Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Kaneoto with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Kaneoto(兼音) during the late Muromachi period(1469-1487) in Mino province(today’s Gifu prefecture). There are two generations of Kaneoto. The first gen was active in sword forging during the Bunmei era(1469-1487) while the second’s prime time was in the Oei era(1521-1528). We believe it was forged by the first-gen because of its characteristic and the grade of NBTHK authentication paper.
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, 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, and 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.
This blade is stored in Tachi(太刀) Koshirae. Tachi was mainly used by an armored Samurai with one hand on horseback from the Heian period (794-1185 A.D.) until the early Muromachi period. TACHI was suspended loosely on the left waist with its edge facing the ground so that you could draw it faster to cut down soldiers on the ground.
Because of its gorgeous looking, having a Tachi-style sword mounting became a social status among Samurai. We presume this blade was once owned by a high-ranked Samurai who was wealthy enough to own a blade forged by a famous swordsmith with the Tachi-style sword mounting. You can see many gold family emblem design on the scabbard, which makes the whole appearance of the sword mounting beautiful.
This blade is appraised as Tokubetsu Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, especially worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword).
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa) : 63.0 cm(24.8 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.9 cm( 0.75 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. Gold inlay was applied on them.
Leaves are designed for Fuchi Kashira. As vines are curved, this pattern might be categorized as the Karakusa (唐草, arabesque) pattern. A pattern in which stems and leaves of vines are twined and make curves. Since ivy has a strong vitality and grows up without interruption, people regarded this design as a symbol of prosperity and longevity.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menuki is designed with the combination of two family crests. The entire is colored with golden metal. The one which has a plant motif is the Myoga (茗荷, myoga ginger) pattern. Myoga is known as Japanese ginger and was brought to Japan with Shoga (生姜, ginger). According to a theory, Shoga was used to be called “Senoka,” and Myoga was used to be called “Menoka” in ancient times. It is said that these pronunciations were changed with time. Myoga has the same pronunciation as another word, “Myoga (冥加),” which means divine protection; therefore, this motif has been treated as a good-luck design. It is seen at shrines and temples in various parts of Japan, and it is also a popular motif for family crest as this Menuki work.
Another geometric design family crest is called Hikiryo-Mon (引両紋); it is a simple pattern with two horizontal lines in the circle. In ancient times, Samurai families had a custom marking the flag with a god’s name and drawing a black bar below it. By doing this, they prayed to Shinto spirits; their luck in a war would last for a long time. However, the custom was gradually changed its manner, and only the black line has remained. Because of this history, there is a close connection between Hikiryo-Mon and Samurai families. It is also said that these lines represent dragons. As the dragon pattern has been treated as an auspicious design, it is possible to compare lines to this sacred beast. Ashikaga Takauji, who opened the Muromachi government, used this Hikiryo-Mon for his family crest.
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 Tsuba has the Aoi-Gata shape. The golden metal is applied to Kozuka and Kougai holes. If you focus on four corners of this Tsuba, you will find heart mark-shaped holes. It is called the Inome Sukashi (猪の目透かし). The Inome pattern has been used since ancient times. As its name implies, the eyes of the boar are the origin of this design. Some people believed that the Inome design works as an amulet to protect them from evil spirits or fire. Also, it is said it would bring good luck. This pattern is often used for Aoi-Gata Tsuba. Also, the Inome design is found in traditional Japanese architectures such as shrines or temples and used Gegyo (懸魚, decoration under the roof, where the roof is jointed) or metal fittings for hiding timber joints.
About the design, the same kind of plant pattern of Fuchi Kashira decorates this Tsuba. When this Tsuba and Fuchi Kashira are fitted at the Tsuka (handle), it makes the unity for the appearance of Koshirae.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Same as Menuki, the family crest of the Myoga pattern is designed for this Saya.
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 Feb 25th in the 31st year of Heisei (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 : Yamaguchi 31889
The Board of Education in Yamaguchi 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.
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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 300 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.
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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.
【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. When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free sword maintenance kit, which appears in this video.
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