Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Kunisada with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
Kunisada, also known as Inoue Yoshihiro, was born in the 17th year of Tensho era(1589) in the southern part of Miyazaki prefecture(Kyushu island). Later on, he moved to Kyoto and became an apprentice of Horikawa Kunihiro, one of the most famous swordsmiths in the early Edo period(early 17th century). He also learned the sword-forging technique from a senior apprentice, Echigo no Kami Kunitomo. Kunisada moved to Osaka in 1620 after his master, Kunihiro, was deceased. He became an independent swordsmith in Osaka city.
He was trusted by the third-gen head of Obi domain(Miyazaki prefecture), Ito Sukehisa, and Kunisada was able to receive the title of Izuminoakami in 1623 because of Sukehisa’s support.
He is known as one of the most influential swordsmiths to make Osaka a famous place for sword-forging in the early Edo period. Osaka was the center of business back then. Many renowned swordsmiths moved to Osaka to meet the demand from high-class Samurais.
His son Inoue Shinkai is also a well-respected swordsmith and trained many apprentices who later became famous swordsmiths. Inoue Shinkai also signed Kunisada at the beginning of his career. To distinguish Kunisada and his son, the first-gen is called Oya Kunisada(Father Kunisada). The second-gen is called Shinkai Kunisada. He died at the age of 63 in 1652.
His blades are known as Owazamono, extremely sharp blades. He is one of the most famous swordsmiths in Osaka during the early Edo period. It is said that Horibe Yasube(堀部保兵衛), one of famous 47 Ronin used one of Kunisada’s work.
This sword has a Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword). The blade also comes with a beautiful set of Katana style Koshirae.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 62.4 cm( 24.56 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.4 cm(0.55 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 on purpose to prevent red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, which 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’s motif is the dragonfly. Dragonflies have been inhabiting since a long time ago in Japan. As they bag preys quickly, its heroic figure was sometimes the object of belief. During the Warring States period, a dragonfly was called “Kachimushi (勝ち虫)” because of its fearless character; it moves only forward, not backward. Above all, people appreciate the dragonfly pattern with the iris flower or the arrow. Allow was one of the Samurai’s primary weapons, so that this motif might have had reminded Samurais of the battles. 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.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
It is challenging the whole part of this Menuki; however, it looks humans and demons are fighting each other. Since they are holding and pulling a thick string (might be a rope), they probably have a tug of war. The movements of these characters make this work vibrant and lively.
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 made from iron. It has Kozuka and Kougai holes. This Tsuba’s edge is framed with silvery metal so that it has strength and makes a color contrast. Same as Fuchi Kashira, the dragonfly is designed for this Tsuba. This dragonfly is descending toward the flowers blooming on the waterside. It might be trying to rest its wings by stopping at the tip of its leaves. The tail side of the dragonfly’s body is engraved on the backside of Tsuba.
Saya：Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK 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 August 28th in second year of Reiwa (2020). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade 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 : Tokyo 128632
The Board of Education 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 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, 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.
【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. When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free sword maintenance kit, which appears in this video.