Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Nobusada with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Ise no Kami Fujiwara Ganmaku Nobusada(伊勢守藤原岩捲信貞) during the Kan-Ei era(early Edo period: 1624-1645) in Mino province(today’s Gifu prefecture). Nobusada was active in sword-forging during the Genna～Kan-Ei era(1615-1644). Ise no Kami is the honorable title given to this swordsmith, and Ganmaku is the school to he belonged.
Ganmaku school originally was a part of Jyumyo school, one of the most prestigious schools in Mino province. It is said that the school’s name came from the fact that the swordsmiths settled in the village called Ganmaku in Gifu prefecture. The blades forged by Ganmaku swordsmiths are famous for their sharpness.
About Jyumyo School
The JYUMYO school has its origins from YAMATO(NARA Pref.) and moved to Mino province in the KAMAKURA period. Their name “JYUMYO” means life span or longevity. As its meaning is so hopeful, their swords were prized as a celebrated gift to feudal lords among the SAMURAI society. The tradition continued for centuries, right up until the end of the EDO period.
About Mino province
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 exceedingly 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.
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 their practical design and sharpness. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province. The tradition of excellent sword forging skills passed to the Edo period, and Nobusada is a good example. While many swordsmiths in Mino province moved to another place to find jobs, Nobusada stayed there. One of his works is designated as important cultural property, preserved at Nangu shrine in Gifu prefecture. This fact tells us that Nobusada has been a highly-regarded swordsmith in Japanese sword history.
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. The paper also mentions that the blade was made during the Kan-Ei era.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 70.3 cm( 27.67 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.0 cm( 0.39 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 Hishigata (菱形, rhombus) pattern is engraved on this Fuchi Kashira. The gold-colored paint is applied over these lines, and it makes a color contrast between gold and the color of the Fuchi Kashira’s material itself. Also, it gives an ornamental look to the work. It is said the origin of this pattern is a leaf of Trapa japonica. Due to its strong fertility, the Hishigata pattern represents sound health and prosperity of descendants.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The seahorse is the motif of this Menuki. This animal is called the Tatsu-no Otoshigo (竜の落とし子) in Japanese, and it means a child that a dragon gave birth to from the heaven. As the dragon itself has been considered as an auspicious existence, it is understandable that people have treated seahorses as good omen creatures. It is said dragons have the power to ward off evil spirits. The seahorse, which is an incarnation of the dragon, is thought to have amulet power. In addition, dragons have a long life, so that people regard seahorses as a symbol of longevity.
Most marine lives are raised by either the mother or father. Some sea creatures even leave their children after laying eggs. However, in such an ecology, seahorses have a habit of raising children as a couple. Also, this animal lays many eggs in a single birth. Therefore, some people consider that the seahorse is a symbol of a happy marriage or children. This Menuki’s motif might have been chosen because of these theories that tell how this animal has good meanings.
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 oval-shaped Tsuba has Kozuka and Kougai holes. These holes are covered with thin metal plates; it reinforces holes’ edges. If you focus on the edge of this Tsuba, it seems golden metal was initially applied to this part. This decorative coloring creates a gorgeous atmosphere for the work.
Thin lines are engraved from the center of the Tsuba. As this design looks similar to the halo of Amida Nyorai (阿弥陀如来, Amitabha Tathagata), this technique was named Amida-Yasuri (阿弥陀鑢). Also, you would find a continuous pattern of curved lines is engraved. It might be a kind of arabesque pattern. Since ivy has a strong vitality and grows up without interruption, people regarded this design as a symbol of prosperity and longevity.
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 31rd year of Hisei (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. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Saitama 32480
The Board of Education in Saitama 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 350 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, CAD,EUR 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.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany , 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.
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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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.