Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Attributed to Ujisada with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to a work of Ujisada (氏貞). Ujisada is also known as Izumo no Kami Ujisada (出雲守氏貞). He was active in sword-forging during the late Muromachi period (1570-1593: Genki-Tensho era). According to available records, Ujisada received an honorable official title of Izumo no Kami after the fifth year of the Tensho era (1577).
He originally signed Kanesada (兼貞) as his maker’s name and changed it to Ujisada. He was a student of the first-gen Ujifusa and an older brother of Wakasano Kami Ujifusa, who served Oda Nobunaga, one of the most famous Samurai in Japanese history. Ujisada initially forged swords in Mino province (today’s Gifu prefecture) but moved to Owari province (尾張: today’s Aichi prefecture) later in his life. His younger brother, Wakasano no Kami Ujifusa, also moved to Owari province (尾張) from Mino.
Anecdote about Ujisada
There is an interesting anecdote about Ujisada related to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the three unifiers of Japan during the Sengoku period. When Hideyoshi wasn’t promoted to the high position yet, Kobayashi, one of his peers in the army, owned a great sword signed by Ujisada.
Hideyoshi got very fond of the sword and asked Kobayashi if he could buy the sword. However, Kobayashi wouldn’t let it go.
After Hideyoshi climbed the social ladder and became the head of 11 provinces, he asked Kobayashi again. He even offered a whole Ise province ( it was called Ise Koku (Country) back then) in exchange for the sword. But, Kobayashi declined Hideyoshi’s offer. This story became famous, and Ujisada became known as Ikkoku Ujisada. Ikkoku means a whole country (province in the old definition). This anecdote indicates that one sword made by Ujisada is worth more than one entire province.
The MINO swordsmiths style, also known as MINO-DEN, basically has the TOGARI(Pointed shapes protruding from the Hamon )in a classic straight line and random temper line with some white Utsuri. MINO-DEN had its origin from YAMATO-DEN in the late KAMAKURA period(1280-1330). It flourished in the MUROMACHI period(1333-1573) and continued until the EDO period(was1603-1868).
Due to the high demand for weapons, MINO-DEN exceedingly prospered during Sengoku Jidai(Warring State period). And the location of Mino province beat others. Akechi Mitsuhide controlled Mino province, Nobunaga Oda ruled Owari province, and Tokugawa Ieyasu was the lord of Suruga (Neighboring areas). There was high demand from those powerful feudal lords and their retainers. Furthermore, many wars occurred between the Kanto region and the Kyoto area. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province. Mino is located in the middle, making feudal lords feel convenient to order swords from MINO-DEN. The blades forged in MINO provinces also had the reputation of their practical design and sharpness.
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)： 37.7 cm( 14.8 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.51 cm( 0.59 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.
The edge of this Fuchi Kashira is decorated with a geometric pattern. It is inlaid with golden metal (probably brass) and makes an ornamental look for this work. This design is categorized as a type of the Shippou (七宝)pattern. It is a pattern in which the exact size of circles or ellipses is stacked in quarters. As rings are eternally chained and connected, people wished for harmoniousness, balance, or good relations in this design.
You would also find a plant motif is designed on the Fuchi part. We think it might be the Hozuki (鬼灯, Physalis alkekengi). The Hozuki is a kind of good-luck item in Japan. When its name is written in Kanji (a type of Japanese character), it is expressed as “light of Oni (鬼, a Japanese monster with the human body).” Some people believed it would protect them from evil spirits. Also, the Hozuki is treated as a good omen to hope safety and good health. This Fuchi Kashira is decorated with these auspicious motifs. We hope you will enjoy these details of sword mountings, of course, including the sword itself.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Although it has already been faded due to aging, it seems this Menuki was initially colored with golden paint. Seeing from the curly hair of these animals, this motif might be the Karajishi (唐獅子). The Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and the Karajishi is a lion brought from the continent to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Karajishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and tail, as you see in this work. In Buddhism, the Karajishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Karajishi is the origin of Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits). It shows this beast motif has been familiar to Japanese people since ancient times.
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.
Firstly, please look at the front of this Tsuba. Tall plants might be the Kakitsubata (燕子花, rabbit-ear iris), and a short plant is also growing near these flowers. It is probably the Omodaka (沢瀉). This plant’s Japanese name Omodaka (沢瀉) is compared to another ward Omodaka (面高), which means save face/ keep honor. Also, as its leaf looks similar to arrowhead (arrow was once primary weapon for Samurais), this plant was called the Kachi-Gusa (勝ち草, winning leaf). Based on these things, lots of Samurais favored the Omodaka motif.
Japanese people have loved Kakitsubatas’ elegant appearance since ancient times. There is a famous collection of Japanese poems that is called the Ise Monogatari (伊勢物語, The Tales of Ise). One of the well-known episodes in this book treats the Kakitsubata. Since this story’s stage was the Yatsuhashi (八橋, a bridge in which several narrow bridge boards are connected in a lightning-like shape to a pond or stream), the combination of the Kakitsubata and the Yatsuhashi became popular and has often been designed together. In this Tsuba, you would find this combination.
Also, it is possible that these flowers are the Shoubu (菖蒲, Japanese iris). This plant motif was also appreciated among Samurais because the Japanese name of iris 菖蒲 (pronounced as Shoubu) has the same pronunciation as another word 尚武 (Shoubu) that means Samurai spirit. And there is the word Shoubu (勝負), which means battle. So, “Shoubu” (菖蒲, iris flower) and “Shoubu” (勝負, fight) those two wards have the same pronunciation; therefore, the iris flower pattern reminds Samurais battle.
Two butterflies are flying. A larva becomes a chrysalis, and it grows up to a butterfly. As this insect changes its looks, it symbolizes reborn; therefore, Samurais loved the butterfly pattern. Also, as butterflies make a couple on good terms, this motif represents happy marriage.
This Tsuba’s backside is also decorated with the same flowers, but with the moon and a bird (probably a heron). Please check the details.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3014206)
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 2nd in the 29th year of Heisei (2017). 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 : Chiba 328
The Board of Education in Chiba 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.