Antique Japanese Sword Tanto Attributed to Echizen-seki with Hozon Certificate
This blade was attributed to Echizen Seki (越前関), who was a group of swordsmiths who loved from Mino province (Today’s Gifu prefecture) to Echizen province (Today’s Fukui prefecture) during the Keicho era (1596-1615: Late Azuchi Momoyama-Early Edo period).Echizen Province was prosperous during the Edo period, being ruled by the Echizen Matsudaira clan, a direct retainer of 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.
On this blade, you would enjoy Horimono (engraving). First, please focus on the side where Japanese letters and a man are engraved. These letters are written as follows: Daikoku Fukujuten (大黒福壽天). It is the name of the person who is engraved under the letters. He is generally called Daikokuten (大黒天), and he is a member of the Shichifukujin (七福神, the Seven Gods of Good Fortunes). Each of them bestows various blessings, and Daikokuten is primarily known as the god of bountiful harvests. It is believed this god bestows contentment of heart, contentment of savings, and contentment of life on those who believe. He wears a hood, holds a large bag on his left shoulder, and brings a Uchide-no Koduchi (打ち出の小槌, mallet of good luck), which is famous in folk tales, in his right hand. It also features drooping earlobes and a wide smile on its face.
On the other side of this blade, you would find the Ume (梅, Japanese apricot blossom) is engraved. Japanese apricot blossoms begin to bloom in winter that snow still covers its tree so that people thought this flower tells the arrival of spring. Same as cherry blossoms, it has been appreciated for a long time in Japan. People enjoy its adorable petal shape and scent and gracefully branched tree and composed many poems. As it comes out in the cold season, it symbolizes the power of perseverance and vitality. Also, the Ume design is related to the Tenjin (天神) faith. This belief honors the soul of Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道真, 845-903, god of learning), and he cherished this flower.
Both motifs of this blade’s Horimono have been familiar to Japanese people since ancient times. This design was possibly inspired by the Daikokuten and Tenjin beliefs.
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 and high quality with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：29.5 cm (11.6 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 0.2 cm (0.08 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), Kozuka.
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
You would find three people are engraved on the Kashira part. Although simplistic, their clothing and facial expressions give them a continental look. In addition, some parts are colored with gold and copper to enhance the decorativeness. On the other hand, a plant is designed on the Fuchi part. Silvery metal is applied to the flower.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
If you focus on the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, you will find a figure of an animal with curly hair. We believe this motif is the Kara-Jishi (唐獅子). The lively appearance of them running is depivted. It seems some parts were initially colored with golden paint. The Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and the Kara-Jishi is a lion brought from the continent 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 seen in this work. In Buddhism, the Kara-Jishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Kara-jJishi is the origin of Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits). It shows this beast motif has been familiar to Japanese people since ancient times.
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.
Oval-shaped Tsuba that has a Kozuka hole. Although it does not have gold or silver inlays, irregular openwork patterns add decorativeness to this work. Also, its surface is not perfectly flat but slightly uneven. You could enjoy imagining the movement of the artist’s hand.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
A Kogatana (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. We could see rust on the blade as a whole. It shows that this Kogatana has passed a considerable number of years. Four characters are probably engraved vertically, but they are challenging to read due to aging. At the end of the Kozuka, you could see a person wearing a hat and running with small luggage.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 3028090)
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 Mar. 2nd in the 4th year of Reiwa (2022). They appraised it as Tokubetsu 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 : Wakayama 6819
The Board of Education in Wakayama 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.
Here is one of the reviews we received from a customer who purchased an authentic Japanese sword from us. For more reviews, please click here.
“My experience overall with the whole process was wonderful. I had many questions about the history and process to purchase these treasures. All my questions were answered very timely and complete. The staff is very knowledgeable and very well versed if any questions do arise.”
【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 500 Japanese swords for the past three years (～2023) 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 CHF 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 EMS.
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. 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 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.