Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Noto no Kami Fujiwara Yasuyuki with Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Noto no Kami Fujiwara Yasuyuki (能登守藤原泰幸) in Feb, the 14th year of the Kanei era (1637), judging from the signature and NBTHK’s appraisal. He is a prominent swordsmith, also known as the father of Sagami no Kami Fujiwara Yasuyuki (相模守藤原泰幸).
Yasuyuki was originally from the Mino province (today’s Gifu prefecture). However, he moved to Owari province (Today’s Aichi prefecture) to look for better job opportunities in the 15th year of the Keicho era (1610). It was around when Nagoya castle was built, and Owari province was active in martial arts during the early Edo period. There was much demand for swords among high-class Samurai residing near Nagoya castle. Yasuyuki met those demands by forging excellent quality blades.
Yasuyuki received the honorable official title of Noto no Kami from the emperor for his superb sword-forging techniques after he moved to Owari province. Considering that, we believe he resided in Owari when he forged this blade. He was active in sword-forging during the early Edo period. (approx. 1624-1644).
Mino Province is one of the most famous and historical sword-forging sites. There were so many schools forging blades during the Samurai period. It especially prospered during Sengoku Jidai(Warring State period) due to the high demand for weapons. And the location of Mino province beat others. Akechi Mitsuhide controlled Mino province, Nobunaga Oda ruled Owari province, and Tokugawa Ieyasu was the lord of Suruga (Neighboring areas). There was high demand from those powerful feudal lords and their retainers.
Furthermore, many wars occurred between the Kanto region and the Kyoto area. Mino is located in the middle, making feudal lords feel convenient to order swords from MINO swordsmiths. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province. The blades forged in MINO provinces also had a reputation for their practical design and sharpness.
The tradition of excellent sword forging skills had been passed throughout the Edo period, and Yasuyuki is a good example. And, to look for better opportunities, many swordsmiths in Mino province moved to other parts of Japan, such as Owari province, located right next to Mino province. Those who moved to Owari from Mino are called Owari Seki. Yasuyuki is one of the most famous Owari Seki swordsmiths. Others are Masatsune (政常)、Ujifusa (氏房), and Nobutaka (信高). We are confident you can appreciate the outstanding craft of Yasuyuki.
This blade is appraised as a Hozon Token(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, well preserved with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：69.2 cm(27.2 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.3 cm( 0.51 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.
The Chou (蝶, butterfly) pattern is designed for this Fuchi Kashira. Each butterfly is engraved with clear carving lines. The same motif is seen on other sword mountings on this sword. Please check each photo. People preferred the butterfly pattern due to its growth process, beauty, and auspiciousness among the various animal patterns. A larva becomes a chrysalis, and it grows up into a butterfly. As this insect changes its looks, it symbolizes being reborn; therefore, Samurais loved this design. Also, as butterflies make a couple on good terms, this motif represents happy marriage.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The Hanabishi (花菱) pattern is put on the metal part. About the Hanabishi pattern, its shape is that petals are designed in a rhombus. This design became a Yusoku Monyou (有職文様, a generic term for designs of court nobles’ clothing or furnishings, these designs have unique and elegant styles) during the Heian period (794-1185). And people loved it as an auspicious pattern.
As mentioned above, you would find butterflies, the same as the Fuchi Kashira. It is said that the butterfly pattern has been used since the Heian period (794-1185). This design was brought from the Continent to Japan, and people introduced it in various fields. As proof of this, butterflies have also appeared in stories, such as Heike-Monogatari (平家物語, The Tale of the Heike). This insect design gradually began to be used as a family crest, and it spread nationwide by being used by the Taira (平) clan. Taira no Kiyomori (平清盛, 1118-1181), who was the leader of the Taira family, used the Agehachou (揚羽蝶) crest. That is, it was treated as a symbolic design of the Heike(平家). According to a theory, about 300 Samurais used this motif for their family crests in the Edo period. It tells us the close relationship between the butterfly pattern and Samurai culture.
One of the most famous Samurais, Oda Nobunaga, used seven family crests in his life. Among them, there was a butterfly design. Using this crest, he called himself a descendant of the Heike clan (Taira ckan) to replace the Muromachi Shogunate, governed by the Ashikaga (足利) family, who follows the Genji (源氏) clan. It was one of his strategies to gain control over the government.
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 an ornamental look. Its edge is framed with a silvery metal plate; it gives a decorativeness to this work. The Karakusa (唐草, arabesque) pattern is designed for this Tsuba. Three-pronged leaves grow in places on the vines. It is a pattern in which stems and leaves of vines are twined and make curves. Since ivy has a strong vitality and grows up without interruption, people regarded this design as a symbol of prosperity and longevity. Vine is called Tsuru (蔓) in Japanese, and it has another pronunciation; “Man.” There is a word 万 (it is also read Man), which means thousand. In the Karakusa pattern, leaves and vines are connected like the Obi (帯, belt). The word “帯” can also be pronounced “Tai.” Due to its pronunciation, the term “代 (Tai)” is associated. Based on this word-association game, an idiom 万代 is associated, which means a thousand generations. In other words, we could imagine that people used this design wishing prosperity and longevity for their clans for a long time.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
This scabbard has a characteristic appearance. Cherry blossom flowers are depicted on the entire of it. This flower is one of the seasonal things of spring, and it has been loved for a long time in Japan. Its pattern is designed not only for sword mountings but also for Kimonos (着物, traditional Japanese costume) or furnishings. One theory says that the god of grain exists in cherry blossoms. Therefore, this flower pattern has been treated as the symbol of a plentiful harvest.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3026775)
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 third year of Reiwa (2021). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade 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 : Kumamoto 57065
The Board of Education in Kumamoto 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 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.
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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.