Antique Japanese Sword Katana signed by Masanori with Hozon Certificate
According to NBTHK that authenticated this blade, it was forged by Masanori (正徳) in the late Muromachi period(500－550 years old). There were more than one swordsmith who signed as Masanori back then and NBTHK doesn’t specify which Masanori forged this blade. Nevertheless, you can see great sword-forging technique from the late Muromachi period.
When this blade was forged, Japan was in the warring state called Sengoku Jidai where there were so many rivalry and wars between regional feudal lords. It is possible this blade was owned by a Samurai who participated in one of the warfare back then. We believe it would be nice to have a piece that was forged in the warring state period.
This blade is categorized as a Koto blade. The swords made between the Late Heian Period towards the end of the Warring States (930-1595 A.D.) are called KOTO (古刀: Old-Sword) in Japanese. Those swords were likely to be used in real lives of Samurai, so their designs had to fit the way they used the sword. The blacksmithing technique wasn’t fully developed yet in this era, so the KO-TO blades contain gold, silver, and other metals, making the surface pattern of Koto intricate and beautiful.
This blade is appraised as a Hozon Token(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, well preserved with artistic value.
*Please keep in mind that there are a few Kitae on this blade. If you like to see the detailed photos, please feel free to contact us.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：62.0 cm( 24.4 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.8 cm( 0.31 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.
Dragons are engraved on this Fuchi Kashira. Although some colorings have already faded due to aging, gold paint still adds decorativeness to this work. You would find clouds are also depicted with these dragons. This combination is often seen in dragon designs. A theme that describes a figure of a dragon flying through the clouds is called the Unryu Zu (雲竜図). It is frequently painted on a ceiling of a building called the Hattou (法堂), where monks give lectures on Buddhism. Since ancient times, the dragon has been a symbol of the protection of Buddhism. Dragons were customarily drowned on the ceiling of the dharma hall where the chief priest preaches, with the meaning of “raining down the teachings of Buddhism.” In addition, there is a belief that worships the dragon is the water god, so it also protects the temple from fire.
Initially, the dragon was an imaginary creature found in ancient foreign traditions and myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbol 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, the belly is Mizuchi (蛟, a mythical animal in Japan that looks like a snake and has a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. The dragon was thought to reign at the top of all animals because of its odd appearance. While we are unsure of why dragons were incorporated into sword mountings’ designs, we assume many Samurai appreciated this beast’s dignified figure and probably its sacred power.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menuki’s motif is a kind of flower. Due to its flower shape, we estimate chrysanthemums are designed here. These plants have a charming appearance with small flowers lined up, and the gold coloring also enhances the decorativeness of this work.
A long time ago, chrysanthemums were used as medicine for obtaining a long life in the continent, and it was brought to Japan with this thought in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemum is one of the flowers which symbolizes fall, and people have appreciated it very much since ancient times. As its petals form radially, the chrysanthemum has been likened to the sun. That is why this flower pattern is treated as the symbol of perpetual youth and longevity or good health.
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.
Same as the Fuchi Kashira, a dragon is depicted on this Tsuba. While the appearance of the dragon shown here is somewhat simplified, the features of its appearance and the combination with clouds are common to the design of the previously mentioned Fuchi Kashira. This Tsuba seems to be made from iron, and motifs are inlaid with golden metal (estimated gold or brass). By incorporating the same beast design, it might have been an attempt to bring unity to the overall appearance of this Koshirae. Moreover, dragons and chrysanthemums are both auspicious motifs. The former owner of this sword might have selected these sword mountings after examining the meaning of each design. We hope you will enjoy the Koshirae with the beauty of the blade.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3030345)
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 Dec. 14th in the 4th year of Reiwa (2022). 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 : Gifu 46366
The Board of Education in Gifu 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 500 Japanese swords for the past three years (～2023) 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 an export permit. If you live in Japan, please click here before you make a purchase.
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 CHF 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, UK, Canada, Mexico, 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 EMS.
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office. 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.
Here is one of the reviews we received from a customer who purchased an authentic Japanese sword from us. For more reviews, please click here.
“My experience overall with the whole process was wonderful. I had many questions about the history and process to purchase these treasures. All my questions were answered very timely and complete. The staff is very knowledgeable and very well versed if any questions do arise.”
【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. 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 Whetstone Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it. If you have any difficulty assembling the sword or cleaning the blade, you can feel free to contact us.
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