Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by the third-gen Kaneshige with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Banyo Koku Eiso Kaneshige (播陽國衛庄金重) in May, the third year of the Ho-Ei era (1706: Mid Edo Period). Banyo Koku is another name for Harima domain located in today’s Hyogo prefecture. The maker’s name Kaneshige lasted a few generations, and based on the year inscribed on the tang, it is believed that it was signed by the third-gen, who was active during the Enpo～Ho-Ei era (1673-1711). He also signed as Kinjumaru (金重丸) and Harima Ju Kaneshige (播磨住金重). There was also a record of him forging blades in Edo city (Today’s Tokyo).
It is said that the first-gen Kaneshige was originally from Mino province (Today’s Gifu prefecture) and moved to Harima domain, and became a Hanko, a swordsmith exclusively serving one domain or clan. The head of this domain back then was Honda Tadakuni, a grandson of Tokugawa Yorifusa. The superb craftsmanship the first-gen mastered was passed down to the late generations, including the third-gen.
This blade has a very distinctive Hamon (tempering line) called Kawazuko-Choji Midare (蛙子丁子乱れ). Choji Midare is a type of Hamon consisting of Choji (clove) shapes, but the overall line of the Hamon is irregular and has no definable form. Kawazuko means tadpoles. This particular Hamon was named after the fact that it resembles the shape of a tadpole.
It 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)：70.3 cm (27.7 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.5 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.
Its surface is decorated with the Nanako-Ji (魚子地) technique. It makes minor protrusions on the surface by hitting a specific chisel. In this Fuchi Kashira, each protrusion is beautifully arranged and decorates this work. Protrusions are slightly worn out; it could be considered proof that it has been used for a long time.
About the design, the Kiku (菊, chrysanthemum) flowers are mainly designed. And the gold paint is applied to these petals and some parts of other motifs. A long time ago, the chrysanthemum was used as a medicine for obtaining a long life on the continent, and it was brought to Japan with this thought in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemum symbolizes fall, and people have greatly appreciated it 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.
You could see an engraved inscription on the side of the Fuchi part. The right side line could be read as 正阿弥 (Shoami). The first letter of the left line is probably 藤 (pronounced as Fuji or Tou), but the second character cannot see clearly. The Shoami is the school’s name. This school originated in Kyoto prefecture, and it is said that many artisans were calling themselves this sect in various regions from the Muromachi period to the Edo period. It is not easy to generalize all of them and describe their common characteristics. There were some flourished schools such as Akita Shoami, Aidu Shoami, Iyo Shoami, etcetera.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
It seems a mouse is designed on each side. As mice have many children, it is regarded as a symbol of fertility and prosperity for future generations. According to a theory, the belief that worships mice as the messenger for Daikokuten was brought to Japan from the continent. Daikokuten (大黒天) is the member of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, called Shichifukujin in Japanese. Mice have the ability to predict disasters and move to a safe place before a fire or earthquake occurs. The ancient people who saw this behavior thought the mouse was the sacred beast that knew the future.
When Daikokuten’s religious ritual and the mouse’s holy creature faith were brought to Japan, the mouse was connected with Okuninushi-no-Mikoto (大国主命), who is the god in Japanese myth. In the Kojiki (古事記, regarded as the oldest history book in existence in Japan), there is a story about a mouse who saves Okuninushi-no-Mokoto. One day, Okuninushi-no-Mikoto met a beautiful lady, and they fell in love. However, her father, Susanoo, put him to the test. After overcoming severe hardships, Susanoo took him to a field and shot an arrow far away. And he instructed Okuninushi-no-Mikoto to get that arrow. Surprisingly, Susanoo shot a flaming arrow near where the arrow was stuck. Okuninushi-no-Mikoto lost a place to escape in the burnt field and got into a difficult situation. At that time, a mouse appeared and advised him to hide underneath the hole. He could save by lying down at the bottom of the hole and waiting until the fire was put out. The mouse that is regarded as Daikokuten’s messenger saved Okuninushi-no-Mikoto. Based on this story, it is said that the theme that mice are playing around with Daikokuten’s straw rice bag came into being. In this Menuki, we cannot find straw rice, but this story might have inspired mouse designs in sword mountings such as this work.
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.
We assume this oval-shaped Tsuba is made from copper, and its edge part is framed with a thin metal plate. About the design, the elliptical screen is divided into rhombuses, and two different patterns resembling the mesh of bamboo works are engraved. Flowers are further carved on this base, and the clusters of small petals are probably the Ajisai (紫陽花, hydrangea) flowers. A theory says this plant was incorporated as a design in the Edo period. It was already treated in the Manyousyu (万葉集, literally “Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves”). The Manyoushu was compiled from the late 7th century to the late 8th century, and it is the oldest surviving anthology of Japanese poetry. The Ajisai pattern has been widely appreciated for craftworks and as a design for the Kimonos (着物, traditional Japanese costume) or the Obis (帯, belt for Kimono).
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper-1：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1017882)
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 June 3rd in the 4rd year of Reiaw (2022). 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.
Authentication Paper-2：JASMK Certificate
This certicate was issued on November 1oth in the 3oth year of the Heisei era (2018) by Japan Art Museum of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture. It says the detailed information about the sword such as the age, maker, style and so forth.
Registration Number : Ishikawa 4428
The Board of Education in Ishikawa 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 400 Japanese swords for the past three years (～2022) 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.
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* 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, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, 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.
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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 Whetstone Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it. If you have any difficulty assembling the sword or cleaning the blade, you can feel free to contact us.
Thank you for reading all the information on the page. If you have any difficulty choosing the right Japanese sword for you, we will be more than happy to help you find the one that speaks to you the most. Please feel free to contact us.