Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Masanobu with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by Bushu Jyu Masanobu(武州住正信). Bushu is the name of the area in Tokyo today where he made this blade. According to NBTHK that authenticated this blade, it was forged approximately in the early-mid Edo period(early 17th-18th century).
It is said that he lived in the northern part of the Musashi domain (Today’s Saitama prefecture). Masanobu might have forged blades for Samurais who served Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo period because Edo city, the political center of the Tokugawa government, is also located in the Musashi domain.
This blade has beautiful vivid Jigane, and we assume very high-quality Tamagahagane carbon steel was used to forge it. And Masanobu must have been a very skilled swordsmith who was able to create this gorgeous appearance blade.
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)： 69.0 cm(27.1 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.2 cm( 0.47 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.
This Fuchi Kashira basically has a simple appearance. However, if you focus on the edges of each part, you will find that a kind of swirl square pattern. The color is faint and probably hard to see, but we guess it is the Raimon (雷文) pattern. It is a type of geometric pattern that was brought to Japan from the Continent. The lightning is the original of this design. It is often used in combination of two or more, as you see in this work.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The Gosan-no-Kiri (五三の桐) pattern is the motif of this Menuki. The Kiri (桐) pattern is generally composed of three standing straight inflorescences and three leaves. The number of blooming flowers at each inflorescence shows the ranks of this design.
One of the most popular Samurais in Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, used the Kiri pattern for his family crest. This plant pattern was once used by the imperial family and national leaders of the time. Today, this plant pattern is used as the crest of the Japanese Government. According to a tradition, the Houou (鳳凰, Fenghuang, a kind of sacred beast) rests its wings at the paulownia tree; therefore, it has come to be regarded as a holy plant.
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.
Circle-shaped Tsuba made from iron. Tiny stick-shaped golden metals are applied to the entire surface of this Tsuba. Also, you would find that there are several ring-shaped marks; these are family crests.
At the upper side, there is the Gosan-no-Kiri pattern’s family crest. It is the same motif of the Menuki. The other crest that combines four squares is called the Hira-Yotsume (平四ツ目) pattern. It is a type of the Meyui (目結) pattern, and the Kanoko-Zome (鹿の子染) is the origin of this design. Several Samurai families used the Meyui Mon.
Under the Kougai hole, there is a pattern in which small circles are lined up to surround one large circle. This design is called the Maru-ni Kuyou (丸に九曜) pattern. Each circle describes a star. It is a design that shows people’s faith in the stars. Stars have been worshipped as holy existence that controls fate. Since each star moves in a fixed orbit, people could know the position during hunting or voyage or know the agriculture season. That is, stars have a deep relationship with people’s daily life. With time, stars came to be treated as a design, and some people arranged it for their family crests. There is also three stars design, and Japanese people have considered it the Kachi-Boshi (勝ち星, winning star). For warriors who lived on the battlefields, it is understandable that many Samurais loved such an auspicious motif. For example, Date Masamune (1567-1636), one famous warlord, used the Kuyou pattern for his family crest.
You would also see another crest; with a flower motif. It might be the Japanese apricot blossom design. Same as cherry blossom, this flower pattern has been enjoyed for a long time by Japanese people. The former owner of this sword might have appreciated these family crests or had connections with Samurais, who used these designs.
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 Feb 25th in the third year of Reiwa (2021). 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 : Saga 26178
The Board of Education in Saga 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.
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* 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 , 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.
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【How to make sure the condition】
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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.