Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Masahiro with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Kawachi Daijyo Fujiwara Masahiro(河内大掾藤原正広) is a renowned swordsmith from Hizen province. (today’s Saga prefecture).This blade was forged by the first-generation.
He was the grandson of Tadayoshi, the founder of Tadayoshi school in Hizen province. At the beginning of his career, Masahiro signed as Masanaga and then changed it to Masahiro in 1625 A.D(the second year of Kanei).
He was especially highly regarded among the Nabeshima clan, a powerful feudal family in Hizen province. Nabeshima Katsushige is the one who ordered Masahiro to change his maker’s name. Masahiro was selected as Okakae Kaji for Nabeshima clan, meaning he was exclusively forging swords for the feudal family. It was quite honorable for any swordsmiths to be an Okakae Kaji. It is said that Masahiro’s forging technique was so great that he sometimes forged swords on behalf of Tadayoshi.
The swords forged in Hizen province are known as Hizen To, famous for its beautiful Jigane. (The steel of a constructed blade)
This sword has a 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). This blade is in excellent condition and comes with a beautiful set of sword mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa) :68.5 cm( 27.0 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.8 cm( 0.3 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：It was signed by Hizen Koku Kawachi Daijyo Fujiwara Masahiro.
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. Gold inlay was applied on them.
Dragons are designed for this Fuchi Kashira, and their bodies are colored with golden metal (it might be gold or brass). There are clouds around dragons, and some of them wrap these dragons’ bodies. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient Chinese traditions or myths. Furthermore, it 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. Even today, the dragon design maintains its meaning as the all-purpose auspicious pattern. In Japan, some people worship this beast as a water god or farming god.
At the edge of the Kashira, you would find heart mark-shaped holes. It is known as the Inome (猪の目, boar’s eye) pattern. This design has been being used since ancient times. This pattern was named because of its shape. Some people believed that the Inome design works as an amulet to protect people from evil spirits or fire. Also, it is said it would bring good luck. This pattern is often found in traditional Japanese architectures such as shrines or temples or used for Gegyo (懸魚, decoration under the roof, where the roof is jointed) or metal fittings for hiding timber joints.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Although the whole figure cannot be seen, it is considered that the dragon is the motif of this Menuki, same as the Fuschi Kashira. It seems it has an elongated body and coils up its body. Also, its outer layer of the skin is covered with scales. Using the same motif with the Fuchi Kashira, the maker (or owner) of this sword tried to give unity to its decoration.
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. This Tsuba might be a Nanban-style Tsuba. Nanban Tsuba usually has a circle shape or Mokkou shape. Dragons, foreign letters, or arabesque designs are often engraved and inlaid with gold or silver on the thin iron. This style’s Tsuba has an exotic mood.
Two dragons are facing each other. There is a gem that is engraved between these dragons’ faces. It seems they are chasing to get this gem. The wave pattern is designed around the Nakago-ana (茎穴, center hole of the Tsuba). As mentioned above, it is said dragons were regarded as water gods. It might be the reason that the combination of dragon and wave patterns is often seen.
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 August 28th 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 : Tokyo 296588
The Board of Education in Tokyo 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(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.
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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.
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【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.