Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Kashu Ietsugu with Hozon Certificate
According to NBTHK’s appraisal , it was signed by Kashu Fujiwara Ietsugu(加州藤原家次), while Tsugu part was cut due to Suriage (the blade size adjustment) in the past.
Ietsugu is also known as Kaga Aoe, being active in sword-forging in the late Muromachi period(late 16th century) in Kaga domain(Today’s Ishikawa prefecture). It is said that Ietusugu belonged to the Kashu Sanekage school, which was prosperous during the Muromachi period, forging many swords for high-class Samurai.
Ietsugu resided in Kashu province(today’s Ishikawa prefecture), forging swords for living. This province was ruled by Maeda clan when Ietsugu was alive. Maeda clan was originally a retainer of Oda family, who ruled Owari province. (today’s Nagoya area in Aichi prefecture) The first head of the Maeda clan was Toshie Maeda. He climbed the social ladder of Samurai society, and he became the feudal lord of Kaga Province(today’s Ishikawa prefecture). It is said that he had a vast rice fief that fed 100 million grown-up adults, which is called Hyakuman Goku. The Maeda clan was one of the most powerful lines in Samurai history. Toshie Maeda had a close tie with Oda Nobunaga and Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
This blade was appraised as a Hozon Token(保存刀剣) issued by NBTHK(Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai:日本美術刀剣保存協会) on June, 2021. We are expecting to receive this paper by the end of October. This authentication paper was only given to authentic Japanese swords, well preserved with artistic value.
There is partial rust on the Boshi area(near the tip of the blade). While its current condition is good enough to be appreciated, we will be happy to have it polished without additional charge if you are okay with waiting for an additional 1-2 month. We do business with a professional Japanese sword polisher.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：70.0 cm( 27.56 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.8 cm( 0.70 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.
Swimming fish are designed on this Fuchi Kashira. These fish might be the Tai (鯛, sea bream); it is a good-luck bringer, so it has often been used for celebrations. Also, this fish is a symbol of the Ebisu (恵比寿) God, who is the member of the Shichifukujin (七福神, the Seven Gods of Good Fortune). The Ebisu God usually has a fishing pole and a sea bream, so initially, he was the God of fishing. Ports will be done well by the comings and goings of ships. Safe voyages will bring profitable businesses; therefore, the Ebisu became famous as the God of trade. In addition, it is believed to be the God of good match or wealth in some areas. Although the Ebisu God himself is not depicted for this Fuchi Kashira, it might suggest this God’s existence.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The running horses are the motif of this Menuki. It seems gold metal was initially applied to these horses. This animal has been around human life for a long time, not only as our food but also for transportation or carriage of luggage. In Japan, horses were thought as vehicles for gods to be dedicated to shrines in ancient times. A theory says it is the origin of Ema (絵馬, picture tablet used as an offering at a shrine) today. Horses had played an important role in ancient rituals and festivals. After Samurai appeared, wearing large armor or performing archery riding a hose became martial arts. Equestrian tactics became the pillar of military action and security activities. It is said that is why the Japanese sword began to have a curve to make it suitable for slashing (the Japanese sword was straight in the beginning). That is, this animal had a deep relationship with the Samurai culture. Understandably, the horse motif is found in sword mountings.
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.
Mokkou-shaped Tsuba is made from iron. The Mokkou (木瓜) shape, its origin is a shape of eggs that are rest in a nest. When a quince (it is written 木瓜 in Japanese) is cut into round slices, its cross-section looks similar to this shape; therefore, it was named the Mokkougata Tsuba. The Yotsu-Mokkougata (a combination of four Mokkou shapes) Tsuba is often seen. This Tsuba’s shape is a combination of six Mokkous; it seems as if the flower with six petals is in bloom.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
This Saya is decorated with bright vermilion color. And dragonflies are designed with black ink. Dragonfly has been inhabiting since a long time ago in Japan. As they bag preys quickly, its heroic figure was sometimes regarded as the object of belief. 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. Above all, many Samurais loved the combination of the dragonfly and the iris flower or the arrow. Arrow was one of the Samurai’s primary weapons. Iris flower is called “Shoubu (菖蒲)” in Japanese, and there is the word “Shoubu (勝負),” which means battle. So, “Shoubu” (菖蒲, iris flower) and “Shoubu” (勝負, fight) those two wards have the same pronunciation; therefore, the iris flower pattern reminds Samurai battle.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate
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 in June in the third year of Reiwa (2021). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade worth preserving for Japanese society. We arre expecting to receive the authentication paper by the end of this November. 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 : Mie 53917
The Board of Education in Mie 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.