Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Sukenaga(Sukenari Daimei) NBTHK Hozon Certificate
According to the NBTHK certificate, this blade was signed by Sukenari(祐成) while its signature says Bizen Osafune Jyu Sukenaga（備前長船祐永）. Sukenari signed on behalf of Sukenasga, which is called Daimei(代銘).
Daimei is a regular act where an apprentice or a child of the swordsmith signed his master’s name with his master’s permission, being involved in a sword-forging. We believe Sukenari worked for Sukenaga, and his level of craftsmanship must have been closed to his master. According to historical records, Sukenari and Sukenaga were active in sword-forging at the end of the Edo period (Tenpo era:1831-1845) in Bizen province. Sukenari also forged swords in Fukushima city in Hiroshima after being requested by a feudal family named Abe.
About Sukenaga(His master)
Bizen Osafune Jyu Sukenaga(備前長船住祐永) is one of the most famous swordsmiths in Bizen province at the end of the Edo period(Bakumatsu). Born as the second son of Yokoyama Sukehira, he belonged to the Yokoyama school in Bizen province(today’s Okayama prefecture).
He eventually became the head of this school. He called himself the 56th-gen of Tomonari, a renowned swordsmith in the mid-late Heian period in Bizen province. He was allowed to inscribe a chrysanthemum emblem, which is the symbol of the Japanese emperor. His sword forging technique was so great that the emperor allowed him to use this emblem, which was quite honorable for any swordsmith. According to NBTHK, He trained many apprentices. Sukenari was either apprentice or brother of Sukenaga.
About Bizen Osafune
Sukenari’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 swords increased among strong feudal lords. The high level of craftsmanship had been passed until the end of the Edo period, and Sukenari is a good example.
This blade is appraised as a Hozon Token(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, well preserved with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa) : 67.5 cm( 26.6 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 2.2 cm( 0.87 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.
The Take (竹, bamboo) is also engraved mainly for Fuchi. And a kind of four-legged animal is designed for Kashira. Although some parts of its golden coating have already been peeled off, it seems a Tora (虎, tiger). There is a famous theme brought to Japan from the Continent; the combination of tiger and bamboo. It is called Take-Tora Mon (竹虎文) in Japanese.
The tiger is a brave animal. According to a theory, people considered the tiger pattern would protect people from evil spirits. Therefore, its pattern has been treated as a talisman. The tiger design has also been regarded as the symbol of life activity when “tiger” is written by a Japanese Kanji character (漢字, a kind of Japanese letter) based on its meaning. It is said people wished boys’ healthy growth by using the tiger pattern. As bamboos grow straight towards the sky, it has the meaning of strength and nobility. And, the bamboo breaks straight, but its content is hollow; people thought it shows innocence. Also, bamboos are lush even in the cold of winter. It has been regarded as the symbol of eternity and immortality.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The motif of this Menuki might be a spider who is taking a rest on a leaf. The gold-colored metal is applied to the spider’s body. Since ancient times, the spider motif itself and the cobweb pattern have been familiar to Japanese people. It is said this design was used for Kimono (traditional Japanese costume) or ceramics. As spiders nest and catch prey with their web, people considered the spider pattern had the meaning of “grabbing happiness” or “attracting things.” The spider web was treated in Nihonshoki (日本書紀, Nihongi, The Chronicles of Japan), Kokin Wakashu (古今和歌集, an early anthology of Japanese poetry) and also Heike Monogatari (平家物語, The Tale of the Heike). When the cobweb goes down in the morning, it was thought, “the person you are waiting for will come.”
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. An insect and several items are designed. This insect might be a butterfly or moth. A larva becomes a chrysalis, and it grows up to a butterfly. As this insect changes its looks, it symbolizes reborn; therefore, Samurai loved the butterfly pattern. If you focus on the right side of this Tsuba’s surface, you will find a Ha-Uchiwa (羽団扇, a fan-made of wings). According to a theory, Tengu (天狗, a monster with a human body, red face, long nose, and wings) brings it. Tengu is regarded as sometimes mischievous but sometimes helpful mountain guardian. Ha-Uchiwa has magical powers such as flying, replication technique, transformation, and so on. Also, it is believed Ha-Uchiwa would exorcize monsters and evils. By applying the design of Ha-Uchiwa, Samurais might have wanted to play an active part on the battlefield as if they had obtained such mysterious powers.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK 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 December 10th in the 30th year of Heisei (2018). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade 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 : Nigata 018311
The Board of Education in Nigata 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, CAD,EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
* If the amount is above 1 million JPY, Stripe or wire transfer will be the only options for payment.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany , France Hong Kong and Australia. 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.
* If you live in Australia and like to purchase an authentic Japanese sword, please click here to know the detail.
*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.