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Updated: 22 May 2024

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Tanto Signed by Soshu Jyu Akihiro
NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate

$14,732.16

DELIVERY TIME : Approx. 1-1.5 months
*We ship from Tokyo, Japan. There might be delay in shipment depending on countries.

SHIPPING TO :
USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany , Hong Kong, France, Australia
*Please contact us prior to purchase if your country isn’t listed.

INCLUDED : NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate , Koshirae Case (Decorative Sword Mounting), Shirasaya Case, Traditional Sword Carrying Case, Sword Maintenance Kit, Full Exportation Support

Category Tanto (KOTO)
Age The Muromachi period
Swordsmith Soshu Jyu Akihiro (相州住秋廣)
Certificate NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
Location Soshu province ( Today’s Kanagawa Prefecture)
Blade Size Cutting Edge Length: 23.4 cm  (9.21  inches)
Curvature: 0 cm (0 inches) 

More photos& videos available on request. Please feel free to contact us. 

SOLD

Antique Japanese Sword Tanto Signed by Soshu Jyu Akihiro with NBTHK Tokubestsu Hozon Certificate

【Description】

Summary

 This blade was signed by Soshu Jyu Akihiro (相州住秋廣) during the Muromachi period (1394-), according to its Tokubetsu Hozon paper. The maker’s name, Akihiro, lasted three generations. According to one historical document, the first-gen was born in 1315 (late Kamakura period) and died when he was 84. We called NBTHK, and they believe either second or third-generation Akihiro created this blade. The first and second lived in Soshu province (Today’s Kanagawa prefecture). However, the third-gen moved to Kazusa province (Today’s Chiba prefecture) in his career.

 It is said that the first-gen Akihiro was the son of the first-gen Hiromitsu, an apprentice of Masamune, one of the most famous Japanese sword makers in history. Akihiro was famous for forging blades with Hitatsura. Hitatsura is a type of Hamon (tempering line) where Hamon liberally spreads across the width of the blade.

Soshu Den

 Swordsmiths residing in Soshu province (Today’s Kanagawa prefecture) used a particular sword-forging tradition called Soshu Den. Shoshu Den was born in the middle of the Kamakura period (mid 13th century). Back then, the Yamato and Yamashiro traditions were highly developed, and there were a few renowned swordsmiths from those regions. However, the sword-forging practice was in its infancy in the Kanto area, where the Soshu region was located.

 At the beginning of the Kamakura government, which was established in 1185, the first Shogun, Minamoto Yoritomo, prioritized making a lot of rules to have its political stability. And he couldn’t afford to hire swordsmiths within the same region or train them. Therefore, the Kamakura government originally ordered weapons to the swordsmiths in the other areas, such as Yamato and Yamashiro.

 But, since the government was established, the demand for weapons increased exponentially in the government, and they had to figure out how to meet those demands from Samurai who served Kamakura shogunate. Then, the 5th head of the Shogun, Hojo Tokiyori, invited two renowned swordsmiths from other parts of Japan. They were Awataguchi Kunitsuna from Yamashiro province and Bizen Saburo Kunimune from Bizen province. And the 7th-gen Shogun Koreyasu Shino also invited Fukuoka Ichimonji Sukezane from Bizen province.

 It is said that those three swordsmiths played an essential role in creating the Soshu Den and making the foundation of the Soshu Den. Also another famous figure in the Soshu den is Intou Kunimitsu, an adopted son of Awataguchi Knitsuna. And Kunimitsu passed his excellent craftsmanship to Yukimitsu, his apprentice. And Masamune, one of the most famous swordsmiths in Japanese history, was an apprentice of Yukimitsu.  And Masamune was the one that brought Shoshuden to nationwide fame. The tradition Masamune completed became an example of other swordsmiths who learned Soshu Den. Also, Soshu Den influenced many renowned swordsmiths during the Koto- Shinto era. One of examples is Inoue Shinkai from Osaka and Suishinshi Masahide from Edo.

 

Horimono (Engraving)

 You can find the engraving of a Tsurugi (Double-edged blade) on one side. This blade is Kurikaraken, which is the sword that Fudo Myo-O (不動明王, acalanātha) holds with his right hand. Fudo Myo-O is one of the objects of worship in Buddhism. According to a theory, it is the incarnation of Dainichi Nyorai (大日如来, Mahāvairocana, the principal image of esoteric Buddhism). Kurikara-ken was named after its appearance that Kurikara Ryu-O (倶利伽羅龍王, dragon) is winding around the sword. It is believed Kurikara-Ken could cut off worldly desires: Sandoku (三毒). Sandoku is the three fundamental human desires; Ton (貪, greed), Jin (瞋, anger, grudge), Chi (癡, delusion, complaint). The other side shows Sanskrit letter, which symbolizes Fudo Myo-O.

 

Mukansa Togi

We had this blade polished by one of the most skilled Japanese sword polishers. He has Mukansa title. Mukansa is one of the most honorable titles a modern polisher could receive. One with this title could submit his work to the Japanese sword exhibition held by NBTHK(Nihon Bijyutu Touken Hozon Kyokai) without being examined. In contrast, other polishers must pass a rigorous test to participate in this event. This exhibition is held by NBTHK once a year, and modern swordsmiths compete for their craftsmanship there. There are only selected Mukansa Japanese sword polishers since the exhibition started in 1955.

 

 This blade is appraised as a Tokubetsu Hozon Token(特別保存刀剣) 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, especially well preserved and high quality with artistic value. 

 

【Blade】
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa) 23.4 cm  (9.21  inches)
Curvature(Sori)0 cm (0 inches) 


 

Hamon
The crystalline structure which forms along the cutting edge of a blade as a result of the hardening process
Jimon(Jihada)
visible steel surface pattern created by folding and hammering during forging process



 

NakagoNakago 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-KashiraA pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.

This Fuchi Kashira has a bright silvery color. Waves are engraved dynamically, and you would also find the figures of small birds. This is a classical motif called the Nami Chidori (波千鳥). The Nami (波) means waves, and Chidori (千鳥) is a plover. The Nami Chidori pattern represents a happy marriage and family safety. In Japan, people have treated it as a good omen design since the Nara period (648-781). Waves are compared to the world, which describes determination: overcoming difficulties with a partner even if there are small or big waves (difficulties/ troubles). Also, the plover pattern is used as a prayer. The Japanese name of the plover, Chidori, was associated with the word Chidori (千取り, which literally means get a thousand). Therefore, its design contains prayers for victory and wishes for goal achievement.

The Kojiri (鐺, the metal fitting that protects the tip of a scabbard) has the same design as this Fuchi Kashira. Thanks to this commonality, the entire Koshirae is united.

If you focus on the side of this Fuchi Kashira, you will find a Mei (銘, engraved inscription). We believe it is written as follows: 月人子 斎藤富随, and his Kaou (花押, his stylized signature). It shows Tomiyuki (富随) made this Fuchi Kashira. However, please note that there is no proof of this signature. We would like to propose this metalworker just as a possibility.

Tomiyuki was active as an Okakaekou (お抱え工, metalworker who worked for a domain) for the Shimazu (島津) family of the Satsuma (薩摩, today’s Kagoshima prefecture) domain in the late Edo period.

He was born in 1796 in Satsuma Province and moved to Edo, where he first became a student of Tobari Tomihisa (戸張 富久) and studied the Gotou (後藤) style of carving. He later learned under the Hamano (浜野) family and honed his skills. He was named Tomiyuki by combining Tomihisa’s “富,” and the Hamano school’s typical character “随,” and is said to have lived in the Shimazu family’s mansion in Edo and survived until the beginning of the Meiji era.


Tsuka and MenukiTsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.

A dragon is the motif of each Menuki. While the surface paint has already faded somewhat due to aging, it seems shiny golden paint was initially applied to these Menukis. In addition, although the Menukis are small, the shape of these dragons’ faces and each scale are carefully sculpted.

Initially, dragons were imaginary creatures found in ancient foreign traditions and myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbol 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, the belly is the Mizuchi (蛟, a mythical animal in Japan that looks like a snake and has a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought that a dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance.

Tsuba and HabakiTsuba 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. 

KozukaKozuka 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 (小柄). At the middle part of this Kozuka, you would find a dog-like animal design. We believe it is a Karajishi (唐獅子). The Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and the Karajishi is a lion brought from the continent to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Karajishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and tail. A simplified pattern of this curly hair is sometimes carved as the body hair. In Buddhism, the Karajishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Karajishi 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.

 

 

KougaiKougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style.

This item is an antique Kougai (笄), which was used to arrange or fix the hairstyle of Samurai. The Kougai is usually stored in the Kougai Hitsu. The Kozuka is often stored on the other side of the scabbard. This Kougai has the same style design as the Kozuka of this Koshirae.

 

Saya Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.  


Authentication PaperNBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1019511)

 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 March 10th in the 5th year of Reiwa  (2023). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially 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 : Nagano 84849
 The Board of Education in Nagano 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.


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【About us】
 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.

【Review】
 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.

【Payment Method】
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.

【Shipping】
 We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, 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 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.

【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.

 

MORE ANTIQUE JAPANESE SWORD FOR SALE

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READ KATANA ARCHIVE ARTICLE(Episode1-8)

LEARN JAPANESE SWORD TERMINOLOGY

 

 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.

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