Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Kunisuke with NBTHK JUYO TOKEN Certificate
This blade was signed by Enjyu Kunisuke (延寿国資). Kunisuke was especially active during the late Kamakura-early Nanbokucho period (Late 13th-Early 14th century ).
Enjyu(延寿) is the prestigious school’s name that flourished during the late Kamakura period-Nanbokucho period (Late 13th-Early 14th century). Enjyu school was founded by Kunimura(国村), who is said to have been the grandson of Rai Kuniyuki from Yamashiro province(Today’s Kyoto prefecture). It is said that Kunisuke was the son of this founder.
Kunimura and his apprentices including Kunisuke moved from Yamashiro province to Higo province(Today’s Kumamoto prefecture in Kyushu island) after being invited by the Kikuchi clan, who had an influential power in that region. It is said that the 10th head of the Kikuchi clan, Kikuchi Takefusa(菊池武房), had to find skilled swordsmiths who could forge strong swords to combat the Mongolian army. Back then, Japan was targeted by the Mongolian emperor, and Kyushu island is where the battle was taking place twice(1274 and 1281). To prepare for the second attack from the Mongols, Kikuchi Takefusa brought Kunimura and his apprentices from Kyoto. Since then, Kunimura and his sons served as Okakaekaji for this clan, exclusively forging swords for the Kikuchi clan, which ruled the Higo province back then.
All the swordsmiths from Enjyu school used the letter “国” (Kuni) for their maker’s name. Kunisuke (国資) is said to have been one of the most skilled swordsmiths among the member of Enjyu school.
The descendant of this school founded the famous sword school named Dotanuki(同田貫). And there are descendants of the Enjyu school’s swordsmiths throughout the Edo period. That means Enjyu school had over 500 years of its history.
The name “Enjyu” is written as 延寿 in Japanese. If you translate the word literally, it means extending life span, which was construed as good luck among feudal lords. Therefore, the swords were presented among Samurai as good gifts.
This blade is appraised as a JUYO TOKEN(重要刀剣) 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, exceptionally well preserved and of high quality with artistic value. JUYO is one rank higher than Tokubetsu Hozon. To be eligible for a Juyo Token, it needs to be appraised as a Tokubetsu Hozon Token first. It is extremely rare for an antique Japanese sword to be appraised as JUYO TOKEN, and it is highly desirable among Japanese sword collectors.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 33.2 cm (13.07 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.25 cm (0.09 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.
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 surface of this Fuchi Kashira is decorated with the Nanako-Ji (魚子地) technique. It is made by a specific chisel. It makes delicate fish egg-shaped protrusions on the entire surface.
If you look at the Kashira part, you will see two people standing under the pine tree. It is presumed that one of the two men is a warrior carrying a long, narrow weapon like a Naginata (薙刀, Japanese halberd), and the other was probably a civilian official. We are unsure who they are; it is possibly a scene from some folklore or story. Although some colorings have already faded due to aging, it seems the golden paint is gorgeously applied to some parts and adds gorgeousness to this work.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
A man is the model of each Menuki. Although it is difficult to distinguish the details due to discoloration, both men appear to be sitting and playing some musical instrument. For example, the upper side Menuki, it seems he beats the drum. Pine needles designed abstractly are placed around them, and this plant pattern is shared with the Fuchi Kashira.
Habaki：Habaki is the equipment to make the blade not touch its scabbard inside. It prevents the blade from getting rusty and chipped.
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. A kind of plant and water pattern are designed, and golden inlay is applied to these flowers. There are also some tiny golden circle-shaped marks: we assume these are family crests.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Please focus on the end of this scabbard; you will find the Kojiri (鐺). It is the metal fitting that protects the tip of a scabbard. It seems the theme of this part is almost the same as the Fuchi Kashira mentioned above. We speculate that these two similar design metal fittings were intentionally attached to this Koshirae to give a sense of unity to the overall appearance.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK JUYO TOKEN Certificate for the blade (No. 11152)
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 Oct. 11th in the 13th year of Heisei (2001). They appraised it as JUYO TOKEN, the blade exceptionally 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 : Gifu 6620
The Board of Education in Gifu 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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