Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Miyoshi Nagamichi with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Mutsu Daijyo Miyoshi Nagamichi (陸奥大掾三善長道). Nagamichi served Aizu Matsudaira clan, who ruled Aizu domain (Today’s Fukushima prefecture). He was especially active during the early Edo period (Mid-Late 17th century). The first-gen Miyoshi Nagamichi was considered one of the top-tier swordsmiths during the early Edo period.
He belonged to Miyoshi school and is also known as the first-gen Nagamichi because the maker’s name lasted ten generations throughout the Edo period.
Nagamichi was born in the 10th year of the Kan-Ei era (1633). His birth name was Miyoshi Toshiro. He learned sword-forging techniques from his uncle Nagatoshi because his father, Masanaga, died when Nagamichi was 16 years old. Nagamichi mainly resided in Aizu province (Today’s Fukushima prefecture).
Nagamichi first signed Michinaga, but he changed it to Nagamichi when he received Mutsu Daijyo in the first year of the Manji era (1658). Daijyo was an honorable official title given by the emperor for one’s excellent craftsmanship. He was 17 years old when he got this title. This fact suggests that he must have been excellent at forging blades early in his age. Later, he moved to Edo city and learned how to make a sharper blade from Yamano Kanjyuro Hisahide, the master of Tameshigiri, or test cutting.
According to the book (Kaihou Kenjyaku) published by Yamada Asaemon in the late Edo period, a blade forged by Nagamichi was ranked as Saijyo Owazamono, the highest of all the rankings. Asaemon was hired by the Edo government as an expert on Tameshigiri, or testing cutting. And in this book, he judged how sharp Japanese swords forged by prestigious swordsmiths were.
Because of the sharpness of the blades forged by Nagamichi, he was often called Aizu Kotesu or Aizu Masamune to appreciate his craftsmanship. Kotetsu and Masamune are also highly renowned swordsmiths.
Nagamichi was the grandson of Nagakuni, a renowned swordsmith in Matsuyama province (Ehime prefecture). Miyoshi Nagakuni initially forged swords in Akino province(Hiroshima prefecture). Nagakuni moved to Iyo province after being hired by Kato Yoshiakira, the head of the Matsuyama clan. Nagakuni and his son Masanaga eventually relocated to Aizu province as the government ordered Kato clan (their employer) to move to this province. They started to forge blades in Aizu province in 1627. Masanaga was the father of Nagamichi.
Among other schools in Aizu province, Miyoshi school played an important role and served as the head school during the Edo period. Another famous school in this province is Aizu Kanesada school.
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 with artistic value.
*Please keep in mind that there are a couple of partial black rust on this blade. If you like to know the detailed condition, please feel free to contact us.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 51.6 cm ( 20.3 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.2 cm (0.47 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.
Peony flowers are engraved for this Fuchi Kashira. Peony represents happiness, wealth, nobleness, and gorgeousness. This flower pattern has been treated as a kind of good-omen motif; people regarded it as a rich harvest sign. Peony is called Botan in Japanese. When we write this flower’s name in Japanese, its second letter means mountain hermit medicine to give us eternal youth. Based on the meaning of this letter, the peony pattern symbolizes eternal youth and longevity.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menuki’s motif is the Kara-Jishi (唐獅子). Two Kara-Jishis are designed on each side. It is a classical subject and has favored designing for various items since long ago. The Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and the Kara-Jishi is a lion brought from the Continent to Japan in the Toh period (唐, Tang dynasty, 618-907). The Kara-Jishi typically has curly hair for its head, neck, body, and tail. In Buddhism, the Kara-Jishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and the Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, the Kara-Jishi originates from the Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits).
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.
Oval-shaped Tsuba that has Kozuka and Kougai holes. This Tsuba has the same design as the Tsuka part (please focus on the motifs of Fuchi Kashira and Menuki): the combination of peony and the Kara-Jishi. There is a Houwa (法話, Buddhist monks tell the story of Buddhism in an easy-to-understand manner) that treats them. The lion is called the king of the beasts. However, even this invincible animal has only one fear; a bug in the lion’s body. This pest grows in the lion’s hair and eventually breaks the skin and bites the flesh. Nevertheless, it dies if it is exposed to be the night dew of a peony. Therefore, the lion rests under peony flowers at night, looking for a haven. This story might have inspired this Tsuba, Fuchi Kashira, and Menuki’s design.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.1017596)
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 March 2nd in the 4th year of Reiwa (2022). 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 : Tokyo 183758
The Board of Education in Tokyo 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.
Here is one of the reviews we received from a customer who purchased an authentic Japanese sword from us. For more reviews, please click here.
“It was outstanding. Nothing short from what I would expect from Japanese people. Takaoki-san and Gin-san treated me to the best purchasing experience I’ve ever had. They were honorable, humble and dedicated to duty. I felt like a family member. I would highly recommend the Samurai Museam Shop to anyone looking to purchase an authentic antique Japanese sword with certification paper work.”
【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 500 Japanese swords for the past three years (～2023) 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.
【How To Contact Us】
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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.