Antique Japanese Sword Katana Unsigned Kashu Iekatsu with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to work of Kashu Katsuie, a reknown swordsmith from Kaga province(today’s Ishikawa prefecture).
The swordsmith name “Katsuie” (勝家) lasted several generations from the middle of the Muromachi period to the early Edo period (1450s-1650s). The first generation Katsuie was originally from Mino province(today’s Gifu prefecture). However, he and his apprentices moved to Kaga Koku(Today’s Ishikawa prefecture) in the middle of the Muromachi period(1450’s). They founded a Darani(陀羅尼) school after being hired by the monks who lived there.
Later on, from the second generation, Katuie started to serve a famous feudal clan, Maeda clan. It was honorable for any swordsmiths to serve a feudal clan exclusively.Maeda clan was originally a retainer of Oda family, who ruled Owari province. (today’s Nagoya area in Aichi prefecture). The first head of the Maeda clan was Toshie Maeda. He climbed the social ladder of Samurai society, and he became the feudal lord of Kaga Province(today’s Ishikawa prefecture). He had a vast rice fief that fed 100 million grown-up adults, which is called Hyakuman Goku. The Maeda clan was one of the most influential families in Samurai history. Toshie Maeda had a close tie with Oda Nobunaga and Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
Based on this blade’s characteristic, we estimate that it was forged by early-gen Kashu Katsuie in the late Muromachi period, when there was fierce rivalry between strong feudal lords. This period is also known as SENGOKU JIDAI.
You can see three holes on the tang(handle), which signifies the blade was shortened at least twice since the sword was forged. We assume it used to be a relatively long sword. We also believe that the signature was cut due to the blade’s adjustment, and it appears to be the Mumei(Unsigned) blade.
This sword has a Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword). The blade also comes with a beautiful set of Katana style Koshirae.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 70.4 cm( 27.7 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.7 cm( 0.67 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 on purpose to prevent red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, which 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(Sabbard), Tsuka( Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
According to its signature, this Fuchi Kashira was made by Yanagawa Naomasa (柳川 直政); who was the second of Yanagawa school. He worked actively in the middle of the Edo period (1681-1780). He learned under Yoshioka Inabanosuke (吉岡 因幡介) and Yokoya Soumin (横谷 宗眠). Naomasa was good at the sacred animal motifs engraving with the Takabori technique on the Shakudou (赤銅, the mixture of copper and gold) material.
Karajishi (唐獅子) is designed for this Fuchi Kashira. Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and 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 the tale. In Buddhism, Kara-Jishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, Kara-Jishi originates from Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits).
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Two men are designed. One of them is colored with gold, and the other one is colored with silver. Perhaps they each have a sword, and it seems they are just trying to defeat the other. The details such as facial expressions or wrinkles of their clothes are engraved elaborately. You would enjoy its maker’s thorough work.
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.
Circle-shaped Tsuba made from iron. A golden metal was applied in Kozuka and Kougai holes; it gives a gorgeous appearance for this work. Flower patterns are designed. Each of them has five petals in double. The Karakusa (唐草, arabesque) pattern surrounds these flowers. Since ivy has a strong vitality and grows up without interruption, people regarded this design as a symbol of prosperity and longevity. If you focus on the center part of this Tsuba, you will find that it is signed. Although its signature has already worn down due to aging, we could read three letters on the left side of Nakagoana (茎穴, the center hole of a Tsuba). It is written as “駿河作 (Suruga Saku)”; it means Suruga made this Tsuba. We could not assert definitely, but there was a Tsuba maker family whose family name was Suruga. This school initially did well as an armor maker, and later they moved to Bizen (備前, today’s Okayama prefecture) and worked for the Ikeda family. So we would speculate that this Tsuba was possibly made by one of this school’s makers.
Saya：Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK 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 Dec 2nd in the first year of Reiwa (2019). 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 : Kyoto 59724
The Board of Education in Kyoto 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. This paper will need to be returned to the board of education when the sword being shipped abroad but you can receive a copy of it.
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【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 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.
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We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, UK, Germany , France and Hong Kong. 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(USA, Australia, Canada).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. When we receive an order from the USA, Australia or 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.
*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.
【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. When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free sword maintenance kit, which appears in this video.