Antique Japanese Sword Katana Unsigned Shigetaka with NTHK Kanteisho Certificate
This blade is attributed to the work of Hyuga Daijyo Shigetaka(日向大掾重高) in the Genroku era(1688-1704: mid-Edo period) while there is no remaining signature.
The attribution is most likely given to the fourth-gen Shigetaka, judging from his active period and the title Hyuga no Kami.
The swordsmith name “Shigetaka” lasted more than the 10th generation, and they forged swords in Echizen province. Especially, the first-gen Shigetaka is regarded as one of the most renowned swordsmiths in Echizen province during the early Edo period. The first-gen was most active in sword-forging during the Kan-Ei era(1624-1645).
The first-gen Shigetaka was born in Shinshu area(today’s Nagano prefecture) and moved to Mino province to become an apprentice of Kanenori(兼則). During the late Muromachi period(the end of the 16th century), Shigetaka and the master Kaenenori moved to Echizen province (Today’s Fukui prefecture).
From the first-third generations, Shigetaka received Harima Daijyo, an honorable title only given to acknowledged swordsmiths. Forth-gen received a different title called Hyuga Daijyo. We assume the fourth-gen mastered high-level of the craftsmanship he learned from the third-gen Shigetaka.
Echizen Province was prosperous during the Edo period, being controlled by the Echizen Matsudaira clan, a direct retainer of the Tokugawa clan who ruled the Edo government.
Many skilled swordsmiths moved to Echizen from different regions because of high demand among Samurai who lived there.
Many renowned swordsmiths were initially from the Mino province(Gifu prefecture), including the first-gen Shigetaka. They are called Echizen Seki swordsmiths.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：68.8 cm( 27.1 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.5 cm (0.59 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 is decorated with plant patterns: the Karakusa (唐草, arabesque) pattern and a kind of flower design. The Karakusa pattern is a design 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. In Japanese, the vine is called Tsuru (蔓), 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 Obi (帯, belt). The word “帯” can also be read “Tai.” Due to its pronunciation, the term “代 (Tai)” is associated. From this word-association game, an idiom 万代 is associated, and it 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.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Seeing from the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, we judge the Kara-Jishi (唐獅子) is the motif of this Menuki. They are colored with golden metal, and it is relatively in good condition. The Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and the Kara-Jishi is a lion brought from China to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Kara-Jishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and tail, as you see in this work. In Buddhism, the Kara-Jishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and the Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Kara-Jishi originates from the Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits).
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.
Yotsu-Mokkou-shaped Tsuba is made from iron. Mokkou-shape (木瓜), its origin is a figure of eggs that are rest in a nest. When a quince (it is written 木瓜 in Japanese) is cut into round slices, its cross-section looks similar to this shape; therefore, it was named the Mokkougata Tsuba. The Yotsu-Mokkougata (a combination of four Mokkou shapes) Tsuba is often seen as this Tsuba is categorized.
This work has a simple and symmetrical design. Its edge is made thicker than the other parts; it makes it highly practical and sturdy. Also, the surface where around holes have a rough texture compared to other parts. You would enjoy these differences.
The shape of two holes engraved across the center hole looks similar to the pine tree pattern. This plant pattern has been familiar with Japanese people as a kind of auspicious motif. So it is possible that its abstracted design is seen in such a figure.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Please keep in mind that partial black lacquered is pealed. If you like to see more detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.
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 in 17th of October in 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 : Osaka 93348
The Board of Education in Osaka 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.
* 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 , 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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.
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.