Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Ishido Korekazu with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by the seventh-gen Ishido Korekazu(七代石堂是一) according to NBTHK that appraised this blade as a Tokubetsu Hozon Token. The sevnth-gen was the most famous one among other generations of Korekazu.
The first-gen Korekazu was originally from Omi Koku(Today’s Shiga prefecture). It is said that he was a descendant of Ichimonji Sukemune(一文字助宗) from Bizen Koku(Today’s Okayama prefecture). He moved to Edo and founded Edo Ishido school at the beginning of the Edo period.
This school flourished during the whole Edo period and became one of the most popular ones in Edo city, Musashi Koku. Ishido Korekazu became an Okakaekaji for the Edo government in 1721, exclusively forging swords for the Tokugawa clan. In total, the smith name “Korekazu” lasted 8th generations.
The seventh-gen Korekazu, who was active at the end of the Edo period, is especially highly regarded among Japanese sword experts because of his superb craftsmanship. The 7th-gen Korekazu is also known as Unjyu Korekazu.7th-gen Korekazu’s real name is Masataro, and he was born in 1820 and learned the sword-forging technique from his uncle Kato Cho Unsai Tsuna Toshi, who lived in Dewano Kuni(Today’s Yamagata prefecture).Later on, he became a son-in-law of 6th-gen Ishido Korekazu and eventually took over Edo Ishido school. Seventh-gen Korekazu forged swords up until the early Meiji period. He died at the age of 75 in the 24th year of the Meiji era.
The 7th-gen Korekazu was ordered to forge a sword for Ise Shrine in Mie prefecture and Toshogu Shrine in Tochigi prefecture.
And he was allowed to inscribe the Tokugawa family emblem on these swords. Furthermore, in 1854, he was ordered to forge a sword for sending to the USA and created Naginata for the UK, which was gifts from Japan for diplomatic relations. This fact indicates that Korekazu was one of the Edo government’s trusted swordsmiths and played an essential role at the end of the Edo period.
The 7th-gen Korekazu was a great master as well because he trained quite a few renowned swordsmiths, such as Katsumura Norikatsu. His sword style is called Bizen-Den, and he was great at forging blades with Choji Midare Hamon, which makes Bizen DEN special.
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)：68.5 cm (26.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.97 cm(0.77 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 motifs of this Koshirae’s Fuchi Kashira and Menuki are both related to the tools of Samurai. For example, please look at the Kashira part. You would find a Kabuto (兜, Samurai helmet), Menpo (面頬, faceguard), and Gunbai/Gunpai (軍配) are designed. These are all the items Samurai warriors used on battlefields. The Gunbai is also called the Gunbai Uchiwa (軍配団扇). Military commanders used it to encourage their subordinates.
On the Fuchi part, you would see gears attached to horses. The Abumi (鐙, stirrup) is a type of harness on which you put your feet when riding a horse. And the Kura (鞍, saddle) is a device worn on the back of a horse to allow it to sit on the horse. By incorporating Samurai-related motifs, this Fuchi Kashira’s designer might have tried to show respect for Samurai warriors on battlefields.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
As mentioned above, this Menuki’s design is also linked to the Samurai culture. This is a combination of a Kabuto and a Japanese sword. These are parts of the battle costume of the Samurai. Due to its design, we judge it is a Suji Kabuto (筋兜) and has a Kuwagata (鍬形, front decoration). As several parts were colored with gold, it makes an elegant contrast with the black color of Menuki itself.
It is natural that Suji Kabuto was a popular theme for the sword mounting, considering the importance of its protection and significance as Samurai’s symbol.
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 oval-shaped Tsuba has a simple look. The golden metal is applied to the Kougai hole, and it is a decorative element of this work. If you focus on the center part of the front, you will find an engraved inscription. We are unsure what letters are engraved for the first line. The first letter is 長, and the last character is 住. Here this line tells us the place where this Tsuba’s maker lived. And the second line, we can read as follows: 河治作. It shows its maker’s name, and now we know this Tsuba was made by Kawaji (河治). Based on these pieces of information, we estimate the first line could be read as 長州萩住. Choshu (長州), today’s Hagi (萩) city in the Yamaguchi prefecture, was once a major production area for Tsuba, where many metalworkers were active. We believe this Tsuba was one of the works created in this region.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1012520)
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 December 2nd in the first year of Reiwa (2019). 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 : Saitama 807
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 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, 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 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】
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 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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