Antique Japanese Sword Tsurugi Attributed to Kinbo with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This Tsurugi blade is attributed to a work of Kinbo (金房) school, according to the NBTHK’s appraisal. Tsurugi means a double-edged blade, and since ancient times, Tsurugi was treated as a religious symbol in Japan.
Kinbo(金房) school flourished in the late Muromachi Period. We believe this blade was made in the late Muromachi period (1570’s), judging from the active period of this school.
It is said that the founder of Kinbo school was an offspring of a member of Tegai school in Yamato region(today’s Nara prefecture). The swordsmiths who belonged to Kinbo school made blades for Sohei, Buddist warrior monks, and Samurai in the area during the warring state period called SENGOKU JIDAI.
About Tegai school
There were five prestigious schools, including Tegai school, during the Kamakura-Nanbokucho period. They are called Yamato Goha(大和五派); Senjyuin(千手院), Tegai(手掻)・Taima(当麻)・Hosho(保昌) and Shikkake school. They served politically powerful monks and temples in Nara, such as Todaiji temples. They were initially forging swords for military monks who became powerful due to the government’s policy back then. Monks needed many weapons as there were many political rivalries between influential temples, and they needed strong weapons like swords to protect themselves. During this time, Tegai school or other Yamato sword schools met the requests from monks. They also forged blades for Samurai during their heyday.
Tegai school belonged to YAMATO DEN, which has the longest history among GOKADEN and five Japanese sword forging techniques. The blades forged by swordsmiths residing in Yamato region are generally called Yamato Mono.
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)： 23.8 cm( 9.37 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0 cm (0 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.
This Fuchi Kashira has a simple design, so please enjoy its elegant color and the texture of the material. It matches well when it is put into the handle. According to the certificate, the Koshirae of this Tsurugi is categorized as the Aikuchi Koshirae (合口拵). This type of Koshirae does not have the Tsuba, and the Koikuchi (鯉口) fits directly with the handle.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
The motif of this Menuki is probably the cow and mouse. This combination reminds us of the Juunishi (十二支, the twelve signs of the Chinese and Japanese zodiac). There are various theories in the details of this legend, but the rough outline is that the twelfth animals that arrived early at the feast that God held on New Year’s Day were nominated the representative for the year. In this story, it is said the mouse moved to the destination riding on the back of the cow. Finally, the mouse arrived at the venue first, and the cow followed it. There is also an idea that the animals of the Juunishi were given meanings and characteristics to each. And some people have thought that these characteristics were reflected in the character of the people born each year. For example, the mouse represents the financial power, prosperity of descendants, and its character is said that it can act promptly. The character of the cow is said it is honest, has the power of perseverance, and works hard. This Menuki’s maker might have quoted this Menuki’s design from this story.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
The Kogatana (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. The motif of this Kozuka is the dragon which twists its slender body to fit in this elongated space. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbol of auspicious signs. People have thought that the dragon would reign at the top of all animals due to its odd-looking appearance. If you focus on this dragon’s hand, you will find that it brings a ball-shaped object. It is probably the Nyoi Houju (如意宝珠, Cintāmaṇi). It is a fantasy jewel that fulfills any desire, gives out treasure, clothes, food, and drink. Moreover, it heals illness and suffering, removes evils, purifies muddy water, and prevents disasters. It is said this magical item is taken from the brain of the king of the dragon.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
The bark of a cherry tree is used for this scabbard. It is a beautiful work with a distinctive texture created by nature. A flower design made of metal is applied to the part near the tip of the scabbard. This plant might be a peony.
Please keep in mind that there is trace of restoration on the Koikuchi area( The tip of the scabbard). If you like to know the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade＆ Kicho Certificate for the Koshirae
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 Feb 1st in the 13th year of Heisei (2001). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade worth preserving for Japanese society. Its sword mounting(Koshirae) was also appraised as a Kicho Tosogu, an old form of the certificate on October 4th in the 47th year of Showa(1972). 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 : Aichi 20148
The Board of Education in Aichi 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 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.
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, Canada, Mexico, UK, 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.
【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.