Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by the second-gen Masatoshi with Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate
According to NBTHK’s appraisal, this blade was forged by the second-gen Etchu no Kami Masatoshi(二代越中守正俊). He also inscribed the chrysanthemum emblem along with his signature. According to historical records, he received Etchu no kami(the name of the honorable title) in the Kanei era（1624-1645）. He started to sign the chrysanthemum emblem in Seiho era(1645-1648). His work has a very close resemblance to his master, the first-gen Masatoshi(his father). The second-gen Masatoshi was active in sword-forging in 1624-1648. We believe this blade was forged by him in his late-career when his craftmanship reached the highest level.
The first-gen Masatoshi was the fourth son of Kanemichi(関兼道).
Seki Kanemichi was originally from Mino province, exclusively forging blades for Shingen Takeda, a famous feudal lord. Later on, he moved to Kyoto in 1593 by bringing his four sons, Iga no Kami Kinmichi(伊賀守金道)、Izumi no Kami Rai Kinmichi(和泉守来金道), Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi(丹波守吉道) and Echu no kami Masatoshi(越中守正俊). Seki Kanemichi established Mishina school in Kyoto, one of the most prestigious schools in the early Edo period.
The first-gen Etchu no Kami Masatoshi was known as Kyoto Gokaji(京都五鍛冶), five prestigious swordsmiths living in Kyoto in the early Edo period. 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 licensed him to use this emblem, which was quite honorable for any swordsmiths. It is said that the first-gen Masatoshi was the most skilled one among other brothers, and his craftsmanship was passed down to his son, the second-gen Masatoshi.
The second-gen Masatoshi was also allowed to sign his signature with chrysanthemum emblem, forging blades in Kyoto in the early Edo period(Mid-Late 17 century). The swordsmith name Masatoshi lasted forth generations until the mid-Edo period.
It has a sculpture of Sanscrit on one side.
The meaning is Fudo Myo-O(不動明王）, which is a protective god in Buddhism, particularly Japanese Shingon Buddhism. This god was also known as a god of wars. Samurai believed in the power of this god, so they put decorations of this god on either armor or samurai sword.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：71.59 cm( 28.2 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 3.03 cm(1.2 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.
Horimono: Horimono is an inscription or sculpture on Japanese swords.
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.
Dragonflies are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. The silvery metal is applied to them.
Dragonfly has been inhabiting since a long time ago in Japan. As they bag preys quickly, its heroic figure was sometimes regarded as the object of belief. During the Warring States period, a dragonfly was called “Kachimushi (勝ち虫)” because of its fearless character; it moves only forward, not backward. Above all, the combination of the dragonfly pattern with the iris flower or the arrow was much appreciated. Allow was one of the Samurai’s primary weapons. Iris flower is called “Shoubu (菖蒲)” in Japanese, and there is the word “Shoubu (勝負),” which means battle. So, “Shoubu” (菖蒲, iris flower) and “Shoubu” (勝負, fight) those two wards have the same pronunciation; therefore, the iris flower pattern reminds Samurai battle. Same as this Menuki’s motif (for the Menuki, please check the explanation below), the popular motifs among Samurais were used.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menuki’s motif is a dragon. Although some parts of gold-colored metal coating have already been flaked off due to aging, this Menuki still has a gorgeous look thanks to the elaborate carving skill of its maker.
Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is 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. Also, 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 has been flourished in this country, water is always an essential resource. So that the dragon motif has been familiar with Japanese people since a long time ago, we would like to guess that it might be a reason why this beast pattern is often found even in sword mountings. Still today, many people appreciate this motif.
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 Kozuka and Kougai holes. Mokkou (木瓜) shape, its origin is a shape of eggs that are rest in a nest. When a quince (it is written 木瓜 in Japanese) is cut into round slices, its cross-section looks similar to this shape; therefore, it was named Mokkougata Tsuba. Yotsu-Mokkougata (a combination of four Mokkou shapes) Tsuba is often seen as this work is categorized.
Two birds are flying in the sky. As there are various types of bird motifs designed for sword mountings, it is a little challenging to judge what kind of bird it is. However, we would like to guess these birds are Kari (雁, wild goose). The wild goose is a migratory bird, and it represents fall. The wild goose pattern is also called “Karigane (雁金).” In Japan, some families use this motif for their family crests. This bird is engraved by not only a realistic figure but also a very simplified shape: Hiragana (ひらがな, a kind of Japanese letter) “he (へ)” shape that sometimes makes also wild goose. Since a plant (probably Japanese pampas grass) is engraved at the lower part of this Tsuba, this work might depict a natural autumn scene.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Kicho 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 Feb 25nd in the 50 year of Showa(1975). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Kicho Touken, an old form of the authentication paper . 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 : Kumamoto 5220
The Board of Education in Kumoto 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.
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【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. 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, 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.