Antique Japanese Sword Tanto Signed by Fujiwara Masatsuna with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Harima Daijyo Fujiwara Masatsuna(播磨大掾藤原正綱) in the first year of the Shoho era(1645: early Edo period), judging from the NBTHK’s appraisal and signature. There are three generations of Masatsuna, and we believe it was forged by the second-gen, based on the available records. Harima Daijyo is the name of the honorable title given to this swordsmith for his skilled craftsmanship. Masatsuna was active in sword-forging in the early Edo period(Mid 17th century) in Kuraoyoshi city, Hoki Koku(western part of Tottori prefecture).
He was the son of Yuge Shinzaburo Masatsuna. He first signed as Masahiro and changed it to Masatsuna later. He belonged to Hiroga school, which was one of the most prestigious schools in the region. Hiroga is a group of swordsmiths who made a strong presence from the Muromachi period to the early Edo period. Hiroga school is divided into two branches. One is called Mita school, and the other is called Saino-o school. They both lived in a city called Kurayoshi in Houkikoku. We assume Masatsuna forged swords for those who lived in Hokikoku during the early Edo period.
Hokikoku played an essential role in politics and economics, having easy access to Kyoto by sea. Hokikoku is located near the Chugoku Mountains, where iron sands, one of the essential materials for making Japanese swords, were abundant. This geological location contributed to the swordsmiths to forge high-quality refined blades. It is said that Hokikoku was quite active in sword-forging from ancient times(Heian-Edo period).
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)： 31.0 cm(12.2 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.
This Fuchi Kashira has a basic design and has elegant black color. As it does not have ornamental designs such as gold or silver inlay, its simple look matches well with the decorative motif of the Menuki (about the Menuki, please check the explication below). We hope you will enjoy the texture and color of the material itself.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menuki is a combination of auspicious motifs. The upper one is probably the pine tree. As pine trees keep their green color throughout the years by withstanding severe heat and cold, people thought this plant pattern represents eternal youth. Furthermore, its color is called Tokiwa-Iro (常盤色, evergreen trees’ dark green color with brown), and pine trees have another name “Tokiwa-Gi (常盤木).” Tokiwa means immutability, so Tokiwa-Iro is a color that praises green with a wish for longevity and prosperity.
For the lower one, the figure of the dragon running in the clouds is designed. It seems this dragon is flying toward heaven. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbolic beast 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, mythical animal in Japan which looks like a snake and have 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.
Clouds bring rain and snow, and their movements significantly affect the weather of the day. Due to its supernatural power, a theory says that gods, spirits, and dragons dwell in the clouds. So, it is understandable that dragons and clouds are designed together.
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.
This is an antique Tsuba made from iron. It has the Kozuka and the Kougai holes. And it seems this work is in the shape of the Yukiwa (雪輪, snow ring) pattern. The form of snowflakes is originally the motif of this design. It is considered snow is the sign of a plentiful harvest. Especially if snow in the New Year, people thought that year would have a bumper crop. According to a theory, the snow crystal pattern itself was born in the Muromachi period (1336-1573), and people started incorporating it as a motif of family crests since the Edo period. The Yukiwa pattern is a design that would make you feel the atmosphere of winter and make you think spring’s arrival.
Saya：Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
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. It seems several rice bales are piled up and stored with covers. It might depict scenery of landscape in rural areas. Japanese people treat rice as an essential food and treasure it as a symbol of wealth for a long time because they believe God lives in rice. A theory says this design represents wealth and the plentiful harvest. As rice cultivation has flourished in Japan, we would guess that it might also be a familiar motif for Samurais.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3025454)
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 25th in the third 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 : Shimane 22285
The Board of Education in Shimane 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 300 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 , 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.
【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 Powder, Peg remover, Oil Applicator). By watching the video instruction above , you can enjoy learning how to maintain your Japanese sword while appreciating it.