Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Attributed to Hokke with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to Hokke (法華) by NBTHK, one of Japan’s most reputable Japanese sword appraising organizations. Hokke is a prestigious school name that flourished during the late Kamakura-Nanbokucho era (Late 13th-14th century). The school was located in Ashida area in Bingo province (today’s Hiroshima prefecture).
It is said that those who lived in Ashida area were followers of the Nichiren sect, and Hokke swordsmiths often forged blades for the politically powerful Buddhist priests. They needed many weapons as there were many political rivalries between influential temples. They required strong weapons like swords to protect themselves. Hokke swordsmiths met their requests and made excellent quality blades.
It is believed that the school was founded by Kokubunji Sukekuni (国分寺助国) in the late Kamakura period (Approx. 1329). Sukekuni was originally from Bizen province (today’s Okayama prefecture) and belonged to Bizen Ichimonji school, one of the most prestigious schools during the Kamakura period. Sukekuni was the father of Mihara Masaie (三原正家). Masaie was the founder of Mihara school, another prestigious school in the region.
This blade has a beautiful Jigane (steel surface pattern) and a groove enhancing its aesthetics. It comes with gorgeous sword mountings whose motif is a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
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)：46.2 cm ( 18.2 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 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.
Japanese tea utensils are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. You would see the same designs in other sword mountings. Please check each of them: Menuki and Kougai. In this Fuchi Kashira, you would find Chagama (茶釜, tea iron), Hishaku (柄杓, ladle), Hibashi (火箸, metal chopsticks), Chaire (茶入, tea container), and Chawan (茶碗, tea bowl), etcetera.
The Japanese tea ceremony (茶道, Sa-Do) is one of the traditional performing arts in Japan. Its core foundation dates back to the mid-Samurai era when the renowned tea master Sen-No Rikyu established Wabi-Cha. Wabi-Cha was a type of tea ceremony held in specific manners that incorporated the sense of Wabi-Sabi (the art of modesty) and respect. Sen-No Rikyu served under famous Samurais such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. We could say the Sa-Do was connected with Samurai culture because of its political utilization.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
As mentioned above, tea tools are the motifs of this Menuki. You would find Chasen (茶筅, whisk) in the upper Menuki, and Hishaku is designed for the lower side Menuki. Both are colored with golden paint. You would see Habouki (羽箒, broom) behind these items.
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.
Oval-shaped Tsuba that has Kozuka and Kougai holes. The theme of this Tsuba is the Kai Dukushi (貝尽くし). Waves are engraved at the bottom of this Tsuba.
The Kai Dukushi pattern is a combination of different types of seashells. It is often designed with a seaside scene or wave pattern. You would feel the refreshing atmosphere of summer. Bivalves, especially clams, their shells cannot be combined with any other clam’s frame; therefore, its pattern represents happy marriage.
Seashell is called Kai (貝) in Japanese. Because of its pronunciation, the seashell has another meaning. There is a word Yarigai (やりがい, worthwhile). As a part of this word has the same accent as Kai (貝 is read Gai in some cases), Japanese people found this meaning. Also, since seashells are hard and combined only with their pair, people thought it represented a robust defense. These meanings inspired warriors who went to the battlefields. We imagine many Samurais cherished this motif.
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. It depicts a scene where multiple people carry a stout man. We are not sure who he is. This design might have been quoted from any legend or story.
Kougai：Kougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style. It is stored in the Kougai Hitsu (groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
Same as Fuchi Kashira and Menuki, tea utensils are designed for this Kougai. The former owner of this sword might have been a person with a deep understanding of the tea ceremony.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3022535)
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 Dec 2nd in the first year of Reiwa (2019). 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 : Miyazaki 43443
The Board of Education in Miyazaki 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.
【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.
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.