Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Kanenobu with Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate
This blade was signed by Kanenobu(兼信) during the Shinto era, according to its NBTHK’s appraisal. Shinto is Japanese Sword terminology that refers to the swords forged during 1596-1781. There were a few swordsmiths who used Kanenobu as his maker’s name. Based on the remaining work signed by Kanenobu during the Shinto era, we believe this blade was forged in the early Edo period (1624-1681) in Mino province(today’s Gifu prefecture).
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 exceedingly 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, and 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, so 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 the reputation of their practical design and sharpness. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province.
The tradition of excellent sword forging skills had been passed throughout the Edo period and Kanenobu is a good example. We are confident you can appreciate great workmanship of Kanenobu. It is accompanied by the beautiful sword mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 70.5 cm(27.75 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.6 cm (0.63 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 is made from iron. The Mukade (百足, centipede) is designed. It seems centipedes crawl on the Saya. We guess it was a practical design to intimidate enemies. Centipedes move the only foreword, not backward: therefore, Samurai thought centipedes as warriors’ brave and heroic figures. During the Sengoku period (戦国時代, the Warring States period, 1467-1615), it is said Samurais regarded this insect as the symbol of victory because of its high aggression. Also, as centipedes have lots of legs, people consider that centipede would lead to many customers. Besides, since centipedes run very fast, this insect is connected with the idea that merchants would sell items quickly. Based on these ideas, the centipede pattern was treated as a lucky charm by Samurais and storekeepers.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menuki’s motif is the Kamakiri (蟷螂, mantis). It seems the gold-colored metal was initially applied to it. The mantis is also called as Ogami-Mushi (拝み虫), or Inori-Mushi (祈り虫) in Japanese. Both of these names mean a praying insect. Mantises hold their arms together, and their long wings cover their lower bodies. This posture looks similar to a priest who prays to God. Therefore, people likened the mantis to a “praying mantis.” Mantises lay well so that the mantis is considered a symbol of children.
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. Same as the Fuchi Kashira, this Tsuba’s motif is also the centipede. According to a theory, some people believed the centipede is a messenger of the Bishamonten (毘沙門天, Vaishuravana), who is the god of treasure and war. This god was worshipped by miners and blacksmiths so that centipedes were regarded as the god of mines. The centipede pattern has been familiar to people thanks to its various graces.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
If you focus on the tip of the Saya, you can find the Tonbo (蜻蛉, dragonfly) at the Kojiri (鐺) part. This dragonfly opens its legs widely, and its eyes are colored with shiny gold; it gives you a powerful impression. Since a long time ago, the dragonfly has been inhabiting Japan. As they catches preys quickly, some people have treated its heroic figure as the object of belief. It is a similar idea to the centipede design. During the Warring States period, the dragonfly was called “Kachimushi (勝ち虫, winning insect)” because of its fearless character; it moves only forward, not backward. Understandably, this motif is designed for sword mountings.
Summarizing the design of each part of the Koshirae, we would say that the owner of this sword loved the design of insects. As mentioned above, each motif has a history of being favored by Samurais. The former owner of this sword might have tailored it based on the meaning of those designs. We hope you will also enjoy this Koshirae, of course, with the beauty of the blade.
Kougai：Kougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style.
Traditional streetlights illuminate the area, and it is probably cherry blossoms or plum trees that are in bloom. The semicircle is drawn with a golden line; it probably represents the moon. It is an emotional work that depicts a scene of a night.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate for both blade＆ sword mounting
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 March 26th in the 36th year of Showa era(1961) and sword mounting on Sep 18th in the 41th year of Showa(1966). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Kicho Token and Tokubetsu Kicho Kodogu, an old form of certificate. The purchaser will receive these original certificates as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Aichi 23556
The Board of Aichi in Tokyo 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 350 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.
【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.