Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Kanetsune with Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate
This blade was signed by Kanetsune(兼常). According to historical records, a few swordsmiths used Kanetsune as his maker’s name during the early-Muromachi period- early Edo period(1394-1644).
Based on this blade’s characteristics, we believe this blade was forged by one of Kanetsune in the late Muromachi period(1492-1569) in Mino province( Gifu prefecture today).
It is said that the first-gen Kanetsune(初代兼常) belonged to Yamato school in Nara prefecture. And he moved to Mino province in O-Ei era(1394-1428: Early Muromachi period). Since then, the school had flourished for generations. The school’s fame was close to that of Magoroku Kanemoto, Izumono kami Kanesada, prestigious swordsmiths.
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.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 69.1 cm( 27.2 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.
Mice are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. As mice have many children, it is regarded as a symbol of fertility and prosperity for future generations. According to a theory, the belief that worships mouse as the messenger of Daikokuten (大黒天, the member of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, called Shichifukujin in Japanese) was brought to Japan from the continent. Mice have the ability to predict disasters and move to a safe place before a fire or earthquake occurs. The ancient people who saw this behavior thought the mouse is the sacred beast that knows the future.
When Daikokuten’s religious ritual and mouse’s holy creature faith were brought to Japan, the mouse was connected with Okuninushi-no-Mikoto (大国主命), who is the god in Japanese myth. In Kojiki (古事記, regarded as the oldest history book in existence in Japan), there is a story about a mouse who saves Okuninushi-no-Mokoto. Because of Susanoo (another god)’s design, Okuninushi-no-Mikoto lost a place to escape in the burnt field and got a difficult situation. At this time, a mouse appeared and advised him to hide in the hole underneath. He could save by lying down at the bottom of the hole and waiting until the fire was put out. The mouse that is regarded as Daikokuten’s messenger saved Okuninushi-no-Mikoto. Based on this story, it is said that the theme that mice are playing around Daikokuten’s straw rice bag came into being.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The Kara-Jishi is the motif of this Menuki. The gold-colored metal is applied to it. This golden paint remains in relatively good condition leaving a gorgeous appearance. Kara-Jishis spread their limbs wide and shows dynamic movement. Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and Kara-Jishi is a lion brought from China to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Kara-Jishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and the tale. In Buddhism, Kara-Jishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, Kara-Jishi originates from 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.
Oval-shaped Tsuba made from iron. A kind of plant is designed. By seeing its flower and leaves’ shape, it might be Fuji (藤, Japanese wisteria). Wisteria has strong fertility and grows being entwined with other trees. Therefore, people regarded this flower as a symbol of longevity and prosperity for future generations. Also, its Japanese name Fuji (藤) is likened to another word Fushi, which is written as “不死,” which means immortality. That is why the Fujiwara (藤原) family, who reached the height of glory in the Heian period (794-1185), used this motif for their family name and family crest. According to a theory, more than 100 types of wisteria’s family crest designs in the Edo period. We could assume how this motif was popular among people. Besides, wisterias bloom downward. Its appearance was likened to a scene in the gods or Buddha is descending to the earth.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Kicho 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 Sep 17th in the 36 year of Showa(1961). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Kicho Touken, an old form of the authentication paper . 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 : Hyogo 33335
The Board of Education in Hyogo 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 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.
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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(USA, Canada).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. When we receive an order from the USA or 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】
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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. When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free sword maintenance kit, which appears in this video.