Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Yoshikane with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Chikuzen Jyu Minamoto Nobukuni YOSHIKANE(筑前住源信国吉包) signed this sword in the middle of the Edo Period. Chikuzen is the name of the province located in Fukuoka today. Jyu means living. Minamoto Nobukuni is the name of his school, and YOSHIKANE is his maker’s name. Those who belonged to Nobukuni School in Chikuzen province were called Tsukushi Nobukuni, one of the most prospered sword forging schools in Kyushu island.
The Nobukuni school was initially founded by the first generation Nobukuni in Kyoto. The school stayed there for a few generations. However, the 4th generation Nobukuni SADAMITSU had to leave Kyoto city as the battle between the south emperor court and the north emperor court became severe. And, as a result, Kyoto city was burnt(the late 1300’s). We called this battle Nanbokucho war when the Japanese imperial court was separated into two.
Nobukuni Sadamitsu managed to escape and arrive at Usaha(Ohita prefecture)to serve the Ajimu clan. However, after the Ajimu clan was destroyed, The 12th generation Nobukuni YOSHISADA moved to Chikuzen(Fukuoka prefecture)to serve Kuroda Nagamasa, a famous feudal lord(1602). YOSHISADA was a grandfather of YOSHIKANE(14th generation Nobukuni)
The swords forged by Nobukuni school weren’t probably as famous as Chikuzen Sekido school because they were only allowed to sell within the Kuroda clan, not to other clans.
YOSHIKANE was the father of SHIGEKANE, who served 8th generation Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune. His son, Shigemune, was selected as one of four swordsmiths who were allowed to inscribe hollyhock emblem, representing Tokugawa shogunate family crest.
The signature also says it was forged from Nanban Tetsu(Western carbon steel). Chikuzen province had easy access to western carbon steel as Fukuoka city was one of the biggest hubs for trading in Japan.
This sword has a Tokubetsu Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, especially worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword). This blade is in excellent condition, and comes with beautiful set of sword mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa) :70.5 cm(27.75 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.9 cm(0.75 inches)
Hamon：The blade pattern created by the tempering process.
Jimon：Visible surface pattern on the steel
Nakago：Nakago is the tang of the Japanese sword. The signature(Chikuzen Jyu Minamoto Nobukuni Yoshikane) is inscribed on the front and the other side says the blade was made of western carbon steel(Nanban-Tetsu.)
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. Gold inlay was applied on them.
Samurai, who wears gold armor, is designed on the Kashira. Waves and pine trees are engraved on the Fuchi. Also, a horse is seen on the opposite side (Please check the picture of Tsuka). This Fuchi Kashira might describe a scene of a battle at the water’s edge.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Tsuka is coiled with the Hishi-Maki technique, which is a general way to cover the Tsuka.
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.
Lions are engraved and inlaid with gold on both sides of Tsuba. Their bodies are covered with curly hair. Initially, Makige-Mon (巻き毛文, curly hair pattern) symbolized the sun by its shape. As people regarded lions have the power of the sun, Makige-Mon was started to use for lion’s fur pattern. Furthermore, it is believed that lions will protect people from evil spirits. This Tsuba’s base is decorated with Nanako-Ji (魚子地) technique. The groundwork was hit by Nanakoji-Tagane (chisel for metalworking), so small dents cover the background. Each little dot looks like a fish egg; therefore, its name “Nanako” is written as children of fish in Kanji (a kind of Japanese character).
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
The scabbard is painted with glossy black lacquer. During the refining stage of lacquer, it is mixed with iron. The luster of the black coat is made from the oxidation effect of iron.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade
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 May 23th 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.
Registration Number : Gifu 24281
The Board of Education in Gifu 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 1-1.5 months to receive this permit. And we would like you to expect at least 2-3 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. 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 Japanese Yen or US Dollars. The price is decided in Japanese Yen. The price in US dollar is calculated automatically based on an exchange rate.
We have shipped Japanese swords to the USA, Canada(BC, AB,ON), Mexico, Australia, UK, Germany and France. If you don’t live in these countries and like to order, please contact us first before making a purchase.
Once we receive the export permit, we will inform you and ask if it is okay for us to ship. After confirming you are ready to receive the sword, we will proceed with its shipping. 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.
We ship with EMS, an international expedited shipping service provided by Japan Post in Japan. We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office. We will put 100 % insurance on the shipping document without any extra charge. Based on the total amount, there might be a duty tax to pay, depending on the countries.
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 are delays in shipping to many countries as most of the airlines are reducing the number of flights from Japan. If you like to know the detail about shipping, please feel free to ask us.
【How to make sure the condition】
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. If you are currently living in Japan or visiting, you can visit our actual shop in Tokyo to inspect the sword with reservation.
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.
【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 below.
Episode 1: Types of Japanese Swords
Episode 2: Japanese Swords from Different Ages
Episode 3: Budget of Japanese Swords
Episode 4: Japanese Sword Appraisers in Modern Times (NBTHK / NTHK )
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