Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Naminohira Yukiyasu with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Naminohira Jyu Yamato no Kami Taira Ason Yukiyasu (波平住大和守平朝臣行安) in the 4th year of the Keio era (1868). Naminohira is the place in Satsuma Domain (today’s Kagoshima prefecture) where he forged this blade. Yamato no Kami is an official rank given to this swordsmith for his excellent craftsmanship. Ason is also a respected high-ranked sir name. Yukiyasu is his maker’s name. It was common for many swordsmiths to sign where they lived or their official title before writing their signature.
Yukiyasu belonged to Naminohira school.
Yukiyasu was the younger brother of the 62nd generation Yasutoshi, one of the linages in Naminohira school. Yukiyasu was born in the 7th year of the Bunka era (1810).
He became a Hanko (藩工) for the Stauma domain in the second year of the Tenpo era (1831). Hanko is a swordsmith exclusively forging blades for a specific clan or domain.
He forged swords under the 62nd-gen Naminohira Yasutoshi (his older brother). And in the 5th year of the Kaei-era (1852), he became an independent swordsmith and called himself the 63rd head of the Naminohira school.
In the 5th year of the Ansei era (1858), he was appointed to forge a sword for Emperor Komei. He received an honorable official rank of Yamatosuke from the emperor Komei. And he was promoted to Yamato no Kami in the first year of the Keio era (1865) when he visited Kyoto. He had such a brilliant career as a swordsmith, seeing this biography. We assume his craftsmanship was highly acknowledged because he was ordered to make a sword for the emperor.
Yukiyasu applied the quintessential Yamato-Den techniques in his craft. The swords forged in Yamato DEN techniques are famous for their beautiful Jigane, steel surface, and straight tempering line(Suguha). This blade shows an outstanding characteristic of the Yamato DEN sword.
Satsuma province had many Samurais and smiths back in the day, making it difficult for most smiths to keep their jobs throughout the era. However, the Naminohira school always remained prominent in the evolving sword, and their work is still beloved by Japanese sword fans to date.
Naminohira(波平) was one of the most influential schools in Satsuma domain, founded by a swordsmith named Masakuni(正國) during the late-Heian period(Late 12th century). The swordsmiths in this school were known for having their name with one of these letters, 行(Yuki) or 安(Yasu). From the late-Heian period until the end of Samurai times(Late 19th century), the Naminohira family had kept the mastership for a thousand years.
The Naminohira swords were cherished among Samurais in the marine army, mainly because the name Naminohira(波平) means “Tides are quiet.” in Japanese. The origin of the name Naminohira dates back to the school’s foundation. It is said that the founder Masakuni was originally from Yamato domain (Today’s Nara prefecture). The legend says he was able to calm the waves by dedicating his sword to the sea when his school in Yamato sailed to settle in Satsuma domain. Since then, he began to use the title “Naminohira Yukiyasu (波平行安)” – “Tides are quiet, easy to go.”
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)： 64.2 cm(25.3 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.
It seems a pattern (probably a plant design or possibly a cloud pattern) is engraved. It has a simple look; however, its texture, including minor damages, tells us its long history. You would find Japanese letters on the Fuchi part. It might be the signature of this Fuchi Kashira’s maker.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
It is challenging to judge what the motif is of this Menuki. We guess a kind of plant or fruit is its motif. Although we cannot see its original coloring now, we estimate it was initially colored with golden or silvery paint. From the degree of wear of the Tsukamaki thread, it is presumed that this handle is very well-used. It shows that this Menuki has been gripped many times with this handle.
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.
This Tsuba has a symmetrical design. Small spiral patterns are designed at the center part. You would also find this Tsuba’s maker’s signature on the left side of the Nakago hole (center hole).
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1015585)
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 May 24th 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 : Fukuoka 58148
The Board of Education in Fukuoka 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 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.
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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, 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.
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【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. 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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