Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Yoshitaka with NTHK Kanteisho Certificate
According to NTHK’s appraisal, this blade was signed by Shinshu Ueda Jyu Yoshitaka(信州上田住吉高) during Genji era(End Edo period: 1864-1865). Shinshu is the name of the domain(Nagano prefecture), and Ueda is the city in which this swordsmith lived. While his maker’s name is Yoshitaka, his real name was Yamaguchi Dairokuro. There is a record of him forging blades in Edo(today’s Tokyo) as well.
The Background History
Japan enjoyed a relatively peaceful time from the early Edo period to the mid-Edo period(the 1600s-1760s) because of the stable economy and the powerful government run by Tokugawa Shogun. Samurai didn’t have many opportunities to utilize his Katana sword in public or on battlefields during this time. Thus, they carried their swords more as a symbol of their social status. The demand for weapons decreased accordingly compared to the previous Warring state period called Sengoku Jidai. (1467-1600)
However, toward the end of the Edo period(1764-1876), the Japanese sword’s role changed dramatically. With the poverty spreading in Japan, there were so many riots initiated by the civilians. Japanese sword started to play an essential role in maintaining public safety.
Pressure from foreign countries to open Japanese borders also forced Samurai to order strong-looking swords to survive this tumultuous time. We believe many swordsmiths, including Masa-Aki, made great efforts to forged high-quality, practical blades for their masters to prepare for battles. This blade has a strong looking and must have been practical to use in that demanding time.
There was a civil war between Tokugawa’s shogunate government and the new Meiji imperical government at the end of the Edo period. That means the original owner of this Katana might have seen the moment when Samurai’s life changed forever. After this battle, Tokugawa shogunate was ousted and the imperial government gained the control.
This blade is in excellent condition and we are confident you will appreciate his craftsmanship by closely looking at it in person.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 69.8 cm( 27.5 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.4 cm ( 0.55 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.
Because of the land shape of an island nation surrounded by sea on all sides, various marine products have been incorporated into designs in Japan. This Fuchi Kashira is decorated with the Kani (蟹, crab) pattern. Several crabs are walking, and their bodies are painted with golden color. Small dots might depict waterdrops. As crabs walk sideways, they were compared “Oukou Kunshi (横行君子),” which means to stick to one’s intention against authority. Samurais might have felt the strong will that they would not bow before power from this motif.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menki’s motif is probably tigers or lions. The tiger is a brave animal. A theory says that people considered the tiger pattern would protect people from evil spirits. Therefore, its pattern has been treated as a talisman. This animal design has also been regarded as the symbol of life activity when “tiger” is written in a Japanese Kanji character (漢字, a kind of Japanese letter) based on its meaning. It is said people wished boys’ healthy growth by using the tiger pattern.
About the lion, this animal was not initially existed in Japan. Its image was brought to Japan from the Continent as a kind of fantasy creature, and it is said people have incorporated it into various items. Tiger and lion, both possibilities are left here, but whichever it is, this Menuki’s motifs have elegant black bodies and impressive golden eyes.
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.
Rectangle-shaped Tsuba made from iron. Dragons are the principal motifs of this work. It seems these dragons are designed as if they exist inside of the swords. There is a design that is a combination of dragon and sword. Usually, the dragon coils its elongated body around the blade. This design is called the Kurikara Ken (倶利伽羅剣). It is said the Fudo Myo-O (不動明王, acalanātha) brings this sword. The Fudo Myo-O is a protective god in Buddhism, particularly Japanese Shingon Buddhism. This god was also known as a god of wars. According to a theory, this sword has the power to punish evils, crush worldly desires, and achieve the effects of religious training. This Tsuba’s design might have been created based on the Kurikara Ken motif.
The dragon pattern itself is often seen in sword mountings. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as 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 the Mizuchi (蛟, 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. Still today, it maintains its meaning as the all-purpose auspicious pattern.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NTHK Kanteisho Certificate for the blade
NTHK, also known as NPO Nihon Touken Hozon Kai, is the oldest organization for sword authentication of Japanese swords in modern times. It was established in 1889 during the post-Samurai era. They authenticated the blade on 17th of October, the third year of Reiwa (2021). 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 : Ibaraki 33149
The Board of Education in Ibaraki 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.
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.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany , 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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.