Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Kuniteru with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by Izumi Daijyo Fujiwara Kuniteru(和泉大掾藤原国輝) in Iyo province during the Tenmei era(Late Edo period:1781-1789) according to the NBTHK’s appraisal.
The swordsmith’s name Kuniteru lasted a few generations. Based on the appraisal, we believe it was signed by the seventh-gen Kuniteru, who was the last one who carried this maker’s name.
Izumi Daijyo is the name of the title given to this swordsmith from the first gen. Iyo province is located in today’s Ehime prefecture(Shikoku island). Kuniteru school was a prestigious school that lasted from the early-late Edo period (Mid 17th century- Late 18th century).
The first-gen Kuniteru was an apprentice of Sanko Nagakuni, forging swords in Akino province(Hiroshima prefecture). After being hired by Kato Yoshiakira, the head of the Matsuyama clan, Nagakuni moved to Iyo province, and Kuniteru followed him. However, Nagakuni eventually left Iyo province, but Kuniteru stayed in the region. Later on, Kuniteru received Izumi Daijyo in the 9th year of the Kanbun era(1668). Since then, each gen of Kuniteru received this title in their career. The most famous generations were the first, second, and seventh generations.
We assume the work of swordsmiths were loved by high-class Samurai who lived in the same domain as Kuniteru because of his name. Kuni(国) means country and Teru(輝) means shine. So, this swordsmith’s name must have been considered as an auspicious one among Samurai. And considering the fact that he received the honorable title of Izumi Daijyo, we believe he was very skilled and talented swordsmith. You can see great workmanship by simply appreciating this blade.
This blade has a groove, which enhances its aesthetic beauty. And, it comes with beautiful Fuchi Kashira, Tsuba, and Menuki(decorative sword mountings).
This blade is appraised as a Tokubetsu Hozon Token(特別保存刀剣) issued by NBTHK(Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai:日本美術刀剣保存協会). This authentication paper was only given to authentic Japanese swords, especially well preserved and high quality with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 68.3 cm( 26.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.82 cm( 0.71 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.
A kind of bird is designed for this Fuchi Kashira. Copper is hollowed out in the shape of birds, and the color of the material at the bottom of the Fuchi Kashira is visible. These birds might be the Houou (鳳凰, Fenghuang). The Houou is a member of four fantasy animals, which is called “Shirei (四霊)” with Kirin (麒麟, Qilin), Kame (亀, Turtle), and Ryu (龍, Dragon), and it is a god beast looks like a combination of chicken and peacock. The Houou was considered an auspicious sign in ancient China, and it was believed that the Houou would show up when the brilliant emperor appeared. People appreciate its graceful shape in Japan. According to a theory, Houou’s body matches the celestial body: its head was considered to be the sky, its eyes to the sun, its back to the moon, its legs to the earth, and its tail to the planet. Therefore, some people thought the Houou would connect this world and the heavens.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Fuchi Kashira’s motif is the Kara-Jishi (唐獅子). The gold-colored metal is applied to them and makes a gorgeous look for this work. Comparing these two Kara-Jishis, it seems they see each other. They are engraved in semi-three-dimensionally so that they look very vibrant and lively. Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and the Kara-Jishi is a lion brought from the Continent 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, the 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.
Yotsu-Mokkou-shaped Tsuba that has a Kozuka hole. Mokkou shape, its origin is a figure 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 Mokkougata Tsuba. Yotsu-Mokkougata (a combination of four Mokkou shapes) Tsuba is often seen as this work is categorized.
This Tsuba’s edge is framed with a glossy metal plate that imitates a rope-like pattern. It seems the golden metal was initially applied to this plate part. This decorative technique gives the Tsuba a gorgeous beauty. It also has practicality, such as preventing the wear of the edge part. Also, it prevents the wear and tear of the Kimono (着物, traditional Japanese costume) if the edge damages it by touching the cloth.
The Ougi (扇, fan) is the principal motif of this Tsuba. Since a cloud pattern surrounds fans, they are cut off in these clouds’ shapes. Each fan is decorated with different designs. For example, if you focus on the upper side one, you will find maples flowing into the water; it shows us a quaint autumn scene. The fan design has been favored as an auspicious pattern that represents development and prosperity. A fan has a characteristic shape that is called Suehirogari (末広がり) in Japanese. Based on the idea that this shape implies a perspective of the future, people appreciate this design. The fan pattern also represents wealth because it was once available only for high-ranked people.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate (No.1015218)＆ Tokubetsu Kicho (No.103731)
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 Aug 20th in the 30th year of Heisei (2018). They appraised it as a Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially worth preserving for Japanese society. It also got appraised as Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate(an old form of authentication paper) in the 40th year of Showa era(1965). 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 21578
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 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, CAD,EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
* If the amount is above 1 million JPY, Stripe or wire transfer will be the only options for payment.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Switzerland, France, Hong Kong and Australia. 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.
* If you live in Australia and like to purchase an authentic Japanese sword, please click here to know the detail.
*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.
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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.
Thank you for reading all the information on the page. If you have any difficulty choosing the right Japanese sword for you, we will be more than happy to help you find the one that speaks to you the most. Please feel free to contact us.