Antique Japanese Sword Wakizashi Attributed to Fujiwara Takada with NBTHK Hozon Certificate
This blade is attributed to a work of a swordsmith of Takada school in the early Edo period.
Takada school was founded by Takada Tomoyuki in Takada village, Ohita prefecture, during the Nanbokucho period. (1334-1338 A.D). Tomoyuki went to Bizen province(today’s Okayama prefecture) to master the sword-forging techniques of BIZEN and came back to the village and trained his apprentices. That is how Takada school started.
Those who forged swords in Takada village before the Edo period are called Taira Takada and Fujiwara Takada during the Edo period. Based on the NBTHK certificate, this blade is categorized as Fujiwara Takada.
During Sengoku Period(the warring state period: from late 15 C to late 16 C), the Takada school forged many swords for feudal lords in Kyushu island. It is said that the reputation of the blades forged by Takada school was close to MINO or BIZEN swords, two of which are the most famous sword forging places. This highly skilled sword forging technique was passed down to later generations in the Edo period.
Generally speaking, Kyushu island was prosperous in sword-making because of the long history of trading with Asian countries. To gain an advantage in trading, many feudal lords on this island fought against each other. Takada school was able to receive many orders as the demand increased among those lords.
The material of Japanese swords(high-quality iron sand and charcoal) was abundant in the mount Sobo Katamuki, located near Takada village. We believe Takada school prospered because of its geographic location and natural resources.
This blade has a Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword).
This blade comes with beautiful sword mountings.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 44.0 cm (17.3 inches)
Curvature(Sori)：0.7 cm(0.275 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(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 Ito-Guruma (糸車, spinning wheel) is the motif of this Fuchi Kashira. Itomaki (糸巻, bobbin) is also designed on the Fuchi (Please check the picture in the category of Tsuka and Menuki). The golden metal is applied to these motifs and makes a beautiful color contrast of gold and metal color of this Fuchi Kashira’s material (probably copper). There are various types of Itomaki patterns in Japan. According to a theory, the long extension of the thread from the bobbin has the meaning of longevity. Based on this meaning, Samurai might have wished for the profit of Itomaki design to play an active role on the battlefield for a long time.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
A pair of birds are the motifs of this Menuki. Their eyes, bills, and legs are applied with gold-colored metal. Since various birds have been designed for sword mountings, it is a little challenging to judge what these birds are. However, by seeing their appearances, we would like to guess they might be a kind of waterfowl, such as duck or wild goose. The wild goose is a migratory bird that represents fall. It is one of the classical motifs, and some families use this bird design for their family crests. This bird is engraved by not only a realistic figure but also a very simplified shape: Hiragana (ひらがな, a kind of Japanese letter) “he (へ)” shape that sometimes makes also wild goose. However, in this work, each bird is realistically engraved relatively.
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 that has a Kozuka hole. Same as Menuki, this Tsuba is also decorated with a bird motif. This tiny bird might be Uzura (鶉, quail). Quails come to Japan in the fall and live in groups on rice fields. It was supposed to represent an autumn scene, and people appreciate this bird since long time ago. Therefore, the combination of quails and autumn plants, for example, chrysanthemum as this Tsuba. A theory says Samurai families and Daimyo (大名, a Japanese feudal lord) started keeping quails since the Muromachi period (1336-1573). People loved its charming cry, and it could be heard as “Go Kiccho (御吉兆, a sign of good things).” So that they regarded the quail as an auspicious bird and used it before battles to keep the gods on their side; in the Edo period, raising quails became general among ordinary people. This history shows how this bird is familiar with Japanese people, of course including Samurais.
Saya： Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
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.
Authentication Paper：NBTHK Hozon Certificate for the blade (No.3025147)
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 3rd year of Reiwa(2020). 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 : Ibaraki 049253
The Board of Education in Ibaraki 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, 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.
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*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.
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