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Updated: 22 May 2024

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Nobukuni Yoshimasa
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate

$8,326.87

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

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

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

Category Katana ( SHINTO)
Age Early Edo Period
Swordsmith Chikuzen Jyu Minamoto Nobukuni Yoshimasa
(筑前住源信国吉政)
Certificate NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Location Chikuzen province (Today’s Fukuoka prefecture)
Blade Size Cutting Edge Length: 69.4 cm (27.3 inches)
Curvature: 1.2 cm (0.47 inches)

More photos& videos available on request. Please feel free to contact us. 

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Nobukuni Yoshimasa with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate 

【Description】

 This blade was signed by Chikuzen Jyu Minamoto Nobukuni Yoshimasa (筑前住源信国吉政). Chikuzen, is the province’s name located in Fukuoka prefecture today. Jyu means living. Minamoto Nobukuni is the name of his school, and Yoshimasa is his maker’s name. Those who belonged to Nobukuni School in Chikuzen province were called Tsukushi Nobukuni, one of the most prospered sword forging schools in Kyushu island during the Edo period. 

 The maker’s name Yoshimasa lasted three generations, and we believe it was signed by the second generation. The second-gen Yoshimasa is also known as Nobukuni Heishiro (信国平四郎). He was born as the second son of Nobukuni Yoshisada (信国吉貞) in the fifth year of the Gen-Na era (1618). Yoshisada was the founder of Tsukushi Nobukuni school, and his older brother was the first-gen Yoshimasa. The second-gen Yoshimasa was especially active during the Kanbun-Enpo era (1661-1681: Early Edo Period). There is also a record of him forging a sword in the second year of the Jyokyo era (1685). 

The Fondation of Nobukuni School

 The Nobukuni school was initially founded by the first generation Nobukuni in Kyoto. The school stayed there for a few generations. However, the 4th generation Nobukuni SADAMITSU had to evacuate Kyoto city because the battle between the south emperor court and the north emperor court became severe. And as a result, Kyoto city was burnt(in the late 1300s). We called it the Nanbokucho war when the Japanese imperial court was separated into two.

 Nobukuni SADAMITSU managed to escape and arrive at Usaha(Ohita prefecture)to serve the Ajimu clan. Nobukuni school prospered there from third to 11th generation. However, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the three unifiers of Japan, destroyed the Ajimu clan during the late Azuchi Momoyama period (1582). And the 12th generation Nobukuni YOSHISADA moved to Chikuzen(Fukuoka prefecture), being invited by Kuroda Nagamasa, a famous feudal lord who served Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1602). It is said that the second-gen Yoshimasa also followed his father. Since then, Nobukuni school had been under the auspices of Kuroda clan for generations during the Edo period, and they exclusively forged for this clan.

 

 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.

 

*Please keep in mind that there are a tiny Kitae Kizu on the Shinogiji (the opposite side of the cutting edge). If you like to see the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.

 

【 Blade】
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa) 69.4 cm (27.3 inches)
Curvature(Sori) 1.2 cm (0.47 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



Kissaki: Kissaki is the tip of the Japanese sword.

 

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.

 The theme of this Fuchi Kashira is a classical design called the Botan ni Karajishi (牡丹に唐獅子). It is a combination of Botan (牡丹, peony) and Karajishi (唐獅子). Golden paint is applied to these motifs, and its bright color remains relatively in good condition today.

 About the Karajishi, the Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and the Karajishi is a lion brought from the Continent to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). Karajishis typically have curly hair for their head, neck, body, and tail. In Buddhism, the Karajishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and the Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Kara-Jishi originates from the Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits).

 The flowers that are slightly visible at Karajishi’s feet are peonies. Peony represents happiness, wealth, nobleness, and gorgeousness. This flower pattern has been treated as a kind of good-omen motif; people regarded it as a rich harvest sign. As mentioned above, a peony is called the Botan in Japanese. When we write this flower’s name in Japanese, its second letter means mountain hermit medicine to give us eternal youth. Based on the meaning of this letter, the peony pattern symbolizes eternal youth and longevity.

 There is a Houwa (法話, Buddhist monks tell the story of Buddhism in an easy-to-understand manner) that treats the Kara-Jishi and this flower. The lion is called the king of the beasts. However, even this invincible animal has only one fear: a bug in the lion’s body. This pest grows in the lion’s hair and eventually breaks the skin and bites the flesh. Nevertheless, it dies if exposed to the night dew of peony. Therefore, the lion rests under peony flowers at night, looking for a haven. This Fuchi Kashira’s design might have been inspired by this story.


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

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. 

 The same as the Fuchi Kashira we focused on above, this Tsuba also has a decorative look thanks to the golden coloring on the black metal ground. The motifs engraved on this Tsuba are dragons. You would find the figures of two dragons on its front. Clouds surround the dragons, and their faces and parts of their bodies peek out through the gaps in the clouds. Coupled with the fact that the motifs are carved rather than painted, this composition gives a sense of depth and three-dimensionality.

 Initially, dragons were imaginary creatures found in ancient foreign traditions and myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbolic beast 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 the 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. A dragon was thought to reign at the top of all animals because of its odd appearance. Based on our experiences, there are lots of dragon-designed sword mountings. It shows that many Samurai warriors favored this dignified beast motif.

 Regarding the combination of dragons and clouds, clouds bring blessed rain and snow, and their movements significantly affect the day’s weather. Due to its supernatural power, a theory says that gods, spirits, and dragons dwell in the clouds. In Japan, there is a belief that dragons are worshipped as water gods. Since rice cultivation has flourished in this country, people always treat water as an essential resource. We imagine some people wished for a plentiful harvest in this combination. From such a religious aspect, we could infer that dragon designs were familiar to people.

Saya Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.  

Authentication PaperNBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1021681)

  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 15th in the 5th year of Reiwa (2023). 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 31630

 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.

 

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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 700 Japanese swords for the past few years (~2024) 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, Canada, Mexico, Germany , Belgium, France, Finland, Hong Kong, 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.

* If you live in the UK and like to purchase an authentic Japanese sword, please contact us first and click here to know the detail.

【Review】
 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】
 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

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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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