Antique Japanese Sword Tanto Signed by Kanenori with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Kanenori (兼法), also known as Echizen Koku-Ju Kanenori (越前国住兼法). He was originally a swordsmith in Mino Province (美濃, today’s Gifu prefecture). However, he moved to Echizen (越前, today’s Fukui prefecture) at the invitation of the Yuki (結城) family, the lords of the Fukui domain. There are many swordsmiths with the same name from the end of the Muromachi period to the early Edo period. Echizen Kanenori, mentioned here, is a swordsmith who moved from Mino to Echizen in the early Edo period and is famous for being the founder of Echizen Shinto (越前新刀). Same as Kanenori, many migrant swordsmiths moved from Minoseki (美濃関) to Echizen Province, and they are collectively called Echizen Seki (越前関). Echizen Shinto has been highly valued since the old Tokugawa period due to its excellent sharpness and excellence as a practical sword.
There is a piece of work inscribed with “Echizen Ichijodani-Ju Kanenori Saku Hachi Gatsu Bi (越前一乗谷住兼法作 天文十年八月日, made by Kanenori who lived in Echizen are in August day of the tenth year of Tenbun),” and it is believed that the third generation Kanenori moved from Uruma (宇留間) area, Mino Province to Echizen Ichijodani. In the Tenbun era (天文, 1532-1555), there was Kanenori, who moved to Hamamatsu, Enshu (遠州浜松, today’s Shizuoka prefecture). And another Kanenori went to Ina, Shinshu (信州伊奈, today’s Nagano prefecture) around the Tensho era (天正, 1573-1592). In addition, there was also Kanenori who served Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康) in Sunpu (駿府, today’s Shizuoka prefecture) as the head of blacksmiths. This Kanenori was such an excellent swordsmith and was deeply trusted by Ieyasu.
In this way, the advance of the Kanenori clan into other countries among the Mino blacksmiths is particularly remarkable. This work is also appraised as a gem of Kanenori, one of the swordsmiths who played an active role. We hope you enjoy the beauty of the blade.
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 with artistic value.
*Please keep in mind that there are a couple of noticeable Kitae Kizu on this blade. If you like to see the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：27.5 cm( 10.8 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.3 cm ( 0.11 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.
A vertical check pattern decorates this Fuchi Kashira, and golden paint is applied to the surface. We think it could be categorized in the Ichimatsu (市松) pattern. It is a checkerboard-like lattice pattern in which squares of two colors are arranged alternately. It was called the Ishidatami (石畳, stone pavement) from the early modern period onwards due to its pattern imitating stone pavement.
Its name, Ichimatsu, was given in the middle of the Edo period. A popular Kabuki (歌舞伎, a classical form of Japanese dance-drama) actor named Sanogawa Ichimatsu appeared in a Hakama (袴, a type of traditional Japanese clothing) patterned with white and navy blue as his stage costume and became very popular among women at the time. It is said that this was the reason why it became so popular that it came to be called the Ichimatsu. This design has the meaning of prosperity because the pattern continues without interruption. Because of its meaning of “prosperity,” it is favored by many people as a good omen for the prosperity of descendants and business expansion.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The motif of this Menuki is a combination of the Kamakiri (蟷螂, mantis) and the Gissya (牛車). It is a car driven by a cow. Aristocrats used this transportation, and it is said they competed by decorating the exterior of their cars in the Heian period. However, it declined after Samurai families emerged.
In this work, the mantis is sitting where the driver would usually be, and it looks as if this mantis is driving the car. Mantis is also called “Ogami-Mushi (拝み虫)” or “Inori-Mushi (祈り虫)” in Japanese. Both of these names mean a praying insect. Mantises hold their arms together, and their long wings cover their lower bodies. As this posture looks like a priest who prays to God, the mantis is likened to a “praying mantis.” The mantis is also said to symbolize the prosperity of descendants because it is prolific and has many children. We are unsure why the mantis and the Gissya were combined. However, since Gissyas carried people of high status, the mantis motif might have been incorporated into the design to pray for safety on the road.
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.
This Tsuba has a simple look. As it has no decorations such as gold or silver inlays, you could enjoy the color of the material and its texture directly. When you look at this Tsuba when it is loaded into the handle, it gives an elegant impression, not too showy, even with the bright gold color of the Fuchi Kashira. If you look at the entire Koshirae, the harmony that this Tsuba makes with other sword mountings is splendid.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 3030366 )
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. 14th in the 4th year of Reiwa (2022). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade worth preserving for Japanese society. The purchaser will receive these original certificates as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Niigata 11946
The Board of Education in Niigata 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 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.
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.”
【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】
Please contact us through email, Facebook Messenger or Live Chat if you have any questions. You can find each icon on the right side of the website. Please click one of them to reach us. We will reply to you within 1-2 business days.
【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.