades, also known as Hizen To, using and mixing carbon steel made in western countries.
Hizenkoku had been flourishing by international trading. That means the geographic location of this domain made it possible to have easy access to western carbon steel.
We are confident you will appreciate Hirouji’s craftsmanship by observing this blade. It also accompanies by gorgeous sword mounting.
This blade is appraised as a Hozon Token(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 with artistic value.
It is accompanies by beautiful sword mountings, which were appraised as Tokubetsu Kicho Kodogu. It would be nice to have a Japanese sword whose blade and sword mounting were both appraised by NBTHK.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 71.4 cm(28.1 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.8 cm( 0.70 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 an uneven surface which is similar to the texture of stones. Therefore, it looks sturdy and makes us feel it will protect the handle from damage. Also, the silvery metal frames this Fuchi Kashira. This edging makes this sword’s handle more decorative and enhances its defensiveness. This Fuchi Kashira might not be looked gorgeous; however, we would like to consider that its design and texture were convenient in battles.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
According to its certificate, this Menuki’s motif is Sasagani Zu (笹蟹図). It is a combination of bamboo grass and crab. The word Sasagani (笹蟹/細蟹) was an old name of a spider or spider’s thread. As spiders handle threads skillfully, it is reminiscent of weaving. And it was associated with Orihime (織姫). She is a character in the story of Tanabata (七夕, the Star Festival). A theory says she lived by weaving. That is, Sasagani Zu represents the Star Festival.
This is one of the series of word association games. People loved this type of Hanjimono (判じ物, rebus) during the Edo period. It is solving the riddle that guesses hidden meaning in letters and paintings. This game is challenging to understand without some knowledge and culture. People of the Edo period enjoyed the design itself and enjoyed it by combining it with other elements. From this type of design, we could get a glimpse of a sense of fun in those days. Such a taste influenced Samurai families’ women costumes since the middle of the Edo period.
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 antique Tsuba is made from iron and has two large holes. The inside of these holes is framed with silvery metal. It is the same type of decoration as the Fuchi Kashira. Like that part, this Tsuba also does not have gorgeous ornamental designs such as gold inlay. But you would enjoy the texture of iron itself and the beauty of the unity of this sword’s entire Koshirae.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK 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 Dec 19th in the 15th year of Heisei (2003). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade worth preserving for Japanese society. Its sword mounting were also appraised by NBTHK as Tokubetsu Kicho Kodogu on March 1st in the 45th year of Showa era(1970). 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 : Saitama 51140
The Board of Education in Saitama 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 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 the 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.
【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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.