Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Toshitane with NBTHK Certificate
Miyazu Ju Unjyu Toshitane forged this blade in the first year of the GENJI era(1864 A.D) according to the signature on the tang.He studied under the master, Seventh gen Ishido Unjyu Korekazu, a famous swordsmith in Ishido school.
Toshitane was selected as Okakae Kaji for Honjyo clan in the Miyazu domain in Tango area. (today’s northern Kyoto)
That means he was exclusively forging swords for this clan. It was quite honorable for any swordsmiths to be an Okakae Kaji.
His works have a close resemblance to his master, and we assume he helped his master to forge swords. Toshitane took over the name Unjyu from his master, meaning there must have been a strong connection between the two.
This blade was forged in the end of the Edo period(GENJI era) when there was a civil war between Tokugawa’s military government and new Meiji government. The original owner of this Katana might have seen the moment when Samurai’s life changed forever. This blade has a strong looking and must have been practical to use it in that demanding time.
Toshitane kept forging swords even after the Edo period ended. It was much stricter to make swords under the new Meiji Government, but he tried to keep the craftsmanship from the Samurai period going.
This blade has the Tokubetsu NBTHK Kicho certificate, which was issued during 1950-1982. NBTHK is currently the most active organization for the authentication of Japanese swords. The foundation of NBTHK dates back to the post-WWII era, following the establishment of the current Japanese Government, when Japanese swords were on the verge of extinction.
It comes with a beautiful set of sword mounting. Its scabbard is especially worth mentioning. It is coated with RADEN(oyster shell coating)
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 72.3 cm(28.46 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.8 cm(0.70 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. It has the signature of Miyazu Ju Unjyu Toshitane.
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.
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
The dragon is engraved for this Fuchi -Kashira. Based on a theory that says dragons live in the clouds, these two motifs are often designed together. The three-dimensional carving shows the majestic appearance of the dragon.
The dragon is an imaginary creature that initially comes from ancient Chinese traditions or myths. 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, a 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. People appreciate the dragon pattern as the all-purpose auspicious pattern since ancient times.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Dragons are designed or this Menuki as well as Fuchi-Kashira. They twist their slender bodies that seem similar to snake. Each scale and each sharp nails are carefully carved. It shows us the high-level skill of its metalworker.
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. Matsu (松, pine tree) is engraved on both sides. Each pine needles are finely carved. Cones and trunks are inlaid with gold or brown colored materials; it makes a realistic depiction.
As pine trees keep their green color throughout the years withstanding severe heat and cold, this plant pattern represents eternal youth. And its color is called Tokiwa-Iro (常盤色, evergreen trees’ dark green color with brown), and pine trees have another name “Tokiwa-Gi (常盤木).” Tokiwa means immutability, so Tokiwa-Iro is a color that praises green with a wish for longevity and prosperity. It is said this color was appreciated, especially in the Edo period as a good-luck color. The pine tree design gives us an elegant and noble impression; it might be another reason that people love this motif.
Saya：Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Fine shell fragments are used, and it makes a glossy brown-gold colored scabbard coating.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate for the blade
NBTHK, also known as Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai, is one of the oldest Japanese sword appraising organizations in modern-day Japan. They authenticated the blade on Sep 9th in the 53th year of Showa(1978). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Kicho Touken. 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 : Hyogo 90779
The Board of Education in Hyogo 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.
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) or PayPal, both of which are secure payment methods. If you prefer other payment method, please contact us. After confirming the payment from you, we will apply for an export permit. You can either pay in JPY, USD, EUR or GBP. The price is decided in Japanese Yen. The price in other currencies is calculated automatically based on the exchange rate.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada(BC, AB,ON), 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 UPS(USA only).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post.When we receive an order from the USA, we will use UPS instead as EMS temporarily stops shipping from Japan to the USA due to COVID-19.
We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office/UPS. We will put 100 % insurance on the shipping document without any extra charge. Based on the total amount, there might be a duty tax 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.
If you like to see more antique Japanese swords for sale, please check the link.
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