Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Katsukuni with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Based on the signature, this blade was forged by the eighth generation Katsukuni(勝国) in the first year of the Keio era(1865:the end of the Edo period).
Katsukuni belonged to Darani(陀羅尼) school located in Kaga domain(Ishikawa prefecture today). Darani school was founded by Katsuie(勝家) in the late Muromachi period. Katsuie was originally from Mino province, famous for the sword-forging tradition called MINO-DEN(美濃伝). He and his apprentices moved to Kaga domain after being hired by monk soldiers called Ikkou Shu.
And his son, Ieshige, took over Katuie’s school, started to serve Maeda clan, and was ordered to change his name to Katsukuni in the early Edo period.
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). 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 influential families in Samurai history. Toshie Maeda had a close tie with Oda Nobunaga and Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
Since the early Edo period, the swordsmith’s name “Katsukuni” lasted eight generations serving this prestigious clan. Katsukuni is one of the most famous swordsmiths in Kaga domain.
The Japanese swords made after the mid-Edo period towards the end of the Edo period are called Shin-Shin-To in Japanese. Shin-Shin-To were likely to be made more practical and robust. The Shin-Shin-To movement initially took place when Suishinshi Masahide began to bring back the old-school Japanese swords forged around the mid-to-late Kamakura period. Their swords rapidly gained popularity as the Edo regime had fallen into an unstable political state. As opposed to most swords of the previous era that were essentially more like luxury properties, the Shin-Shin-To spoke louder to the Samurais’ minds mourning the sad state of Edo.
This blade has approx 75.6 cm long and must have been practical to use at the end of the Edo period. You can appreciate Katsukuni’s craftmanship very well by looking at the beautiful Suguha Hamon and Jigane. If you are interested in an antique Japanese sword related to Kanazawa or Maeda clan, you would be pleased to see it.
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). It accompanies with gorgeous sword mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：75.6 cm( 29.7 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.1 cm(0.43 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.
The wave pattern is designed for this Fuchi Kashira. As waves’ movements continue endlessly, the wave pattern represents eternity, immortality, longevity, and birth, etcetera. Also, since tides change the shape and terrain of rocks repeatedly, it was likened to a strong will for this motif. People used this pattern wishing for an indomitable spirit to rechallenge time and time without giving up.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
It might be a dragon that is designed for this Menuki. The dragon is a symbolic beast of auspicious signs. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is Mizuchi (蛟, mythical animal in Japan which looks like a snake and have a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought that the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance. In Japan, this sacred creature motif has been appreciated as an all-purpose auspicious pattern.
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.
An antique Tsuba is decorated with a continuous geometric design. Each of them looks like a lined up arrow tips so that it might depict an arrowhead. The arrow pattern was popular among Samurais and is seen even today, especially for boys’ Kimono. People once used this motif, hoping for the healthy growth of children and protection from evil spirits to become a strong Samurai.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
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 : Ishikawa 12533
The Board of Education in Ishikawa 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.
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 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.
We accept payment through Stripe(Credit card), PayPal, Apple Pay or ChromePay, all of which are secure payment methods. 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(BC, AB,ON), Mexico, Australia, 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 UPS(USA only).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post.When we receive an order from the USA, we will use UPS instead as EMS temporarily stops shipping from Japan to the USA due to COVID-19.
We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office/UPS. We will put 100 % insurance on the shipping document without any extra charge. Based on the total amount, there might be a duty tax 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.
If you like to see more antique Japanese swords for sale, please check the link.