Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Sukenori with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Bushu Jyu Taira Sukenori (武州住平祐則) in August, the 4th year of the Keio era (1868: Bakumatsu era). Bushu is the name of the area in Tokyo today where he made this blade.
Sukenori might have forged blades for Samurais who served Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo period because Edo city, the political center of the Tokugawa government, is also located in the Bushu area.
This blade has beautiful Jigane, and we assume very high-quality Tamagahagane carbon steel was used to forge it. And Sukenori must have been a very skilled swordsmith who was able to create this received yet gorgeous appearance blade.
What is Bakumatsu era?
Japan enjoyed a relatively peaceful time from the early Edo period to the mid-Edo period(the 1600s-1760s) because of the stable economy and the powerful government run by Tokugawa Shogunate. Samurai didn’t have many opportunities to utilize his Katana sword in public or on battlefields during this time. Thus, they carried their swords more as a symbol of their social status. The demand for blades decreased accordingly compared to the previous Warring state period called Sengoku Jidai(1467-1600).
However, toward the end of the Edo period(1764-1876), the Japanese sword’s role changed dramatically. With the poverty spreading and political turmoil in Japan, there were so many riots initiated by the civilians. Japanese swords started to play an essential role in maintaining public safety. Pressure from foreign countries to open Japanese borders also forced Samurai to order strong-looking blades to survive this tumultuous time. We believe many swordsmiths made great efforts to forged high-quality, practical swords for their masters to prepare for battles. Sukenori must have been one of them.
There was a civil war between Tokugawa’s military government and the new Meiji government at the end of the Edo period. That means the original owner of this Katana might have seen the moment when Samurai’s life changed forever. This blade has a strong looking and must have been practical to use in that demanding time.
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)： 32.8 cm( 12.9 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.2 cm(0.08 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.
Flowers are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. These flowers are growing with elongated leaves. Petals and buds are colored with bright golden paint. We would guess this plant is the Suisen (水仙, narcissus). According to a theory, this flower’s shape was likened to the figure of a Sennin (仙人, mountain hermit) who stands still on the Mizube (水辺, waterside); therefore, narcissus was named “水仙.” It is unknown when narcissus was brought to Japan, but it became popular in the Edo period. The then famous painters liked to depict this flower in their works. Also, the narcissus pattern was designed for various items such as Fusuma (襖, a type of Japanese partition) paintings, ceramics, or Kosode (小袖, a kind of traditional Japanese costume). This flower was also favored in tea ceremonies due to its elegant look and fragrance. It shows how popular this flower was among then people; we could imagine some Samurais cherished it. Understandably, this plant motif was incorporated into sword mountings.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
It is challenging to judge the motif of this Menuki. By seeing its shape from the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, we think these animals are probably monkeys. As they wrap their waists with a cloth, it looks as if they were human.
Generally speaking, as we know, monkeys belong to the same primates as us humans. So it is considered to be the closest animal to humans. Probably, it is why monkeys have often been personified in pictures and stories since ancient times. According to a theory, in the continent, the monkey has been regarded as a messenger of God. People believed that monkeys would protect horses, so they kept monkeys as stable guardians. People worshiped the monkey’s sacred power, and this animal was considered an auspicious existence. This idea was introduced from the continent to Japan. So we could imagine that Samurais also treated this animal motif as a unique item. It is said there are not many sword mountings that the monkey is designed. We would say its rarity enhances the value of this work.
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 made from iron. Its front and backside have simple look. The edge of this Tsuba is decorated with a kind of plant pattern. It looks it was initially colored with golden (or silvery) paint. Although some of its original colorings have already flaked off due to aging, it still keeps its decorativeness. We hope you will enjoy it as an antique texture.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
Kogatana (tiny knife) is stored in Kozuka. Same as other sword mountings, a bird is designed for this Kozuka. It seems this bird is a heron. Herons have a similar look to cranes, such as long legs and bills. The plant that this heron is looking at might be lotus. This combination is called Renro Zu (蓮鷺図), and this theme has been appreciated in paintings or motifs of folding screens.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3013999)
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 2nd in the 29th year of Heisei (2017). 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 : Saitama 73837
The Board of Education in Saitama 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 350 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, 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】
Please contact us through email, Facebook Messenger or Live Chat if you have any questions. You can find each icon on the right side of the website. Please click one of them to reach us. We will reply to you within 1-2 business days.
【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.
Thank you for reading all the information on the page. If you have any difficulty choosing the right 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.