Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Osaka Sadakuni with NBTHK Tokubestsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Sadakuni (貞国) in Osaka during the early Edo period, according to its NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon appraisal. Sadakuni was active during the Kanbun-Tenna era (1661-1684: early Edo period). He was an apprentice of Inoue Shinkai, also known as Izumi no Kami Kunisada. Inoue Shinkai was one of the most famous swordsmiths in Osaka during the early Edo period.
It is said that Sadakuni regularly did Daisaku for Shinkai. Daisaku is a regular act where an apprentice or a child of the swordsmith signs his master’s name with his master’s permission or forges a blade on behalf of the master. That means that his master highly acknowledged Sadakuni’s craftsmanship. That is also why there aren’t many remaining blades signed by Sadakuni, who dedicated his career to helping his master. Considering the fact that Sadakuni did Daisaku for Shinkai, they must have had a very close relationship and trusted each other.
The blades forged by the Sadakuni are categorized as Osaka Shinto. Shinto is Japanese Sword terminology that refers to the swords forged during 1596-1781. The blades made in the Osaka area during this period are called Osaka Shinto. There are many famous swordsmiths in this Osaka Shinto era. After Hideyoshi Toyotomi built Osaka castle, Osaka city flourished as a castle town and became the business center. Many swordsmiths moved to Osaka to look for better opportunities. They not only forged swords for those Samurai who lived in Osaka but also for feudal lords nationwide. Ikanshi Tadatsuna (Awataguchi Omi no Kami Tadatsuna), Inoue Shinkai, and Tsuda Sukehiro are the most famous among many swordsmiths.
One of the most notable characteristics of Osaka Shinto is its beauty in Jigane. Jigane is a visible steel surface pattern created by folding and hammering during the forging process), which made it possible by the location of Osaka. Osaka had close access to the Tamahagane(special carbon steel to make Japanese swords) production sites. The swordsmiths residing in Osaka were able to get high-quality carbon steel from these sites.
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)： 58.9 cm ( 23.2 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：1.81 cm ( 0.71 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.
Samurai-related items are designed on this Fuchi Kashira. You would find several Kabutos (兜, Samurai helmet) and Gubais (軍配, Sumo referee’s fan today). Needless to say, the kabuto is one of the Samurai’s battle attires, the armor that protects the user’s head. There are various types of Kabutos depending on the era and trend; the one seen here seems to be a kind of Suji Kabuto (筋兜).
The Gunbai is a tool that is related to the Samurai culture. Its shape is an Uchiwa (団扇, Japanese fan) shape. Fans were brought to Japan from the continent in the Nara period (710-794). According to a theory, Uchiwas were used in the court or the aristocracy back then. In addition, after the Ohnin-Bunmei era (応仁・文明年間, 1467-1487), military commanders used Gunbai-Uchiwa (軍配団扇), which is made of leather or iron. They encouraged their subordinates by using it. Also, it was used for ordering the arrangement of an army: For example, the placement of troops, the date and time of the advance, and retreat. It is the origin of the Gunbai, which Sumo (相撲, Japanese wrestling) referees use to judge victory or defeat today. In this way, metalworks that incorporate motifs related to Samurai costumes into sword mountings are often seen. It might have encouraged Samurai warriors who went to battlefields.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
We estimate this Menuki’s motif is the Tsukushi (土筆, field horsetail). This plant endures the cold winter and comes into buds in the spring. We would say it is one of the seasonal things of spring. It is a plant with solid vitality that repeatedly grows even if it is cut.
It has also been popular as a wild vegetable among Japanese people for a long time. As a historical document to support this, a theory says that there were Tsukushi Uri (土筆売り) who sold field horsetails in the spring in the Edo period, and there are some Haiku (俳句, a short poem of seventeen syllables) works in which Tsukushi Uri appears in scenes that express spring scenery. This plant motif would make you feel the coming spring.
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.
The theme of this iron Tsuba is a combination of two plant motifs. The right side is the Ume (梅, Japanese apricot blossom), and the left is probably the Kikyou (桔梗, Japanese bellflower) flowers. Combining different types of openwork techniques, it expresses the difference between yin and yang.
Japanese apricot blossoms begin to bloom in winter while snow still covers its tree. Therefore, people thought this flower told the arrival of spring. Same as cherry blossom, it has been appreciated for a long time in Japan. People enjoy its adorable petal shape, scent, and gracefully branched tree and compose many poems. As it comes out in the cold season, it symbolizes the power of perseverance and vitality. And Japanese bellflower is one of the Aki-no Nanakusa (秋の七草, seven herbs of autumn), and has been depicted in poetry since ancient times, and has been loved as a subject and pattern for paintings.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate for the blade (No. 1017991)
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 June 3rd 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 : Niigata 132
The Board of Education in Niigata 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.
“My experience overall with the whole process was wonderful. I had many questions about the history and process to purchase these treasures. All my questions were answered very timely and complete. The staff is very knowledgeable and very well versed if any questions do arise.”
【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 CHF 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 EMS.
We normally ship by EMS(Express Mail Service) provided by Japan Post. We will send you a tracking number for your order as soon as we hand it to the post office. 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.