Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by 5th-gen Tadayoshi with Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate
This blade was signed by Omi no Kami Tadayoshi(近江守忠吉). Judging from the title given to this swordsmith(Omi no Kami), we believe the 5th-gen Tadayoshi created this blade during the mid-Edo period in Hizen province(today’s Saga prefecture). The 5th-gen Tadayoshi was active during the Kannen-Horeki era(1748-1764).
The swordsmith name Tadayoshi lasted 9th generations from the Azuchi Momoyama-Edo period (1572-1868). During the Edo period, they served the Nabeshima clan, who ruled the Saga domain where Hizen province was located.
The First Generation Tadayoshi
The first-gen Tadayoshi was born and raised in the Saga domain. In 1596, under the domain’s order, he went to Kyoto to learn the sword-forging technique from Umetada Myojyu(埋忠明寿), one of the greatest swordsmiths in the early Edo period. He improved his craftsmanship and returned to the Saga domain two years later (1598). The first head of the Nabeshima clan, Nabeshima Katsushige, appreciated the work of the first-gen Tadayoshi very much. Then, Katsushige appointed him as his Okakaekaji, a swordsmith who exclusively forged swords for a specific domain or clan. And Tadayoshi started to stay near Saga castle, which is the headquarter of the Nabeshima clan. And, he founded Hizen Tadayoshi school, which trained more than 100 swordsmiths during the Edo period. The generation of Tadayoshi served Nabeshima clan by the end of the Edo period.
The 5th Generation Tadayoshi
The 5th-gen Tadayoshi was born in 1696 as the first son of the fourth-gen Tadayoshi. He received the honorable title Omi no Kami in 1750 (the third year of Kan-En) when he was 55 years old. He first signed Tadahiro as his maker’s name when his father was alive. And, he changed it to Tadayoshi after his father was deceased in 1747. Since this blade was signed with his title Omi no Kami and Tadayoshi, we can easily assume it was created after 1750. He died at the age of 80 and has been high-regarded among Japanese sword collectors for his excellent craft.
The swordsmiths in the Hizen province worked under the auspices of the Nabeshima clan like Tadayoshi. They could produce beautiful Jigane-patterned blades, also known as Hizen To, using and mixing carbon steel made in western countries. Hizenkoku had been flourishing by international trading. The geographic location of this domain made it possible to have easy access to western carbon steel.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 31.7 cm( 12.5 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.3 cm (0.12 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 Kiri (桐, paulownia) flower and leaves are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. The gold paint is applied to these plants and makes an elegant contrast with the black and gold color. The Kiri pattern is generally composed of three standing straight inflorescences and three leaves. The number of flowers blooming at each inflorescence represents the ranks of this design. The Gosan-no-Kiri (五三の桐) pattern is a popular design that this flower motif is used. This pattern was once used by the imperial family and people in authority at that time. Today, it is permitted to use by ordinary households and is appreciated as their family crests. According to a theory, the Houou (鳳凰, Fenghuang, a kind of sacred beast) rests its wings at the Kiri tree; therefore, some people have regarded the Kiri as a holy plant.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
A kind of plant is the motif of this Menuki. We guess it is probably the Tsukushi (土筆, field horsetail). This plant endures the cold winter and comes into buds in the spring. We would say it is one of the seasonal things of spring. It is a plant with strong vitality that repeatedly grows even if it is cut. It has also been popular as a wild vegetable among Japanese people for a long time. It is a design that would make you feel the coming spring.
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.
It looks like this Tsuba’s shape imitates a chrysanthemum flower. Bamboos are beautifully arranged and imitate chrysanthemum petals. Many chrysanthemums are designed inside the diamond-shaped frame. This Tsuba is composed of the poplar motifs for sword mountings.
A long time ago, the chrysanthemum was used as a medicine for obtaining a long life, and it was brought to Japan in the Nara period (648-781). Chrysanthemum symbolizes fall, and people have appreciated it very much since ancient times. As its petals form radially, the 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.
About the bamboo, this plant grows neatly towards the sky. It is said that this motif represents nobility and strength. In addition, the bamboo breaks straight, but its content is hollow; people have thought it shows innocence. According to a legend, the Houhou eats bamboo fruits; therefore, bamboo has been considered a sacred plant. Also, as it keeps its green color even in cold winter, it is thought the bamboo pattern shows eternity and longevity.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
The Kogatana (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. The figures of birds hanging out on the water’s edge are depicted. These birds might be egrets. This bird design has been popular especially for potteries because of its beautiful white feathers and graceful appearance. In this work, you see their elegant atmosphere.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Kicho Certificate for both blade
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 Nov 26th in the 47th year of Showa era(1972). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Kicho Token, an old form of certificate. The purchaser will receive these original certificates as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Nagasaki 13469
The Board of education in Nagasaki 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 350 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.
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, Canada, Mexico, UK, 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.