Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Tsunahiro with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Yamashiro Koku Jyu Minamoto Tsuahiro(山城国住源綱廣). He was active in sword-forging during the Kanbun-Jyokyo era(1661-1688: early Edo period), judging from his remaining work and historical records. Therefore, we believe it was made about 350 years ago.
Yamashiro koku is the province’s name in the Kyoto area, and Jyu means living in Japanese. The signature indicates that this blade was created when Tsunahiro lived in Yamashiro Koku. There are also records of him signing as Omi no Kami Minamoto Tsunahiro. Omi no Kami is the title given to only selected swordsmiths whose sword-forging techniques were excellent.
Yamashiro province was famous for its sword-making style called YAMASHIRO-DEN. YAMASHIRO-DEN’s origin dates back to the Heian period(794 A.D) when the capital city was moved from Nara to Kyoto. The swordsmiths in Yamashiro province initially prospered by forging swords for court nobles and imperial families. Later on, they also forged swords for feudal lords after Samurai military government took control of Japan. There are so many renowned swordsmiths from this region. It is said that the founder of YAMASHIRO-DEN was Sanjo Munechika. And there are seven prestigious schools in this region. One of the most characteristics of YAMASHIRO-DEN is its elegant design and beautiful Jigane.
It is said that Tsunahiro was originally from Ise province(Mie prefecture) and moved to Kyoto for his career. We assume he decided to forge swords in Yamashiro province because of the long history of prestigious sword-forging in this region.
This blade 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)： 71.2 cm(28.0 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 0.7 cm(0.275 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.
This Fuchi Kashira has beautiful glossy color. The surface of the Fuchi part is decorated with the Nanako-Ji technique. By hitting with the Nanako-Ji Tagane (魚子地鏨, chisel used for this technique), it makes delicate fish egg-shaped protrusion. The same size of particles lined up regularly makes us feel the maker’s expert skill.
If you focus on the Fuchi part, you will find there are circle-shaped golden symbol marks. We guess it might be the family crest of the former owner of this sword. It looks this design is a combination of two Myogas. The Myoga (茗荷) is known as Japanese ginger and was brought to Japan from the Continent with the Shoga (生姜, ginger). According to a theory, the Shoga was used to be called “Senoka,” and the Myoga was used to be called “Menoka” in ancient times. It is said that these pronunciations were changed with time. The Myoga has the same pronunciation as another word, “Myoga (冥加),” which means divine protection; therefore, this motif has been treated as a good-luck design.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Seeing from the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, it seems this Menuki’s motif is a kind of bird. Since this bird has a long bill and legs, it might be a crane. Although some of its original colors have already been lost due to aging, we hope you enjoy it as an antique texture.
There is a proverb that says cranes and turtles live a long life. It says cranes have even one thousand years lifespan; therefore, cranes and turtles have been considered the symbol of longevity since a long time ago. Also, as cranes make compatible couples, its pattern represents happy marriage. Due to its pure white feathers and dignified appearance, it was favorably used as a good omen design for various ornaments or furnishings such as the Kimono (着物, traditional Japanese costume) or the Obi (帯, belt for Kimono).
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.
This Tsuba has a rounded rectangular shape and is made from iron. This Tsuba’s motif might be wild geese. You would find bird figures in abstracted design. The wild goose is a migratory bird that represents fall. Its pattern is also called “Karigane (雁金),” and some families used 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 as you see in this Tsuba.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.1012511)
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 Dec 2nd in the first year of Reiwa (2019). 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 : Wakayama 14330
The Board of Education in Wakayama 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.
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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, Canada, Mexico, UK, 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.
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【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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.
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