Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Tango no Kami Kanemichi with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Tango no Kami Kanemichi(丹後守兼道). We believe it was forged by second-gen Kanemichi, judging from its characteristics and signature. The second-gen Kanemichi mainly worked in Osaka during the early Edo period(Late 17th century). He was especially active in sword-forging during 1681-1688. There is also the record of him living in Edo city and Harima province(Hyogo prefecture) in his career.
The first-gen Tango no Kami Kanemichi (丹後守兼道) was the second son of the first-gen Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi(丹波守吉道).
Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi belonged to Kyoto Mishina school. Mishina school’s founder was originally from Mino province, exclusively forging blades for Shingen Takeda, a famous feudal lord. Later on, he moved to Kyoto by bringing his four sons and founded his school in Kyoto. Yoshimichi was one of his sons. The first-gen Yoshimichi was known as Kyoto Gokaji(京都五鍛冶), five prestigious swordsmiths forging in Kyoto in the early Edo period.
Yoshimichi, father of the first-gen Tango no Kami Kanemichi, developed a unique Hamon pattern(tempering line) called Sudareba(簾刃). Sudare means traditional screens or blinds in Japanese. The Hamon pattern he invented resembles its appearance to Sudare.
This blade has a beautiful Sudareba Hamon. This special characteristic was passed down to the first-gen Tanba no Kami Kanemichi and was taught among Kamichi swordsmiths for generations. It takes time to comprehend this intricate, fascinating Hamon design on this blade.
The first-gen Kanemichi received the title of Tango no Kami in the second year of Kanei(1625) and moved to Osaka. He founded Osaka Mishina school and flourished for generations during the Edo period. We believe the son of the first-gen Kanemichi also forged this blade in Osaka in the early Edo period. The second-gen also mastered excellent craftsmanship from his father.
The blades forged by the second-gen Kanemichi are categorized as Osaka Shinto. Shinto is Japanese Sword terminology that refers to the swords forged during 1596-1781. The blades made in the Osaka area during this period are called Osaka Shinto. There are many famous swordsmiths in this Osaka Shinto era. After Hideyoshi Toyotomi built Osaka castle, Osaka city flourished as a castle town and became the business center. Many swordsmiths moved to Osaka to look for better opportunities. They not only forged swords for those Samurai who lived in Osaka but also for feudal lords nationwide.
One of the most notable characteristics of Osaka Shinto is its beauty in Jigane. Jigane is a visible steel surface pattern created by folding and hammering during the forging process), which made it possible by the location of Osaka. Osaka had close access to the Tamahagane(special carbon steel to make Japanese swords) production sites. The swordsmiths residing in Osaka were able to get high-quality carbon steel from these sites.
The Habaki of this blade might have made at the same time as the blade was forged. A sailing ship is depicted in this Habaki. The way Kanemichi inscribed the letter “丹” (TAN) is quite distinctive, and it is almost like the letter “舟” (FUNE), which means a sailing ship in Japanese. The Habaki designer might have been influenced by how Tanba no Kami Kaemichi signed his “丹” (TAN) letter.
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)： 70.9 cm( 27.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：2.1 cm( 0.83 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(Sabbard), 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 is finished with a plain design. The gold color metal is applied at its edge; it is probably gold or brass.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Seeing from the curly hair, it might be the Karajishi (唐獅子) that is designed for this Menuki. Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and Karajishi is a lion brought from China to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Karajishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and the tale. In Buddhism, Karajishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Karajishi is the origin of Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits).
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.
Yotsu Mokkou-shaped Tsuba made from iron. The Saya Gata (紗綾形) pattern decorates this Tsuba. It is a type of continuous design which many Samurais loved. According to a theory, this motif was brought to Japan in the Momoyama period (1568-1600) from a foreign country. The Saya Gata pattern has a graceful appearance and represents the longevity and prosperity of the family.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Kougai：Kougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style.
Several tea utensils are designed for this Kougai. You could find Chawan (茶碗, cup) or Chasen (茶筅, whisk).
The Japanese tea ceremony (茶道, Sa-Do) is one of the traditional performing arts in Japan. Its core foundation dates back to the mid-Samurai era when the renowned tea master Sen-No Rikyu established Wabi-Cha. Wabi-Cha was a type of tea ceremony held in specific manners that incorporate the sense of Wabi-Sabi (the art of modesty) and respect. Sen-No Rikyu served under famous Samurais such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. We could say the Sa-Do was connected with Samurai culture because of its political utilization.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade
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 June 25th in the second year of Reiwa (2020). 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 : Tochigi 11576
The Board of Education in Tochigi 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.
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【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 350 Japanese swords to amazing owners who appreciate its historical value.
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【How to make sure the condition】
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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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.