Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Kanetsune with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Kanetsune(兼常). According to historical records, a few swordsmiths used Kanetsune as his maker’s name during the early-Muromachi period- early Edo period(1394-1644). Based on this blade’s characteristics, we believe this blade was forged by one of Kanetsune in the late Muromachi period(1492-1569) in Mino province( Gifu prefecture today).
It is said that the first-gen Kanetsune(初代兼常) belonged to Yamato school in Nara prefecture. And he moved to Mino province in O-Ei era(1394-1428: Early Muromachi period). Since then, the school had flourished for generations. The school’s fame was close to that of Magoroku Kanemoto, Izumino kami Kanesada, prestigious swordsmiths.
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(1603-1868).
MINO-DEN exceedingly prospered during Sengoku Jidai(Warring State period) due to the high demand for weapons. And the location of Mino province beat others. Akechi Mitsuhide controlled Mino province, and 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, so many wars occurred between the Kanto region and the Kyoto area. 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. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province.
You can find the engraving of a Tsurugi (Double-edged blade) on one side and Fudo Myo-O on the other side. This blade is Kurikaraken, which is the sword that Fudo Myo-O (不動明王, acalanātha) holds with his right hand. Fudo Myo-O is one of the objects of worship in Buddhism. According to a theory, it is the incarnation of Dainichi Nyorai (大日如来, Mahāvairocana, the principal image of esoteric Buddhism). Kurikara-ken was named after its appearance that Kurikara Ryu-O (倶利伽羅龍王, dragon) is winding around the sword. It is believed Kurikara-Ken could cut off worldly desires: Sandoku (三毒). Sandoku is the three fundamental human desires; Ton (貪, greed), Jin (瞋, anger, grudge), Chi (癡, delusion, complaint).
The whole theme of its Koshirae is Musha Zu (武者図), which depicts fighting Samurai in battlefield. We are confident you will also appreciate the high level of metalwork from the Tsuba, Fuchi Kashira, Menuki and Kozuka.
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)： 33.8 cm ( 13.30 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.60 cm (0.23inches)
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 on purpose to prevent red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, which 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 common theme of this Koshirae is the Kassen Zu (合戦図). It is a record of the military exploits of people who lived in a war-torn world and the memory of battles that will be preserved for future generations. Fuchi Kashira, Menuki, Tsuba, we think all of these sword mountings of this Koshirae were designed based on the same subject. There are works called the Kassen Zu Byoubu (合戦図屏風), a folding screen that incorporates the battle painting. This type of folding screens was made after the beginning of the Edo period. Therefore, many of them did not necessarily depict reality as it was. For that reason, we often find inconsistencies in Kassen Zu Byoubu based on historical research. This was because the Kassen Zu itself was more concerned with showing authority than historical accuracy, and political intentions were involved.
First of all, please look at the Fuchi Kashira. It depicts a scenery of a battle on the sea. You would find the figure of fighting Samurai warriors. On the Kashira part, it seems the Samurai, who wears extravagant armor, is trying to cut off the arm of a man who grabbed his leg with a sword. You can feel the realism of the battle from the tense act of a life-and-death battle.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Each side of Menuki depicts a Samurai boarding a small boat heading towards the enemy. Because of the difference in their facial expressions, they probably appear to be enemies, one chasing the other. Same as the Fuchi Kashira, this Menuki’s design also cuts out one scene of a battle on the water, and it might make you feel as if you are looking at one battle from a different point of view.
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.
According to the signature, this Tsuba’s maker is Mogarashi/Souheishi Nyudoh Souten (藻柄子 入道宗典). It is said he worked actively in the middle of the Edo period. He lived in Hikone (彦根) area, Oumi-no Kuni (近江国, today’s Shiga prefecture). About the living pace, we could know this information by seeing the characters engraved on the backside of this Tsuba. It is written as 江州彦根住. He was good at the Takabori Iroe (高彫色絵) technique and originated the Hikone-Bori (彦根彫) style. He trained lots of disciples and played an active role in his longevity over 75 years old. The second Souten was the first’s son. He followed the first’s designs and created lots of excellent Tsubas. It is said many fake Souten Tsubas were made; it shows his works were highly appreciated.
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. This Kozuka exceptionally has a different design compare to other sword mountings of this Koshirae. Although some parts are challenging to see, we think a woman and an older man are depicted. The costumes they wear are different from those of Samurai, and the place they are in seems they are above clouds. If it depicts the heavenly world, it may be a design based on some story.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 3026187)
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 24th in the 3rd year of Reiwa (2021). 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 : Oita 1749
The Board of Education in Oita 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.