Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Motoyuki with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by Hishu Karatsu JyuTakada Kwachi No Kami Minamoto Motoyuki (肥州唐津住高田河内守源本行) during the early-mid Edo period(Approximately 300 years old).
He first signed as Yukihira(行平). He believed that he was a descendant of Kishin Dayu Yukihira(紀新大夫行平), a famous swordsmith in Bungo province during the late Heian-early Kamakura period(Late12th-early 13th century).
He was born in the 19th year of Kan-Ei era(1642). At the beginning of his career, he stayed in Takada village, Oita prefecture. And he moved to Karatsu city in Saga prefecture when he was 35 years old(the 5th year of Enpo era: 1676). At around the same time, he received the honorable title of Kawachi Daijyo(河内大掾).
In the seventh year of Genroku era(1694), he moved to Edo city and received a new maker’s name Motoyuki(本行) from Hon Ami school and then officially changed his maker’s name to Motoyuki(本行). Hon-Ami school has been trusted official Japanese sword polishers/appraisers since 1596(Late Azuchi Momoyama period). This fact indicates prestigious Hon-Ami school acknowledged his ability to forge high-quality swords.
During the same time, he often visited Kamakura city to master SOSHU style swords from the master named Tsunahiro. SOSHU style, also known as SOSHU DEN, is one of the most traditional Japanese sword-forging methods developed in SOSHU area(Today’s Kanagawa prefecture).
Motoyuki moved back to Karatsu city after mastering Soshu style technique. There is a record of him forging a sword when he was 83 years old. It is said that he called himself Bungo Taro. Bungo is the area Karatsu city is located. He was also called Hige Kawachi, which came from the fact that he had a nice bear. In addition, at the end of his career, he was also known as Matsuba Motoyuki. How he signed the letter 本(Moto) was distinctive during this time, and it resembled Matsu(Japanese pine needles).
The smith’s name Motoyuki lasted 4th generations, and the first-gen Motoyuki forged this blade. The blades forged by the first-gen Motyuki are pretty popular among Japanese sword collectors in Japan. His passion for improving his artistry is beyond our imaginations. By moving places and learning from different masters, he reached the pinnacle of craftsmanship. Based on how he signed his blade, we believe it was forged in his late career when he mastered this high level of techinique.
We are confident you will cherish the beauty of this blade as well as the gorgeous sword mounting that comes with it.
This blade is appraised as 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).
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 68.2 cm(26.85 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.7 cm( 0.67 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.
The seven flowers of autumn, called Aki-no Nanakusa in Japanese, are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. Although some golden parts were already flaked off due to aging, it remains its look gorgeous. The ground of Fuchi Kashira is decorated with the Naknako-Ji technique. The Nanako-Ji Tagane (魚子地鏨, chisel used for this technique) makes delicate fish egg-shaped protrusions. It shows us the maker’s expert skill.
Aki-no Nanakusa is constituted with seven plants that were written in the Tanka composed by Yamanoue no Okura (山上憶良, Japanese poet). These flowers are Hagi (萩, bush clover), Obana (尾花, Japanese pampas grass), Kuzu (葛, kudzu vine), Nadeshiko (撫子, pink), Ominaeshi (女郎花, yellow patrinia), Fujibakama (藤袴, boneset), and Kikyou (桔梗, Japanese bellflower). Japanese people enjoy admiring these plants since ancient times.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Two elongated squares are lined up; however, it is challenging to determine the motif of this Menuki. The golden metal is applied to each of them and makes a color contrast with the black thread.
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. It is designed with the Sukashi-Bori (openwork) technique, and its pattern is created by leaving thin iron lines. It is composed of a combination of gentle curves and sharp straight lines. It shows us the skill of this Tsuba’s maker. Although this work does not have any ornamental metal decorations such as gold or silver inlaying, it would make you enjoy the symmetrical design and the texture of its iron material.
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 3rd 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 : Hyogo 124509
The Board of Education in Hyogo 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 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.
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), 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, EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, 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 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.
*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.
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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. When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free sword maintenance kit, which appears in this video.