Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Sadatsugu with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Echizen Jyu Hyuga no Kami Fujiwara Sadatsugu(越前住日向守藤原貞次) during the Kanbun era(1624-1645: early Edo period). Echizen Jyu means Living in Echizen province(today’s Fukui prefecture). Hyuga no Kami is the title given to this swordsmith. He belonged to Shimosaka school and is famous for being an apprentice of the first-gen Yasutsugu, the founder of Shimosaka school during the early Edo period.
Who is Yasutsugu(His master)?
It is said that the first-gen Yasutsugu was born in Shimosaka town in Shiga prefecture at the end of the Muromachi period(Late 16 century ). He built his career there until the beginning of the Keicho era(1596). However, he moved to Echizen province due to the relocation of the lord he served. He eventually was noticed and supported by Matsudaira Hideyasu, the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was the founder of the Edo government. Hideysu was the feudal lord of Echizen province during the early Edo period.
With the support of Hideyasu, the first-gen Yasutsugu was able to establish the Echizen Shimosaka school. And his school’s fame became nationwide, so as Sadatsugu’s.
Yasutsu was acknowledged by the first and second Tokugawa Shoguns, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Tokugawa Hidetada. By Hideyasu’s recommendation, the first-gen Yasutsugu became Okakaekaji for the Tokugawa shogun family, meaning that he exclusively forged swords for the Shogun family. We believe Sadatsugu dedicated his career to helping the first-gen Yasutsu very closely while working on his creation. Considering how reputable Yasutsugu is, Sadatsugu’s craftsmanship must have been excellent enough to work with his master.
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)：71.3 cm( 28.0 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.4 cm( 0.55 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 Sakura (桜, cherry blossom) pattern is designed for this Fuchi Kashira. These flowers are colored with golden metal and make a gorgeous look for this work. Cherry blossom is one of the seasonal things of spring, and it has been loved for a long time in Japan. Its pattern is designed not only for sword mountings but also for Kimono (着物, traditional Japanese costume) or furnishings. One theory says that the god of grain exists in cherry blossoms. Therefore, this flower pattern has been treated as the symbol of a plentiful harvest.
Also, the Saya Gata (紗綾形) pattern decorates this Fuchi Kashira. It is a type of continuous design which many Samurais loved. According to a theory, This motif was brought to Japan from the Continent in the Momoyama period (1568-1600). Saya Gata pattern has a graceful appearance and represents the longevity and prosperity of the family. Due to this auspicious design combination, the cherry blossom and the Saya Gata patterns, you would feel as if it tells you its maker’s wish.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Although its design is a little abstracted, this Menuki’s motif is probably the combination of the Kiku (菊, chrysanthemum) and the Kikyou (桔梗, Japanese bellflower). A long time ago, the chrysanthemum was used as a medicine for obtaining a long life in China, and it was brought to Japan with this thought in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemum symbolizes fall, and people appreciate it very much since ancient times. As its petals form radially, the chrysanthemum has been likened to the sun. That is why this flower pattern is treated as the symbol of perpetual youth and longevity or good health.
The Kikyou is a small star-shaped flower, and it is said its root has used medicinal efficacy. Kikyou has often been used as a Tanka motif (a kind of traditional Japanese poem) and pictures since the Heian period (794-1185). Initially, its name was “Kichikou,” and it changed to “Kikyou” with time. “Kichikou” was compared to “Kichi Kou (吉更),” which means further good fortune. That is why this flower pattern is treated as a good omen design.
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 might have been made from copper. Its beautiful reddish-brown shines well with the combination of other sword mountings of this sword. On the surface of this Tsuba, the line engraving is applied at regular intervals from the center. Also, you would find there are several geometric marks that are composed of black lines. It is challenging to judge what it shows. We would guess it is possibly a kind of family crest.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Please keep in mind that there are a couple of places where red lacquer came off due to its aging. If you like to know the detail condition, please feel free to contact us.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
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 Nov 9th in the 2nd year of Reiwa (2020). They appraised it as a 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 : Kanagawa 71978
The Board of Education in Kanagawa 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, 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 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.
【How To Contact Us】
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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.