Modern Japanese Sword Gendaito Katana Attributed to Endo Mitsuoki with NTHK Certificate
This blade is attributed to Endo Mitsuki (遠藤光起) by NTHK, Nihon Token Hozon Kai, a reputable Japanese sword appraising organization in Japan. The certificate says it was made around the mid-Showa era (Mid-Late 20th century). Endo Mitsuoki was one of the most famous swordsmiths after the post-Samurai era (1876-). He was active during the early Showa-early Heisei era.
Endo Mitsuoki was born in the 37th year of the Meiji era (1904) in Nigata prefecture. After graduating from primary school, he started to work as a blacksmith and taught himself how to forge the Japanese sword first. Then, he moved to Tokyo to become an apprentice of Kurihara Hikosaburo (栗原彦三郎) in the 10th year of the Showa era (1935). He officially started to learn sword-forging techniques at a workplace called Nihonto Tanren Denshujyo, run by Hikosaburo. Kurihara Hikosaburo was one of the contributors to keeping the Japanese sword-forging tradition alive after the Samurai period ended. It is said that Hikosaburo acknowledged the high level of Mitsuoki’s craftsmanship. After a few years, Mitsuoki started to submit his creations to multiple competitions, and he won many awards there.
In 1939, he was honored to forge a special sword to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the emperor Gotoba, who had made laborious efforts to spread the spirituality and artistic value of the Japanese sword. In 1945, Mitsuoki also made a sword for Yamamoto Isoroku, the general of the Japanese navy back then.
He also forged many swords and dedicated them to highly-regarded shrines and temples such as Ise shrine. In 1981, he was appointed as a *Mukansa swordsmith, one of the most honorable titles given to modern swordsmiths.
What is a Mukansa swordsmith?
It is one of the most honorable titles a modern swordsmith could receive.
One with this title could submit his work to the Japanese sword exhibition held by NBTHK(Nihon Bijyutu Touken Hozon Kyokai) without being examined. In contrast, other sword makers need to pass a rigorous test to participate in this event. This fact also suggests he was a great swordsmith in modern times. There are only 39 Mukansa swordsmiths now since the exhibition started in 1955. This exhibition is held by NBTHK once a year, and modern swordsmiths compete for their craftsmanship there.
About Modern Swordsmith
There are around 150-200 registered swordsmiths in Japan today. To legally produce Japanese swords, one needs to pass the national exam given by the Agency for Cultural Affairs(Bunka-Cho) and receive the license. Before taking the exam, one must finish his or her apprenticeship under a licensed master for more than five years.
Those who practice Iaido(居合道) tend to use those modern swords, and there are modern Japanese sword collectors nationwide.
The modern Japanese sword makers are researching old ways to forge swords and trying to recreate ancient-style swords. They are the ones who keep the tradition of Japanese history alive.
If you like to know the detail measurement of this Katana, please feel free to contact us.
Cutting Edge Length(Nagasa)： 80.5 cm( 31.7 inches)
Curvature(Sori)： 2.0 cm (0.79 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.
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.
Dragons are designed for this Fuchi Kashira. Bright golden paint is applied to these dragons; it makes this Fuchi Kashira looks gorgeous. Initially, the dragon is an imaginary creature found in ancient traditions or myths. Furthermore, it is regarded as a symbol of auspicious signs. Its body is likened to nine animals: antlers are deer, the head is a camel, eyes are demons, the neck is a snake, belly is the Mizuchi (蛟, mythical animal in Japan which looks like a snake and have a horn and four legs), scales are fish, claws are falcons, palms are tigers, and ears are cows. It was thought that the dragon would reign at the top of all animals because of its odd-looking appearance.
Tsuka and Menuki：Tsuka is the handle of the Japanese sword and Menuki is its decoration.
By seeing from the gaps of the Tsukamaki thread, we think two men are the motifs of this Menuki. It is challenging to judge who they are; they are probably characters in some stories or legends.
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.
Yotsu-Mokkou-shaped Tsuba that has Kozuka and Kougai holes. A tiger rests under the bamboo. In Japanese, this is a classical theme called the Take Tora Zu (竹虎図). The tiger seems to be looking for something to prey on, conveying a sense of tension. 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 boys’ healthy growth by using the tiger pattern.
Saya：Saya is the scabbard for the Japanese sword.
Authentication Paper：NTHK-NPO Kanteisho Certificate for the blade
NTHK, also known as NPO Nihon Touken Hozon Kai, is the oldest organization for sword authentication of Japanese swords in modern times. It was established in 1910 during the post-Samurai era. They authenticated the blade on May 18th in the 26th year of Heisei (2014). 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 : Tokyo 311581
The Board of Education in Tokyo 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.
【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 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.