Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Attributed to Tsunahiro with NBTHK Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate
This blade is attributed to Ise Daijyo Tsunahiro (伊勢大掾綱廣), who was active during the early Edo period (Manji-Enpo era: 1658-1681). He was famous for being the master of Kotetsu. The maker’s name Tsunahiro lasted 15 generations, from the late Muromachi period to the Meiji era. And this Tsunahiro was considered the fifth generation.
The first-gen Tsunahiro was one of the most prominent figures in Soshu region (Today’s Kanagawa prefecture) during the late Muromachi period (Eisho era: 1504-1521). He was an offspring of Hiromasa, one of the most famous swordsmiths in Soshu region during the Nanbokucho era. The first-gen Tsunahiro originally resided in Kamakura city but moved to Odawara area, being invited by Go Hojo clan, a strong feudal line controlling Odawara area. The maker’s name Tsuna was given by the second-gen head of the clan, Hojyo Ujitsuna (北条氏綱), who had the same letter in his name. This fact indicates that the first-gen Tsunahiro was highly regarded by Go Hojo clan. The second-gen Tsunahiro served Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The fifth-gen Tsunahiro (Ise Daijyo Tsunahiro) was one of the most renowned ones among other generations of Tsunahiro. He received an honorable official title of Ise Daijyo in the third year of the Manji (1660) and Ise no Kami in the 6th year of the Enpo era (1678). He also resided in Odawa city, forging blades for the Edo government. He died when he was 83 in the 11th year of the Genroku (1698). He was categorized as a Soshu Den swordsmith.
The foundation of Soshu traditions (Soshu DEN) dates back to the establishment of the Kamakura government(1185-1333). The Shogun at the time, Hojo Tokiyori, gathered swordsmiths of Yamashiro-Den and Bizen-Den to create a new tradition named Soshu-Den.
Following the Mongolian Invasion caused in 1274 and 1281, they had to improve the strength of their swords. Skilled swordsmiths such as Shintougo Kunimitsu, Yukimitsu, and Masamune pursued their craft to bring Soshu-Den to the exquisite level, achieving both beauty and practicality that they had not seen before. While the tradition of Soshu DEN faded after Muromachi period, the generations of Tsunahiro kept the tradition alive by the Meiji era (Post Samurai period).
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 50.6 cm ( 19.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.6 cm ( 0.62 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.
You would find a Niwatori (鶏, rooster in this case) on the Kashira part and a chick on the Fuchi part. In ancient times, this bird was used for rituals to offer to gods. It is said this is why the chicken pattern was incorporated into family crests.
As this bird tells the arrival of morning, people regard it as the Ake-no Tori (明けの鳥, bird of the dawn). Also, chickens have been treated as auspicious birds because they sing at first in the new year. In another theory, there is a wordplay; Yoikoto-wo “Tori”komu (良いことを取り込む, “take” good things). This Tori (取り) and Tori (鳥, bird) are associated based on the common pronunciation. Some people believe that this bird would bring a plentiful harvest or success in business. This Fuchi Kashira’s design might have been chosen due to these ideas.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Same as the Fuchi Kashira, this Menuki’s motif is also a bird. We are unsure what kind of this bird is; we guess it is familiar to people’s lives, such as the Suzume (雀, sparrow). As sparrows form a flock and act among birds, the sparrow pattern represents abundant crops and prosperity. Their tiny and adorable figures have attracted people for a long time. It is said this bird has been used as a motif since the late Heian period (1094-1184).
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. This Tsuba depicts a scenery of a waterside. Herons fly in the sky, and water weeds grow in a river. Now you would realize that all sword mountings are linked to bird motifs. According to a theory, herons were regarded as messengers of gods. Therefore, it was thought that the places herons visited were sacred areas.
About water plants, there are two types of leaves are designed. One is the three-pronged plant: Omodaka (沢瀉). Its name is compared to another Japanese ward Omodaka (面高), which means save face/ keep honor. Also, as its leaf looks similar to an arrowhead (the arrow was once the primary weapon for Samurais), this plant was called the Kachi-Gusa (勝ち草, winning leaf). Based on these things, the Omodaka motif was appreciated among Samurais, and they used it for their family crests. And another plant has a heat mark shape, the Aoi (葵). Today, the Aoi-Domoe / Mitsuba-Aoi-no Mon (葵巴/三つ葉葵の紋 ) is known as the family crest of the Tokugawa Shogunate family led by Tokugawa Ieyasu, a famous military commander of the Warring States period. This plant pattern has also been used for the crest of the Kamo shrine in Kyoto prefecture. As mentioned above, the famous Shogunate family, the Tokugawa family, had their family crest with three leaves of Aoi due to the relationship with the Kamo shrine. As its leaves have a habit of always facing the sun, and the word “Aoi” is taken as “Aogu (仰ぐ, looking up)” for the sun, people thought the Aoi pattern would bring good fortune.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate for the blade (No.110730)
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 21st in the 41st year of Showa (1966). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Kicho Touken, an old form of the 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 48310
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.