Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Signed by Yasushige with NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Certificate
This blade was forged by Bushu Jyu Yasushige(武州住康重). Bushu is the name of the province in the Tokyo area today where he created this blade. Based on how he signed the blade, we believe it was forged by the first-gen Yasushige, active in sword forging during the Tenbun era(1532-1555: Late Muromachi period).
Yasushige belonged to the Bushu Shitahara school, located in today’s Tokyo(Hachioji city).
It is said that Yamamoto Norishige founded the school, and it thrived from the end of the Muromachi period to the late Edo period.
Shitahara Kaji is the group of swordsmiths under the Hojo clan’s auspicious, powerful feudal line during the late Muromachi period. After the Toyotomi clan destroyed the Hojo clan in the Azuchi Momoyama period, Shitahara started to serve the Tokugawa clan as Okakae Kaji, swordsmiths exclusively working for a specific feudal family. Most of the Shitahara swordsmith’s real sir name was Yamamoto. They especially flourished during the late Muromachi period-early Edo period.
They kept forging for the Tokugawa clan until the end of the Edo period. Among the Bushu Shitahara group, Yasushige was one of the most famous ones. The maker’s name, Yasushige, lasted for several generations.
This blade has a Tokubetsu Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, especially worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword).
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)：37.6 cm ( 14.8 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 1.0 cm(0.39 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 on purpose to prevent red rust while the tang is in its handle. And the discoloration of the tang was created over time, which 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(Sabbard), Tsuka( Handle), Tsuba(Handguard).
Fuchi-Kashira：A pair of matching sword fittings that cover the upper and bottom parts of its sword hilt.
The Kara-Jishi (唐獅子) is the motif of this Fuchi Kashira. Shishi (獅子) means a lion in Japanese, and 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 the tale. Same as the established theory, Kara-Jishis designed for this work also have characteristic curly hair on their bodies. Each lion has a stern gaze at the other; it makes us feel a tense atmosphere.
In Buddhism, Kara-Jishi is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, and Monju Bosatu (文殊菩薩, Manjushri Bodhisattva) rides lions. According to a theory, Kara-Jishi originates from Komainu (狛犬, stone guardian dogs that exorcize evil spirits).
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
Small dogs are designed for this Menuki. Dogs have been familiar with our daily life since ancient times. In the past, there were only middle-sized dogs in Japan, which means no small dogs existed. However, in 732, a little dog was presented as a gift from the Continent to Japan. It is said the then emperor loved it very much. After this dog passed away, the emperor ordered to make an ornament of it, and this display object became the talisman against evils. Later, it combined with the lion’s image. Have you ever seen Komainu? Komainu is a statue that is usually placed in shrines. They look like a mixture of dogs and lions. As mentioned above, the motif of this sword’s Fuchi Kashira is Kara-Jishi, which is considered the origin of Komainu. The former owner of this sword might have adopted a combination of these designs from this history.
The dog pattern represents a safe delivery and the wish for children to grow up healthy. Therefore, this animal pattern is often found in Kimono (traditional Japanese costume) for ladies and children. However, it was not only women or children who appreciated the dog pattern. A Shogun (the top of Samurai who ruled entire Japan) is famous even today for loving animals: Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the 5th Shogun in the Edo period. He promulgated a law to protect animals’ lives. It is said he had more than one hundred dogs. He was called “Inu Shogun,” which means Shogun of dogs in Japanese. That is, we would like to say that the dog pattern has a connection with Samurai culture.
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.
Please keep in mind that there is some part gold foil came off on the Habaki.
Yotsu-Mokkou-shaped antique Tsuba. Mokkou shape, its origin is a shape of eggs that are rest in a nest. When a quince (it is written 木瓜 in Japanese) is cut into round slices, its cross-section looks similar to this shape; therefore, it was named Mokkougata Tsuba. Yotsu-Mokkougata (a combination of four Mokkou shapes) Tsuba is often seen as this Tsuba is categorized. Also, the surface of this Tsuba has been decorated with the Nanako-Ji (魚子地) technique. The ground is hit by the Nanako-Ji Tagane (魚子地鏨, chisel used for this technique). It makes delicate fish egg-shaped protrusions. It shows us the maker’s expert skill.
This Tsuba depicts a scene of the waterside. Buildings, waterwheels, and a bridge are described, and golden metal decorates these motifs. Although there are damages due to aging, this Tsuba is remaining in relatively good condition.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK TOKUBETSU Hozon Certificate for the blade
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 25th in the third year of Reiwa(2020). 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 : Nagano 87536
The Board of Education in Nagano 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 300 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. 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, EUR or GBP. The price is set in Japanese Yen. Prices in other currencies are automatically calculated based on the latest exchange rate.
We have shipped authentic Japanese swords to the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany , France and Hong Kong. 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.
*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.
【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.