Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Saemon no Jyo Nobukuni with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Saemon no Jyo Nobukuni (左衛門尉信国) according to NBHTK’s Tokubetsu Hozon appraisal. He was active during the O-Ei era (1394-1427: Early Muromachi period) in Yamashiro province (Today’s Kyoto).
Nobukuni is also the name of the school he belonged to, and it was prosperous during the Nanbokucho-Muromachi period. He was also known as a master of engraving and one of the prominent figures in the school. There were a few generations of Nobukuni, and he was the third-gen Nobukuni. To distinguish him from other Nobukuni, he is often called O-Ei Nobukuni because of the era he forged blades.
The first-gen Nobukuni was an apprentice of Soshu Sadamune (相州貞宗), one of the most famous swordsmiths. He was a grandson of Ryokai Hisanobu, who was a renowned maker in Ryokai school.
Ryokai was a swordsmith from the late Kamakura period in Yamashiro Province(Today’s Kyoto). It is said that he was a son of Rai Kuniyuki (来国行) and a younger brother of Rai Kunitoshi (来国俊). Both of them are renowned swordsmiths throughout Samurai history. Ryokai founded his school, and the apprentices were allowed to use Ryokai in their maker’s names. Ryokai’s son was Ryokai Hisanobu, who took over the school.
This blade also has a Horimono(engraving) of Sanscrit letter and Kurikara Ken. Kurikara-Ken (倶利伽羅剣) is the sword that Fudo Myo-O (不動明王, acalanātha) holds with his right hand(you can see it on the tang part). 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 due to the appearance that Kurikara Ryu-O (倶利伽羅龍王, dragon) is winding around the sword. It is believed that Kurikara-Ken could cut off worldly desires: Sandoku (三毒). Sandoku is the three fundamental earthly desires; Ton (貪, greed), Jin (瞋, anger, grudge), and Chi (癡, delusion, complaint).
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)： 45.4 cm ( 17.9 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.
The Kaihin Hukei Zu (海浜風景図, landscape of beach) is the theme of this Fuchi Kashira. The scenery of the seashore is depicted; you would find huts and sailing ships. And pine trees are growing near buildings. Some parts are colored with golden paint, and this coloring adds decorativeness to this work.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
This Menuki’s motif is the Kaki (柿, Japanese persimmon). A large persimmon fruit hangs down from a beautifully curved branch. A part of the branches and the calyx of the persimmon are colored with gold. Persimmon is an autumn fruit that bears bright vermilion fruits. In this work, fruit parts are colored with reddish-brown metal. Since persimmon trees have long lives, Japanese people thought that the persimmon motif represents longevity. Also, another theory says that the Japanese name of persimmon Kaki (written as 柿) was associated with the word Kaki-Atsumeru (かき集める, gather). So, this idea says the persimmon design would pick happiness. This Menuki’s design might have been chosen based on these auspicious meanings.
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 Tsuba has a simple look, and the Un Mon (雲紋, cloud pattern) is designed (irregular-shaped black metal parts). Clouds bring blessed rain and snow, and their movements significantly affect the day’s weather. Due to its supernatural power, a theory says that gods, spirits, and dragons dwell in the clouds.
The cloud pattern has been associated with magical power, and people thought it an omen of lucky things. In addition, some people wished to obtain a leisurely life in comfort by seeing clouds’ movements (that float in the sky). Or, as clouds appear repeatedly, its design represents reincarnation. Samurais were always on the verge of life and death on the battlefield. They might have believed in the power of this pattern. And they had incorporated it into the design of their sword mountings, such as Tsuba.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Koduka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
A Koagatana (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. The Seta Karahashi (瀬田唐橋) is the motif of this Kozuka. The Seta Karahashi, also called Seta-no Karahashi, is the bridge over the Seta River in Karahashi town in Shiga prefecture. Until the 22nd of the Meiji period (1889), the Karahashi was the only bridge over the Seta River. Therefore, it was a transportation hub and an important area for the defense of Kyoto. Due to several battles that were played on the Karahashi, this bridge was burnt down many times and rebuilt. Today, this Karahashi is known as one of the three representative bridges in Japan.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.1012529)＆Hozon Certificate for the Koshirae (No.4016477)
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 Dec 2nd in the first year of Reiwa (2019). They appraised it as Tokubetsu Hozon Touken, the blade especially worth preserving for Japanese society. Its sword Koshirae wasappraised as a Hozon Tosogu on Nov 26th in the first year of Reiwa era (2019). The purchaser will receive these original certificates as well. We can also translate what is written into English and make a PDF file for your record if you request.
Registration Number : Wakayama 22831
The Board of Education in Wakayama 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.