Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Yasuhiro with NBTHK Tokubestsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was signed by Bitchu no Kami Tachibana Yasuhiro(備中守橘康広). Yasuhiro was active in sword-forging during the Kanbun (1661-1673: Early Edo Period). Yasuhiro belonged to a prestigious sword school called Kishu Ishido and Osaka Ishido School. The back of the tang has an inscription of Kikumon (chrysanthemum emblem). He was allowed to inscribe this emblem, which is the symbol of the Japanese emperor. His sword forging technique was so great that the emperor permitted him to use this emblem, which was honorable for any swordsmith.
His father, Tosa Shogen Tachibana Yasuhiro(土佐将監橘康廣), was born in Omi province, located in Shiga prefecture. And he belonged to Omi Ishido school during the early Edo period. Ishido school was initially founded by Sukenaga, an offspring of Ichimonji Sukemune, who made Fukuoka Ichimonji school in Bizen province(Today’s Okayama prefecture). During 1492-1501(Late Muromachi period), Sukenaga and his school moved from Bizen province to Omi province after being summoned by Gamou family, a powerful feudal line in that region. Sukenaga started to live in front of Ishido temple, and he changed his surname to Ishido.
Kishu＆ Osaka Ishido School
As of the early Edo period, many Ishido swordsmiths moved to other parts of Japan, looking for better opportunities. There are four areas: Edo, Osaka, Kishu(Wakayama prefecture), and Chikuzen(Fukuoka prefecture). Omi Ishido school is the origin of whole other Ishido branches that flourished during the Edo period.
Following this trend, Yasuhiro’s father, who belonged to Omi Ishido school, moved from Omi province to Kishu province. It is said that the father was the founder of Kishu Ishido school and played an essential role in making this school prosperous.
Yasuhiro was born as the son of the head of Kishu Ishido school. And he mastered excellent sword forging techniques from his father. And it is said that Yasuhiro served Tokugawa Yorinobu, the first head of Kishu domain, who was the 10th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Yasuhiro exclusively forged swords for Kishu domain for many years.
Later in his career, Yasuhiro received the honorable title “Bitchu no Kami” in 1657 and moved to Settsu city in Osaka to spread the tradition of Ishido school. He built the foundation of Osaka Ishido school. Yasuhiro is known as one of the most prominent figures that made Osaka Isido school prosperous during the early Edo period.
Osaka city flourished as a castle town and became the business center during the early Edo period. 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. Among many swordsmiths active in the same period as Yasuhiro, he was one of the most famous figures in Osaka Ishido 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 and high quality with artistic value.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 46.0 cm ( 18.1 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.5 cm ( 0.19 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.
Bamboos are engraved on this Fuchi Kashira. Each of the bamboo knots and leaves is depicted realistically. As its surface is golden finish, it gives gorgeousness to the appearance of the handle part. Bamboos grow neatly towards the sky, and it is vital, so this motif represents nobility and strength. Besides, the bamboo breaks straight, but its content is hollow; people thought it shows innocence. According to a foreign legend, the Houhou (鳳凰, Fenghuang) eats bamboo fruits; therefore, bamboo has been considered a sacred plant. Also, as it keeps its green color even in cold winter, people thought the bamboo pattern shows eternity and longevity. We would say that the bamboo pattern has been one of the familiar designs for Japanese people since ancient times. At the side of the Fuchi part, you would find the maker’s name: 光利 (Mistutoshi), who was active at the end of the Edo period. The same engraved inscription is seen on the Tsuba. So, this Fuchi Kashira and Tsuba were most likely made by the same artist.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Tigers are designed. Now, when you look at the entire Tsuka (handle) part, you will realize that it is a combination of tigers and bamboos. This classical theme is called Take Tora Zu (竹虎図) in Japanese. The tiger is a brave animal. A theory says people considered the tiger pattern would protect people from evil spirits. Therefore, its pattern has been treated as a talisman. The tiger design has also been regarded as the symbol of life activity when “tiger” is written by a Japanese Kanji character (漢字, a kind of Japanese letter) based on its meaning. It is said people wished for boys’ healthy growth by using the tiger pattern.
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.
As mentioned above, this Tsuba has the same engraved inscription as the Fuchi Kashira. About the design, it also has a common motif and coloring. Although some golden paintings have already faded due to aging, this Tsuba retains its ornamental look. Using the same design sword mountings, this Wakizashi’s Koshirae has unity.
Kozuka：Kozuka is a small knife stored in Kozuka Hitsu(groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
A Kozgatana (小刀, small knife) is stored in the Kozuka. Even these small parts have the same design as other sword mountings mentioned above. We imagine the former owner of this Wakizashi might have been particular about this motif.
Kougai：Kougai is the equipment for Samurai to arrange or fix his hair style. It is stored in the Kougai Hitsu (groove of the sheath of the Japanese sword).
Same as the Kozuka, this Kougai is decorated with a bamboo pattern. This Kougai is separated into two parts; this type of Kougai is categorized as the Wari Kougai (割笄). This separated type was invented in the Edo period and became popular as decorative metal fittings. A theory says some people used the Wari Kougai as chopsticks; however, there is no sure proof.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.1017678)
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 : Kochi 32780
The Board of Education in Kochi 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.
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* 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.
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【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.
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