Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Sukekane with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by Bizen Osafune Yokoyama Sukekane(備前長船横山祐包) in the first year of the Keio era(1865). He is one of the most famous swordsmiths in Bizen province at the end of the Edo period(Bakumatsu era). Sukekane forged swords from the 5th year of Tenpo to the 5th year of Meiji(1834-1872 ). He signed the 58th grandson of Tomonari on the tang as well.
Tomomori was a renowned swordsmith in the mid-late Heian period in Bizen province(today’s Okayama prefecture). We presume he signed it to be proud of his ancestry.
About Bizen Osafune
Sukekane’s ancestors dated back to Sukesada school, one of the most famous schools, and flourished for generations among Osafune schools(The head branch). There were various styles forged by the generations of Sukesada during the Muromachi-Edo period. There were about 60 swordsmiths who used Sukesada as his maker’s name in Samurai history.
The swordsmiths in Bizen produced many swords 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. The high level of craftsmanship had been passed until the end of the Edo period, and Sukekane is a good example.
About Bakumatsu Era
The Japanese swords made after the mid-Edo period towards the end of the Edo period are called Shin-Shin-To in Japanese. Shin-Shin-To were likely to be made more practical and robust. The Shin-Shin-To movement initially took place when Suishinshi Masahide began to bring back the old-school Japanese swords forged around the mid-to-late Kamakura period. Their swords rapidly gained popularity as the Edo regime had fallen into an unstable political state. As opposed to most swords of the previous era that were essentially more like luxury properties, the Shin-Shin-To spoke louder to the Samurais’ minds mourning the sad state of Edo.
This blade has approx 79.0 cm long and must have been practical to use at the end of the Edo period. This blade must have been owned by a very tall Samurai who was strong enough to handle such a long blade.
This blade is appraised as a Tokubetsu Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, especially worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword).
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 79.0 cm(31.1 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.51 cm( 0.59 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.
This Fuchi Kashira has a plain design. As it does not have gorgeous meta decorations such as gold or silver inlay, you could enjoy the texture of material itself. Also, we would say that thanks to this simple design, the gorgeousness of other decorative parts (Menuki, Tsuba for example) stand out.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Dragon is the motif of this Menuki. It twists its body and seems to look for something. Even the details are carefully carved; it shows us its maker’s high-quality skill. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient traditions or 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, belly is Mizuchi (蛟, mythical animal in Japan which looks like a snake and have a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought that the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance.
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.
Oval-shaped Tsuba made from iron. Due to an elongated body, it might be the dragon that is designed for this Tsuba same as the Menuki. Its eyes, nails and fangs are colored with golden metal. Clouds float around the dragon, and this dragon’s body is peeking through these clouds. In Japan, there is a belief that worships dragon as a water god and is called Ryujin Shinkou (竜神信仰). Since rice cultivation flourished in this country, water is always an essential resource. Clouds bring blessed rain, that is, it is the motif which reminds people water. We would guess that is why the combination of dragon and cloud pattern is often seen.
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 2nd 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 : Fukuoka 23716
The Board of Education in Fukushima 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.
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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.
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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.
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【How to make sure the condition】
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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.