Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Sukemitsu with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Based on the signature and the authentication paper issued by NBTHK, this blade was forged by Suifu Jyu Yokoyama Sukemitsu in the third year of Ansei(1856). Suifu Jyu means living in Mito domain(today’s Ibaraki prefecture).
Yokoyama Sukemichi(横山祐光) was born in 1820 in Edo as the third son of Taguchi Gon-Emon. He enrolled in the school of Osafune Yokoyama to become a swordsmith in Edo city. In 1849, when he was late 20’s, he started to serve Mito clan after he was recommended by Katsumura Tokkatsu, a famous swordsmith in Mito domain. Sukemitsu kept forging swords for this clan and died at the age of 54. (the fourth year of Meiji; 1874.)
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 74.8 cm long and must have been practical to use at the end of the Edo period. You can appreciate Sukemitsu’s craftmanship very well by looking at the beautiful Hamon and Jigane. If you are interested in an antique Japanese sword related to the Bakumatsu era, when Samurai’s life changed forever, it is a nice piece of history.
It 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). It accompanies by gorgeous sword mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：74.8 cm(29.4 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：2.1 cm( 0.82 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(Sabbard), Tsuka( Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
A kind of plant’s leaves is engraved for this Fucji Kashira. Several plant patterns were used as motifs for sword mountings. For example, ivy is one of the popular designs. As ivy has a strong vitality and grows up without interruption, people regarded this motif as a symbol of prosperity and longevity. In this way, each design was sometimes used with specific meanings or whishes.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
It might be chrysanthemums that are designed for this Menuki. The gold colored metal is plated on some petals and leaves. Chrysanthemum is one of the symbolic flowers of autumn, 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.
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 made from iron. A branch of a pine tree is engraved at the upper side of the Tsuba. Its leaves might be inlaid with brass (or gold). It seems the moon is peeking from behind the tree. As pine trees keep their green color throughout the years by withstanding severe heat and cold, this plant pattern represents eternal youth. It is said this color was appreciated, especially in the Edo period, as a good-luck color.
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 Nov 9th 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 : Ibaraki 12372
The Board of Education in Ibaraki 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, Australia, 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, Australia, Canada).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. When we receive an order from the USA, Australia 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.
【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.