Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Masatsugu with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Masatsugu(正次) was a swordsmith from Mino province in the late Muromachi period. Notably, during the Tenbun era(1532-1555), he forged swords in the Sakakura town near Seki city(the central area in the Mino province), so he was also called Sakura Seki swordsmith. It is said that he had a technological exchange with Muramasa school, a prestigious sword-making school back then. The signature of Masa(正) made by Masatusgu resembles that of Masa(正) made by Muramasa(村正) to support this reasoning.
The MINO swordsmiths style, also known as MINO-DEN, basically has the TOGARI(Pointed shapes protruding from the Hamon )in a classic straight line and random temper line with some white Utsuri. MINO-DEN had its origin from YAMATO-DEN in the late KAMAKURA period(1280-1330). It flourished in the MUROMACHI period(1333-1573) and continued until the EDO period(1603-1868).
MINO-DEN especially prospered during Sengoku Jidai(Warring State period) due to the high demand for weapons. And the location of Mino province beat others. Akechi Mitsuhide controlled Mino province, and Nobunaga Oda ruled Owari province, and Tokugawa Ieyasu was the lord of Suruga (Neighboring areas). There was high demand from those powerful feudal lords and their retainers. Furthermore, so many wars occurred between the Kanto region and the Kyoto area, and Mino is located in the middle, making feudal lords feel convenient to order swords from MINO-DEN. The blades forged in MINO provinces also had the reputation of its practical design and sharpness. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province.
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 sword comes with beautiful black Koshirae(scabbard＆sword fitting).
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：67.0 cm(26.3 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.8 cm(0.74 inches)
Hamon：The blade pattern created by the tempering process.
Jimon：Visible surface pattern on the steel
Nakago：The signature of Masatsugu is inscribed on the Nakago. And there were two Nakago Ana(Holes in the tang), which suggests the blade was shortened once in the past. It was common for Samurai to adjust the length of the blade depending on the regulations or his preferences.
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
This Fuchi Kashira does not have a decorative design, but it makes a chic look and matches well with the Tsuka (handle of the Japanese sword).
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The Tsuka is covered with the Katate-Maki technique; the center part is wound in a spiral, and each side is coiled in rhombuses.
Dragons are designed on the Menuki. Originally, dragon is an imaginary creature that is found in ancient Chinese traditions or myths. It is a beast that is a symbol of auspicious signs. Its body is likened nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is Mizuchi (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 dragons would reign at the top of all animals because of their odd-looking appearance. In Japan, the dragon pattern has been considered as a promising all-purpose design.
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.
Iron Tsuba with two holes. It has a symmetry shape. There are traces of line inlays at the thick edge. It might have had described the clouds. This Tsuba has a characteristic form instead of showy 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 19th in the second year of Reiwa(2019). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially worth preserving for Japanese society. The purchaser will receive this original certificate as well.
Registration Number : Kanagawa 40327
The Board of Education in Kanagawa 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.
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 1-1.5 months to receive this permit. And we would like you to expect at least 2-3 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) or Paypal. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. After confirming the payment from you, we will apply for an export permit. You can either pay in Japanese Yen or US Dollars. The price is decided in Japanese Yen. The price in US dollar is calculated automatically based on an exchange rate.
We have shipped Japanese swords to the USA, Canada(BC, AB,ON), Mexico, Australia, UK, Germany and France. If you don’t live in these countries and like to order, please contact us first before making a purchase.
Once we receive the export permit, we will inform you and ask if it is okay for us to ship. After confirming you are ready to receive the sword, we will proceed with its shipping. 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.
We ship with EMS, an international expedited shipping service provided by Japan Post in Japan. 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 to pay, depending on the countries.
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 are delays in shipping to many countries as most of the airlines are reducing the number of flights from Japan. If you like to know the detail about shipping, please feel free to ask us.
【How to make sure the condition】
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. If you are currently living in Japan or visiting, you can visit our actual shop in Tokyo to inspect the sword with reservation.
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.
【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.
If you like to see more antique Japanese swords for sale, please check the link below.
Episode 1: Types of Japanese Swords
Episode 2: Japanese Swords from Different Ages
Episode 3: Budget of Japanese Swords
Episode 4: Japanese Sword Appraisers in Modern Times (NBTHK / NTHK )
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