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Updated: 6 Dec 2022

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Minamoto Munetsugu
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate

$14,629.51

DELIVERY TIME : Approx. 1-1.5 months
*We ship from Tokyo, Japan. There might be delay in shipment depending on countries.

SHIPPING TO :
USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany , Hong Kong, France, Australia
*Please contact us prior to purchase if your country isn’t listed.

INCLUDED : NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate, Koshirae Mounting, Shirasaya Case, Traditional Sword Carrying Case, Sword Maintenance Kit, Full Exportation Support

Category Katana ( SHINTO)
Age Estimated Early Edo period (1606-1632)
Swordsmith Hizen Koku Jyunin Iyojo Minamoto Munetsugu
(肥前国住人伊予掾源宗次)
Certificate NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Location Hizen province (Today’s Saga prefecture)
Blade Size Cutting Edge Length: 75.5 cm(29.7 inches)
Curvature: 1.9 cm(0.74 inches)

Thank you for visiting our website. This sword was sold as each antique Japanese sword is one of a kind. However, we might be able to show you something similar because we have various types of swords available. Also, there are ones that aren’t listed on the website yet. Our customer service will help you find your ideal blade you will cherish for generations. Please feel free to contact us or check the list of swords. We will be more than happy to help you.

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Minamoto Munetsugu with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate 

【Description】

 This blade was signed by Hizen Koku Jyunin Iyojo Minamoto Munetsugu (肥前国住人伊予掾源宗次). Hizen Koku is the province’s name in today’s Saga prefecture, and Hizenkoku Jyunin means that Munetsugu was a resident of this province when he forged this blade. Iyojo is the name of an honorable title for his excellent craftsmanship. Minamoto is his last name.

 The maker’s name Munetsugu lasted eight generations, and according to NBTHK that appraised this blade, it was made by the first-gen Munetsugu judging from its characteristics. The first-gen Munetsugu was one of the most famous swordsmiths during the early Edo period in Hizen province.

 The first-gen Munetsugu was born in a household that served the Tenmangu shrine as priests for generations in Nagase village in Hizen province. His birth name was Sakai Sanuemon. And he first signed Masatsugu. He took over his father’s school in the 12th year of the Tensho era (1584).

 In the 11th year of the Keicho era (1606), he received Iyo Jyo title for his excellent craftsmanship. Additionally, in the 16th year of the Keicho era (1611), he was hired to forge blades for Nameshima Katsushige, the first head of Nameshima clan, who ruled Hizen province. And he became a Hanko (藩工), a swordsmith exclusively working for a specific clan or domain. He passed his name to the second-gen Munetsugu in the 9th year of the Kan-Ei era (1632). Considering his title is engraved on this blade, we assume it was made after between 1606-1632.

 One of the most famous episodes related to the first-gen Munetsugu is that he forged a blade to commemorate the visit of the Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu to Kyoto in July, the 11th year of the Kan-Ei era (1634). This fact indicates that the first-gen Munetsugu was a highly regarded swordsmith nationwide back then.

 One of the most noticeable differences between Munetsugu’s works and the other swordsmiths in Hizen province is that he mastered Soshu Den tradition. In contrast, others created blades with Yamato Den tradition. Both traditions are among five Japanese sword forging traditions. Others are Yamashiro Den, Bizen Den, and Mino Den. The generations of Munetsugu preserved this Soshu Den technique until the end of the Edo period.

 Hizen province was especially active in sword-forging during the early-mid Edo period, and the first-gen Munetsu was the head of all swordsmiths living in the region. He was allowed to live in a mansion house located near Saga castle. His fame was close to that of Tadayoshi, the founder of Hizen Tadayoshi school. According to one theory, there was a good rivalry between Munetsugu and Tadayoshi schools to improve their craftsmanship.

 

  It 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.

 

【 Blade】
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)75.5 cm(29.7 inches)
Curvature(Sori) 1.9 cm( 0.74 inches)


 

Hamon
The crystalline structure which forms along the cutting edge of a blade as a result of the hardening process
Jimon(Jihada)
visible steel surface pattern created by folding and hammering during forging process


 

NakagoNakago 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-KashiraA pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.

 You would find a carved inscription on the side of the Fuchi part. It is engraved as follows: 財彫子入山義近製. It shows this Fuchi Kashira was made by this metalworker. 義近 (Yoshichika) was active in Ohmi-no Kuni (近江国, today’s Shiga prefecture).

 About this design, we think its motif is the Fujin Raijin Zu (風神雷神図). Accordng to Japanese myths, the Fujin (風神) controls the wind, and the Raijin (雷神) controls thunder. Especially in Buddhist art, these two gods are depicted as a pair of beings. The Fujin creates a big wind from the Kazabukuro (風袋, a sac which the Fujin carries on his back) and blows it to the ground. And the Raijin rings drums on his back and causes thunder. Japan has been agriculturally advanced since ancient times. Even before Buddhism was introduced to this country from the continent, they prayed to the Fujin to calm storms or typhoons because these natural disasters caused significant damage to crops. Fujin festivals to soothe the wrath of the gods have been held in various places. This belief might have inspired this Fuchi Kashira’s design.

Tsuka and MenukiTsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.

 Seeing from the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, this Menuki’s motif is probably the Gissya (牛車). It is a car driven by a cow. Aristocrats used this transportation, and it is said they competed by decorating the exterior of their cars in the Heian period. However, it declined after Samurai families emerged. The golden paint is applied to the entire surface of this Menuki. Its bright look adds decorativeness to the appearance of this Koshirae.
   
Tsuba and HabakiTsuba 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. 

 A fish-like animal and waves are designed for this Tsuba. Its face seems to be a dragon; we think this is a Koi (鯉, domestic carp). According to an ancient foreign story, many fish tried to climb the waterfall called the Ryumon (竜門, dragon gate) in the rapid stream of the Yellow River. As a result, only Koi climbed up and became a dragon and ran through the sky. This is the reason why “Koi-no Taki Nobori” (鯉の滝昇り, domestic carp climbing waterfall) became a symbol of success in life. The Ryumon legend is associated with this story. By living confidently and making efforts, people hoped for their children to grow up to become magnificent people. Samurai families then might have used this fish motif wishing their sons to be promoted to high-ranked Samurai.

KozukaKozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).

 A Kogatana is stored in the Kozuka. Same as the Menuki, this Kozuka is also decorated with cow motifs. The figure of cows hanging under a tree is depicted. Although some colorings were already faded due to aging, it seems golden and silvery paints were initially applied to these motifs.

 

Saya Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.  

Authentication PaperNBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1016451)

  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. 27th in the 3rd year of Reiaw (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 :  Gifu 085977

 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.

 

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【About us】
 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 400 Japanese swords for the past three years (~2022) 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.

【Payment Method】
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.

【Shipping】
 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 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.

【How To Contact Us】
 Please contact us through email, Facebook Messenger or Live Chat if you have any questions. You can find each icon on the right side of the website. Please click one of them to reach us. We will reply to you within 1-2 business days.

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.

 

MORE ANTIQUE JAPANESE SWORD FOR SALE

SWORDS WITHOUT CERTIFICATES FOR SALE

READ KATANA ARCHIVE ARTICLE(Episode1-8)

LEARN JAPANESE SWORD TERMINOLOGY

 

 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.

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