Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by 5th-gen Yoshimichi with NBTHK Tokubestsu Hozon Certificate
Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi
This blade was signed by Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi (丹波守吉道). According to NBTHK’s appraisal, it was forged by the 5th-gen Yoshimichi in Kyoto. The swordsmith name Yoshimichi prospered in both Osaka and Kyoto for generations during the Edo period. And to distinguish the two Yoshimichi, The one in Kyoto is called Kyo Yoshimichi, and the other is Osaka Yoshimichi. This blade was created by 5th-gen Kyo Yoshimichi.
The 5th-gen Kyo Yoshimichi belonged to the prestigious school called Mishina (三品) school. He was especially active in sword-forging during 1711-1716 (mid-Edo period). He received the high official title “Tango no Kami (丹後守)” in his career, which was the hereditary title among Kyo Yoshimichi.
He was allowed to inscribe a chrysanthemum emblem, which is the symbol of the Japanese emperor. His sword forging technique was so great that the emperor permitted him to use this emblem, which was honorable for any swordsmith. A chrysanthemum emblem remains in the tang of this blade.
The first-gen Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi belonged to Kyoto Mishina school and was one of the sons of the Mishina school’s founder. Mishina school was created by the first-gen Mutsu no Kami Omichi (陸奥守大道), also known as Kanemichi. It is said that initially, he was from Mino province, exclusively forging blades for Shingen Takeda, a famous feudal lord. Later on, he moved to Kyoto by bringing his four sons and founded his school in Kyoto. Five sons were Iga no Kami Kinmichi(伊賀守金道)、Izumi no Kami Rai Kinmichi(和泉守来金道), Tanba no Kami Yoshimichi(丹波守吉道) and Echu no kami Masatoshi(越中守正俊).
His sons were known as Kyoto Gokaji(京都五鍛冶), prestigious swordsmiths forging in Kyoto in the early Edo period. Mishina school was prosperous throughout the Edo period and spread to other parts of Japan, such as Osaka. The superb craftsmanship of the Mishina school was passed down for generations. The 4th-gen Yoshimichi is a good example, and you can see excellent artistry from this blade. Kyo Yoshimichi school lasted seven generations by the end of the Edo period.
The first-gen Yoshimichi, an ancestor of the 5th-gen Kyo Yoshimichi, developed a unique Hamon pattern(tempering line) called Sudareba(簾刃). Sudare means traditional screens or blinds in Japanese. The Hamon pattern he created resembles its appearance to Sudare.
This blade has a beautiful Sudareba Hamon. This special characteristic was passed down to the generations of Yoshimichi. It takes time to comprehend this intricate, fascinating Hamon design on this blade.
This blade is appraised as a Tokubetsu Hozon Token(特別保存刀剣) 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, especially well preserved and high quality with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 52.2 cm ( 20.5 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.5 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.
Waves are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. The same design is engraved on the Kozuka. Please check later. Many rough waves are carved semi-dimensionally on top of each other. You would feel as if you could hear the sounds of waves. Golden dots depict waterdrops, and this coloring adds decorativeness to this work.
As waves’ movements continue endlessly, the wave pattern represents eternity, immortality, longevity, birth, etcetera. Also, since tides repeatedly change the shape and terrain of rocks, some people hoped for a strong will by using this motif. People used this pattern wishing for an indomitable spirit to rechallenge time and time without giving up. Thanks to its dynamic design, this motif has been appreciated, especially for men’s Kimono (traditional Japanese costume). It is understandable that it was incorporated as a design in sword mountings.
We assume this wave pattern is related to the dragon motif, which we will mention in the following description.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
You would find golden dragons’ figures in the gaps of the Tsukamaki threads. Their elongated bodies covered in scales are characteristic. Initially, the dragon was an imaginary creature found in ancient foreign traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbol of auspicious signs. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is the Mizuchi (蛟, a mythical animal in Japan that looks like a snake and has a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought that the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance. This beast motif is often seen in sword mountings. It shows that lots of Samurais highly appreciated this design.
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.
Circle-shaped Tsuba that has Kozuka and Kougai holes. A giant dragon swimming in the sea is designed on both sides. Due to the movement of the dragon’s body seen from the waves, it looks as if the dragon is wrapped around the handle when this Tsuba is loaded on the handle.
We believe that there is a deep relationship between dragons and waves. In Japan, a religion worships the dragon as a water god. Since rice cultivation has flourished in this country, water is always an essential resource. Therefore, the dragon motif has been familiar to Japanese people for a long time.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
A Kozgatan (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. As mentioned above, the wave pattern is engraved on this Kozuka, the same as the Fuchi Kashira. Using the same design in several parts makes this Koshirae’s appearance unity.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.1016309)
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 Aug. 27th in the 3rd year of Reiwa (2021). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially 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 : Mie 54608
The Board of Education in Mie 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.
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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, 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.
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