Antique Japanese Sword Tanto Signed by Yamamoto Tada-Aki with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Yamamoto Tada-Aki (山本忠明), who served the Inaba domain, located in today’s Tottori prefecture, was ruled by a famous feudal clan named Ikeda family during the Edo period. It is said that Tada-Aki was active at the end of the Edo period, especially the Keio era (1865-1868). It is said that Tada-Aki was a descendant of Shinano Daijyo Tadakuni (信濃大掾忠國).
Shinano Daijyo Tadayuki was a prestigious swordsmith in the early Edo period. He was an apprentice of Dewa Daijyo Kunimichi(出羽大掾国路). Kunimichi mastered superb craft under Horikawa Kunihiro, one of the most famous swordsmiths in the early Edo period.
Tadakuni initially worked in Kyoto area but moved to Inaba domain in Tottori prefecture in 1624 to serve Ikeda clan. He received the title of Shinano Daijyo in 1634. From generation to generation, Tadakuni served the Ikeda clan. There is no doubt that Tada-Aki, a descendant of Tadakuni, also mastered the superb sword-forging technique for the Ikeda clan.
According to NBTHK, this blade was forged at the end of the Edo period(Keio era) when Tokugawa’s military government was dismantled. The original owner of this Tanto might have seen the moment when Samurai’s life changed forever.
Japanese swords under the blade length of 30 cm (11.6 inches) are generally called TANTO. It was originally used as a supplemental weapon for Samurai on horseback, who used a pole weapon or long sword in the Kamaura-Muromachi period. Samurai aimed at an unprotected area of his enemy’s armor while fighting with close distance.
During the Edo period(1603-1868), Tanto’s design became more elaborate and decorative because Samurai enjoyed the long-lasted peaceful time. Tanto became a symbol of social status.
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.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：28.4 cm( 11.2 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.4 cm( 0.16 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.
The Fuchi Kashira and the Menuki, both parts have the same design. These are made from silvery metal, and the wave pattern is engraved on the entire surface. It is the common motif for this Koshirae. We guess this design might have been intentionally chosen to make unity for this Koshirae’s appearance. Although there are minor damages due to aging, each part remains relatively in good condition, so you could enjoy seeing the details.
As waves’ movements continue endlessly, the wave pattern represents eternity, immortality, longevity, birth, etcetera. Also, since tides repeatedly change the shape and terrain of rocks, some people hoped for a strong will by using this motif. People used this pattern wishing for an indomitable spirit to rechallenge time and time without giving up. We imagine many Samurais favored this dynamic design.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
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 is slender but has a solid thickness. Same as the Fuchi Kashira and the Menuki, this Tsuba is also decorated with a wave pattern. As the wave pattern is engraved even on edge, it looks as if rough waves grow when this Tsuba is loaded on the handle.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Kougai：Kougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style.
The Kougai was used to arrange or fix the hairstyle of Samurais. This item is usually stored in the Kougai Hitsu. The Kozuka is often stored at the other side of the scabbard, as you see in this Koshirae. This Kougai is separated into two parts; this type of Kougai is categorized as the Wari Kougai (割笄). According to a theory, this separated type was invented in the Edo period, and it became popular as decorative metal fittings. There is no proof, but it is said that some people used the Wari Kougai as chopsticks. About the design, the wave pattern is engraved, as mentioned above in the explication of the Kozuka.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Koduka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
A Kogatana (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. You would find the wave pattern on the Kozuka part. The same type of design is engraved on the Kougai that is stored at the opposite side of the scabbard.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3021419) and Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate
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 Aug 26th in the first year of Reiwa (2019). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade worth preserving for Japanese society. It had also been authenticated as a Tokubetsu Kicho Token, an old form of a certificate. 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 58662
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 400 Japanese swords for the past three years (～2022) 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, 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 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.
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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.