Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Yasukuni with Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Musashi Taro Yasukuni (武蔵太郎安国) during the mid-Edo period. He was active during the Genroku-Kyoho era (1688-1736). Yasukuni belonged to the Bushu Shitahara school, located in today’s Hachioji city(southwest part of Tokyo). This school thrived from the end of the Muromachi period to the late Edo period (late 16C-Late 19C).
His birth name was Yamamoto Touta, while his smith name changed over time, starting from Hiroshige (広重) and then Musashi Taro Yasukuni (武蔵太郎安国). He was born in Bushu Hachioji as the son of Touta Hiroshige. And, he moved to Edo city, becoming an apprentice of master Omura Kaboku (大村加卜), a famous swordsmith during the mid-Edo period.
Kanboku was primarily working as a surgeon for Mito Tokugawa Mitsukuni, the Mito domain’s feudal lord (Ibaraki prefecture today). Mitsukuni was a grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and the first Shogun of the Edo government.
Yasukuni is famous for having forged a sword for the general Mitsukuni because he received an order from the domain in 1685. Furthermore, in 1721, the 8th Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune ordered Yasukuni to participate in the sword-forging exhibition in Hamarikyu, the feudal lord’s residence in Edo. Shogun Yoshimune invited renowned swordsmiths there to compete for their craftsmanship. These facts indicate Yasukuni was acknowledged as a top-tier swordsmith in the mid-Edo period. We believe this Katana was ordered by a high-class Samurai official based on its elegant look.
Shitahara school, where Yasukuni belonged, had been the group of swordsmiths under the Hojo clan’s auspicious, powerful feudal line during the late Muromachi period. Most of the Shitahara swordsmith’s real sir name was Yamamoto. After the Toyotomi clan destroyed the Hojo clan in the Azuchi Momoyama period, Shitahara swordsmiths served the Tokugawa clan. They were known as Okakae Kaji, swordsmiths exclusively working for a specific feudal family. They kept forging for the Tokugawa clan until the end of the Edo period.
On the tang of this blade, his smith name, Musashi Taro Yasuhiro is engraved on the front and the other side says Ma Jyugo Mai Kobuse Saku(真十五枚甲伏作). Ma Jyugo Koubuse was a particular sword forging method/technique his master and he applied when forging swords.
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.
*Please keep in mind that there is a noticeable Kiatae Kizu on the Mune (backbone of the blade). If you like to know the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：68.9 cm( 27.1 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.2 cm( 0.47 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.
Butterflies are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. It looks silvery metal was initially applied to these motifs. They spread their wings and fly around; their elegant figures are beautifully depicted. The butterfly pattern has been used for family crests. It is famous that the Taira (平) clan had used this insect design for their crests.
A larva becomes a chrysalis, and it grows up to a butterfly. As this insect changes its looks, it symbolizes reborn or immortality. According to a theory, that is why many Samurais loved the butterfly pattern. Also, as butterflies make a couple on good terms, this motif represents happy marriage. We would say that the butterfly pattern is a design that reflects the familiar wishes of people.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
According to the certificate, this Menuki’s motif is a kind of autumn plant. By seeing its petal and leaf shape, we estimate it is a chrysanthemum. It seems some parts were initially colored with golden paint. 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 appreciated it very much 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.
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.
The Kiri (桐, paulownia) pattern is the principal design, and the Karakusa (唐草, arabesque) pattern surrounds flowers. It seems these motifs were initially colored with shiny metallic paint. The Kiri pattern is generally composed of three standing straight inflorescences and three leaves. The number of flowers that are blooming at each inflorescence means the ranks of this design. One of the most popular Samurais in Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, used the Kiri pattern for his family crest. According to a theory, Hideyoshi used the Omodaka (沢瀉, arrowhead) pattern as his family crest. However, Oda Nobunaga, a well-known military commander in the Warring States period, permitted Hideyoshi to use the Kiri design. This plant pattern was once used by the imperial family and national leaders of the time. Today, this plant pattern is used as the crest of the Japanese Government.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1016196) and Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate for the Koshirae (No. 512)
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 Aug 27th in the 3rd year of Reiwa (2021). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially worth preserving for Japanese society. The sword mounting of this blade got appraised as a Tokubetsu Kicho Kodogu, an old form of the NBTHK certificate on July 2nd in the 42th year of Showa (1972). The purchaser will receive these original certificates as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Tokyo 307358
The Board of Education in Tokyo 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.
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,CHF 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, 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.
【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 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.