Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by The second-gen Masahiro with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Hizenkoku Kawachi no kami Fujiwara Masahiro(肥前国河内守正廣), also known as the second-gen Masahiro in the early Edo period(late 17th century). He was born in the fourth year of Kan-Ei era(1626) as the child of the first-gen Masahiro.
The second-gen Masahiro received the honorable title named Musashi Daijyo(武蔵大掾) in the third year of Manji era(1660) and changed it to Musashi no Kami(武蔵守) next year. He eventually received Kawachi no Kami(河内守) in the fifth year of Kan-Ei(1665) after his father, first-gen Masahiro, was deceased. The second-gen died at the age of 73 in the 12th year of Genroku era(1699).
We believe this blade was forged between 1665-1699 as the signature includes Kawachi no Kami, his last title.
Hizenkoku, located in Saga prefecture, is the name of the place where the second-Masahiro forged swords. His linage dates back to the beginning of the Edo period, when Tadayoshi, his great grandfather, founded the school.
Tadayoshi is known as one of the greatest swordsmiths in the early Edo period in Japanese sword history.
His father, the first-gen Masahiro, is also a famous swordsmith in the province. The first-gen Masahiro started to serve Nabeshima Katsushige when he was 17 years old. Nabeshima Katsushige became the head of Saga Domain in Hizen in 1607.
The first-gen Masahiro was selected as Okakae Kaji for the Nabeshima clan, meaning he exclusively forged swords for the feudal family. The second-gen Masahiro, the swordsmith who forged this blade, was also an Okakaekaji for this clan. Nabeshima clan ruled Hizenkoku during the Edo period, which indicates that Masahiro served a powerful feudal lord.
The swordsmiths in the Hizen province worked under the auspices of the Nabeshima clan like the second-gen Masahiro. They were able to produce beautiful Jigane-patterned blades, also known as Hizen To, using and mixing carbon steel made in western countries. Hizenkoku had been flourishing by international trading. The geographic location of this domain made it possible to have easy access to western carbon steel.
We are confident you will appreciate Masahiro’s artistry by observing this blade. It also accompanies by gorgeous sword mounting.
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) : 73.4 cm( 28.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.2 cm( 0.47 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：It was signed by Hizen Koku Kawachi Daijyo Fujiwara Masahiro.
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(Sabbard), Tsuka( Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt. Gold inlay was applied on them.
Several family crests are designed for this Fuchi Kashira such as Taka-no Hane-Mon (鷹の羽根紋, hawk’s wing pattern), Hanabishi-Mon (花菱紋), and a type of flower one (probably Nadeshiko; dianthus). Since hawks fly swiftly and were regarded as the symbol of strength and dignity, many Samurai families loved the hawk motif itself. Furthermore, its wings were used for one of Samurai’s primary weapons; an arrow (They put hawk’s wings as arrow’s feather). Also, in Japan, there is a traditional custom that is called Takagari (鷹狩り, falconry). Hawks would get used to humans if they came in contact with it properly. Humans and hawks had a deep connection in this tradition. Taka-no Hane-Mon was appreciated not only by Samurais but also court nobles. Still today, various family crests use this bird wing’s motif.
About Hanabishi-Mon, it is a design that petals are arranged in a rhombus. This pattern became a Yusoku Monyou (有職文様, generic term for designs of court nobles’ clothing or furnishings, these designs have unique and elegant styles) during the Heian period (794-1185). Moreover, people loved it as an auspicious pattern.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Same as Fuchi Kashira, the golden metal is also applied to this Menuki. Its motif is Kara-Jishi (唐獅子). Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and Kara-Jishi is a lion brought from China to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Kara-Jishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and the tale. In Buddhism, Kara-Jishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, Kara-Jishi originates from Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits).
Also, we could realize it seems a flower-liked motif is applied around these lions. If it were a flower, it would be a peony. This combination is a classical subject. There is a Houwa (法話, Buddhist monks tell the story of Buddhism in an easy-to-understand manner) that treats Kara-Jishi and peony. 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 hair and eventually breaks the skin and bites the flesh. Nevertheless, it dies if it is exposed to be the night dew of peony. Therefore, the lion rests under peony flowers at night, looking for a haven.
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.
Yotsu-Mokkou-shaped Tsuba that has a Kozuka hole. Mitsuba Aoi-Mon is designed for this Tsuba. It is one of the most famous family crests in Japan because of the Tokugawa Shogunate family. The leaves of Futaba-Aoi (フタバアオイ, Asarum caulescens) is its original motif. This pattern is also used for the crest of the Kamo shrine in Kyoto prefecture. Tokugawa family had their family crest with three leaves of Aoi due to the Kamo shrine’s relation. As its leaves have a habit of always facing the sun, and the word “Aoi” is taken as “Aogu (仰ぐ, looking up)” for the sun, people thought the Aoi pattern would bring good fortune.
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 August 28th in the second year of Reiwa (2020). 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 : Kanagawa 6198
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. 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 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.
*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.