Antique Japanese Sword Unsigned Enjyu Kuniyoshi(Shumei) with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to the work of Enjyu Kuniyoshi(延寿国吉).
Enjyu(延寿) is the prestigious school’s name that flourished during the late Kamakura period-Nanbokucho period(Early-Late 14th century). Enjyu school was founded by Kunimura(国村), who is said to have been the grandson of Rai Kuniyuki from Yamashiro province(Today’s Kyoto prefecture).
Kunimura and his apprentices moved to Higo province(Today’s Kumamoto prefecture in Kyushu island) after being invited by the Kikuchi clan, who had an influential power in that region. It is said that the 10th head of the Kikuchi clan, Kikuchi Takefusa(菊池武房), had to find skilled swordsmiths who could forge strong swords to combat the Mongolian army. Back then, Japan was targeted by the Mongolian emperor, and Kyushu island is where the battle was taking place twice(1274 and 1281). To prepare for the second attack from the Mongols, Kikuchi Takefusa brought Kunimura and his apprentices from Kyoto. Since then, Kunimura and his sons served as Okakaekaji for this clan, exclusively forging swords for the Kikuchi clan, which ruled the Higo province back then. All the swordsmiths from Enjyu school used the letter “国” (Kuni) for their maker’s name.
Enjyu Kuniyoshi(延寿国吉) is a son of Kunimura. He forged swords during the late Kamakura period(Early 14th century). Kuniyoshi’s fame was so widespread that the Shogun of Muromachi government, Ashikaga Yoshinori, owned a sword forged by Kuniyoshi.
The descendant of this school founded the famous sword school named Dotanuki(同田貫). And there are descendants of the Enjyu school’s swordsmiths throughout the Edo period. That means Enjyu school had over 500 years of its history.
The name “Enjyu” is written as 延寿 in Japanese. If you translate the word literally, it means extending life span, which was construed as good luck among feudal lords. Therefore, the swords were presented among Samurai as good gifts.
It was appraised by Hon-Ami Kouson(本阿弥光遜), who was a renown Japanese sword appraiser/polisher during the early 20th century. Hon-Ami Kouson wrote his appraisal in red paint, which is called Shumei(朱銘). He also wrote his appraisal on the Shirasaya(wooden scabbard), and it says that he appraised the blade in the sixth year of Showa(1931). Therefore, we believe he also wrote Shumei on the blade in the same year. Hon-Ami family has been trusted Japanese sword appraisers since 1596(Late Azuchi Momoyama period).
This blade is appraised as Tokubetsu Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, especially worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword).This Kamakura period blade is accompanied by beautiful katana-style sword mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 69.7 cm( 27.44 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.2 cm( 0.47inches)
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.
We believe this blade was shortened at least once based on the two Nakago holes. 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.
Dragons are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. Gold is applied to some parts of these dragons. A dragon is a mythical animal, and it rises high up into the sky so that people believed the dragon pattern represents glory or development. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is Mizuchi (蛟, a mythical animal in Japan which looks like a snake and have a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
As it seems that a snake-like body is twisted, this Menuki’s motif might be dragon same as Fuchi Kashira.
Japan flourishes with rice cultivation so that water has been treated as an essential resource. Therefore, the water god belief was born, and initially, people regarded the snake as its god. Later, this faith was inspired by the dragon god-belief, and people considered the snake would ascend to heaven and become a dragon. Still today, this beast motif is appreciated as an auspicious pattern.
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.
Yotsu Mokkou-shaped Tsuba made from iron. A dragon is peeking through the gaps in the clouds. Dragons and clouds are inlaid with brass so that this golden color gives a gorgeous look to this work. There is an idea that dragons and gods dwell in the clouds. People believed in its magical power. And as mentioned above, the dragon was worshipped as the water god based on the dragon god belief. It might be the reason why the combination of dragons and clouds is often seen. If you look at the backside of this Tsuba, you will find four letters expressed in the old font.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade, Tokubetsu 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 Sep 1st in the 18th year of Heisei (2006). 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 : Tokyo 140848
The Board of Education in Tokyo prefecture issued a registration paper for this sword . In order to obtain this paper, the sword needs to be traditionally hand forged. With this paper, its owner can legally own an authentic Japanese sword in Japan. This paper will need to be returned to the board of education when the sword being shipped abroad but you can receive a copy of it.
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【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.
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We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, UK, Germany , France and Hong Kong. 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(USA, Australia, Canada).
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. When we receive an order from the USA, Australia or 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.
*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. When you purchase a Japanese sword from us, you can get a Free sword maintenance kit, which appears in this video.