Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Osafune Kiyomitsu with NBTHK Kicho Certificate
Based on the signature on this blade, we believe it was forged by the second-gen Kiyomitsu, who was the son of Goro Zaemon Kiyomitsu. The second-gen Kiyomitsu was active in sword-forging during the Eiroku era(1558-1570: Late Muromachi period). While a few swordsmiths signed as Kiyomitsu during the mid-late Muromachi period, the second-gen Kiyomitsu is one of the most famous ones. Kiyomitsu belonged to Bizen Osafune school.
Those who forged swords in the Bizen province(Okayama prefecture) at the end of the Muromachi Period(1492-1569 A.D) are called Matsu Bizen(Matsu means the end). Kiyomitsu school was one of the most famous schools.
It flourished for generations among Osafune schools(The head branch) under the auspice of the Akamatsu clan. There were various styles forged by the generations of Kiyomitsu during this period.
Bizen is the birthplace of Bizen Den, one of the most famous Japanese sword traditions, along with Yamashiro Den, Soshu Den, Mino Den, and Yamato Den.
The swordsmiths in Bizen produced many swords for feudal lords during the Muromachi period as it was in the middle of the Sengoku period(Warring state period). The demand for blades increased among strong feudal lords. It would be nice to have a piece forged in the warring state period when there was so much rivalry between warlords.
This blade comes with gorgeous sword mountings, including Tsuba, Menuki, and Fuchi Kashira.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 76.0 cm( 29.92 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 2.2 cm(0.86 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 on purpose to prevent red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, which 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.
If you focus on the Kashira, you will find two letters in Japanese cursive letters. For the Fuchi, the full moon is peeking behind the overgrown pine trees. As golden metal is applied to these trees and the moon, it makes a color contrast with this Fuchi Kashira’s material color: black. The pine tree has been appreciated as one of the classical Japanese designs for a long time. Since pine trees keep their green color throughout the years by withstanding severe heat and cold, this plant pattern represents eternal youth.
Furthermore, its color is called Tokiwa-Iro (常盤色, evergreen trees’ dark green color with brown), and pine trees have another name “Tokiwa-Gi (常盤木).” Tokiwa means immutability, so Tokiwa-Iro is a color that praises green with a wish for longevity and prosperity. The pine tree design gives us an elegant and noble impression; it might be another reason that people love this motif.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
As its head part is hidden with thread, it is challenging to judge what animal is. However, seeing its body part, this Menuki’s motif might be horses. It seems these horses wear stirrups and some metal ornaments. Horses have been familiar with human life for a long time ago, not only as our food but also for transportation or carriage of luggage. In Japan, horses were regarded as vehicles for gods to be dedicated to shrines in ancient times. It is the origin of Ema (絵馬, picture tablet used as an offering at a shrine) today. Horses had been used as a tool for rituals and festivals. After the age that Samurai appeared, wearing large armor or performing archery riding a hose became martial arts. Equestrian tactics became the pillar of military action and security activities. According to a theory, that is why the Japanese sword began to have a curve to make it suitable for slashing (the Japanese sword was straight in the beginning).
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.
Circle-shaped Tsuba made from iron. It has Kozuka and Kougai holes. It seems a kind of leaves are engraved with the Sukashi-Bori (openwork) technique and arranged symmetrically. When this Tsuba is fitted to the handle, its well-balanced design this Tsuba’s circle shape looks attractive to the appearance of this sword. This Tsuba could be enjoyed with its design and the material (iron) even without gorgeous decorations such as gold or silver inlay.
Saya：Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Kicho 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 June 7th in the 39th year of Showa (1964). They appraised it as Kicho Touken, an old form of the authentication paper . 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 : Oita 12888
The Board of Education in Oita prefecture issued a registration paper for this sword . In order to obtain this paper, the sword needs to be traditionally hand forged. With this paper, its owner can legally own an authentic Japanese sword in Japan. This paper will need to be returned to the board of education when the sword being shipped abroad but you can receive a copy of it.
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. 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(USA, Canada).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. When we receive an order from the USA or 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.