Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi attributed to Hoki no Kami Nobutaka with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to Hoki no Kami Fujiwara Nobutaka (伯耆守藤原信高). The swordsmith’s name “Nobutaka” lasted 6th generation during the Edo period. Hoki no Kami was an honorable title given to this swordsmith, and the 1st-5th generation received this title. It is said that Nobutaka was a descendant of Kanekuni, who belonged to Mino koku San-Ami school. We believe the attribution was given to the first-gen Nobutaka, who was especially active during 1596-1615 (Late Azuchi Momoyama- early Edo period).
The first-gen Nobutaka was originally from Mino province, which is famous for Japanese sword tradition, MINO-DEN. The first-gen moved to Owari castle at the beginning of the Keicho era(the late 1590s). And he relocated to Nagoya after Nagoya castle was built. There were many swordsmiths from Mino province who moved to Owari province. They are called Owari Seki. The most famous swordsmiths categorized as Owari Seki are the first-gen Hoki no Kami Nobutaka, Hida no Kami Ujifusa, and Sagami no Kami Masatsune. All the highly refined sword-forging techniques the first-gen Nobutaka had passed down to the second-gen.
As Owari province(today’s Aichi prefecture) was active in martial arts during the early Edo period, there was much demand among high-class Samurai to order swords forged by the second-gen Nobutaka. He often worked with his son(the third-gen Nobutaka), and there is some remaining work where both signatures are found.
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)：40.9 cm ( 16.1 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.0 cm (0.39 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 on purpose to prevent red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, which 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.
This Fuchi Kashira has different designs on each Fuchi part and Kashira part. The Kashira has a simple look with a black metal color. On the other hand, the Fuchi part is finished with a copper brown color, and a plant motif is engraved on it. We believe this plant is the Matsu (松, pine tree). Since pine trees keep their green color throughout the years by withstanding severe heat and cold, people thought this plant pattern represents eternal youth. In addition, its color is called the Tokiwa-Iro (常盤色, evergreen trees’ dark green color with brown), and pine trees have another name, Tokiwa-Gi (常盤木). Tokiwa means immutability, so Tokiwa-Iro is a color that praises green with a wish for longevity and prosperity. It is said this color was appreciated as a good-luck color, especially in the Edo period. Pine tree designs give us an elegant and noble impression; it might be another reason that people favor this motif.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
We could see cherry blossoms, waves, and a part of a raft as each Menuki. This design is called the Hanaikada (花筏, flower raft) pattern. Initially, it refers to the way flowers fall and fall into a river. However, this pattern depicts a raft made of wood when it is treated as a design. Also, the pattern of cherry blossoms floating in running water is also called the Sakuragawa (桜川) and represents “the beginning of things never ending = a continuation of happy things.” This Menuki might be designed based on such an auspicious idea.
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 Yotsu-Mokkou (四ツ木瓜)-shaped iron Tsuba has Kozuka and Kougai holes. Its origin is the shape of eggs in a nest. When a quince (it is written 木瓜 in Japanese) is cut into round slices, its cross-section looks similar to this shape; therefore, it was named the Mokkougata Tsuba (木瓜形鐔, Mokkou shape Tsuba). The Yotsu-Mokkougata (四ツ木瓜形, a combination of four Mokkou shapes) Tsuba is often seen as the same as this Tsuba.
Kozuka：Kozuka 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. The blade part rusts due to aging and has the Mei (銘, engraved inscription). The flowers designed on this Kozuka are the Kiku (菊, chrysanthemum) flowers. There are traces of golden coloring on petals. A long time ago, chrysanthemums were used as a medicine for obtaining a long life in the continent, and it was brought to Japan with this thought in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemums symbolize autumn, and people have greatly appreciated it since ancient times. Since its petals form radially, a chrysanthemum has been likened to the sun. That is why this flower pattern is treated as the symbol of perpetual youth and longevity or good health.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 3031420)
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 May 31th in the 5th year of Reiwa (2023). They appraised it as Hozon Touken, the blade 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 246082
The Board of Education in Tokyo 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 700 Japanese swords for the past few years (～2024) 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.
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* 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, 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.
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“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】
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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.
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