Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Inshu Kanesaki with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Myoitsu Inshu Jyu Hosetsu Nyudo Kanesaki (妙一因州住峯雪入道兼先) during the Tenpo era (1830-1844: The end of the Edo period), according to the NBTHK’s appraisal.
Inshu is also known as Inaba domain, located in today’s Tottori prefecture. Myoitsu (妙一) means an excellent blade, indicating he was satisfied with the quality of this blade he forged. Hosetsu Nyudo (峯雪入道) was the title used by the 7th gen Kanesaki. The back of the tang also says that a specific person ordered this blade, which is called Chumon Uchi. Based on the inscription, we believe it was ordered by 藤原長保 and made for 矢島東市.
The swordsmith name Kanesaki lasted eight generations in Inaba domain during the Edo-early Meiji period, and this blade was forged by the seventh generation. The birth name of the 7th-gen was Heki Yazaburo (日置矢三郎). He was known as an offspring of Mino Kanesaki, an apprentice of Kanemoto in the late Muromachi period (Early-Mid 16th century).
Mino Kanesaki was originally from Seki city, Mino province (Today’s Gifu prefecture), and started sword-forging in the Dai-Ei era (1521-1528). However, toward the end of the Muromachi period, his apprentices moved to other parts of Japan, such as Bizen, Echizen, and Kaga. One of them was his son, who first moved to Bizen and ended up living in Inshu to serve Ikeda clan, who ruled the Tottori domain throughout the Edo period.
Ikeda clan was one of the most powerful feudal lines in that region. It was a privilege to work for the feudal family, and only highly skilled swordsmiths were entitled to this honor. Since the early Edo period, the generations of Inshu Kanesaki forged blades for Ikeda clan. And the works of Kanesaki show characteristics of the sword-forging tradition called Mino Den.
What is Mino Den?
The MINO swordsmiths style, also known as MINO-DEN, basically has the TOGARI(Pointed shapes protruding from the Hamon )in a classic straight line and random temper line with some white Utsuri. MINO-DEN had its origin from YAMATO-DEN in the late KAMAKURA period(1280-1330). It flourished in the MUROMACHI period(1333-1573) and continued until the EDO period(1603-1868).
MINO-DEN especially prospered during Sengoku Jidai(Warring State period) due to the high demand for weapons. And the location of Mino province beat others. Akechi Mitsuhide controlled Mino province, Nobunaga Oda ruled Owari province, and Tokugawa Ieyasu was the lord of Suruga (Neighboring areas). There was high demand from those powerful feudal lords and their retainers. Furthermore, many wars occurred between the Kanto region and the Kyoto area.
Mino is located in the middle, making feudal lords feel convenient to order swords from MINO-DEN. The blades forged in MINO provinces also had a reputation for their practical design and sharpness. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province. The tradition of excellent sword forging skills was passed to the Edo period, and Inshu Kanesaki is a good example.
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.
*Please keep in mind that there is a small Kitae ware on this blade. If you like to know the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us. We will send you additional photos and videos.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：67.2 cm (26.4 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.
Diagonal line patterns are engraved on the entire of this Fuchi Kashira. It seems it depicts a scene where the rain is blowing sideways. This simple but elegant design matches well with other sword mountings of this Katana.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Seeing through the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, the dragon coils its body around a sword. This design is called the Kurikara Ken (倶利伽羅剣). It is said the Fudo Myo-O (不動明王, acalanātha) brings this sword. The Fudo Myo-O is a protective god in Buddhism, particularly in Japanese Shingon Buddhism. This god was also known as a god of wars. According to a theory, this sword has the power to punish evils, crush worldly desires, and achieve the effects of religious training. This Menuki is colored with golden paint; this coloring adds decorativeness to this work and makes even the whole handle part looks gorgeous.
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.
We think this Tsuba’s shape is categorized as a type of Mokkou (木瓜)-shaped Tsuba. This Tsuba has Kozuka and Kougai holes and is probably made from iron. Although it is challenging to judge the original design, golden coloring (estimated brass inlay) remains relatively in good condition. We guess clouds or pine trees are the motifs of this Tsuba’s design. If you focus on the Nakago hole (center hole), you will find that some Japanese letters are engraved. Now, these letters are unclear to read due to aging. However, usually, we could discover engraved inscriptions of a maker.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1016208)
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 Aug 27th in the 3rd year of Reiwa (2021). 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 : Gifu 31697
The Board of Education in Gifu 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 for the past three years (～2022) 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.
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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, Switzerland, 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 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.
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【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)】
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【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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