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NBTHK papers

NBTHK sword papers

An introduction to NBTHK Japanese sword certifications and rankings.
Winged dragon tsuba

Winged dragon tsuba

A fine and unusually large tsuba. Attributed to Hizen by the NBTHK.
Kunikiyo wakizashi with horimono tested by Yamano 2 body cut

Kunikiyo wakizashi, Yamano test cut

A wakizashi by master Kunikiyo, tested by the most famous sword tester of 17th century Japan.
Kunikiyo logo

Kunikiyo (國清)

A line of Japanese swordsmiths working in Echizen.
Kinai tsuba logo

Fine Kinai dragon tsuba

Made by the Kinai group of Echizen, who originated as horimono carvers.
Sukesada logo

Bizen Sukesada

A group of sword makers in Bizen, Japan, active in the Muromachi period.
Yosozaemon Sukesada

Yosōzaemon jo Sukesada (与三左衛門尉祐定)

A Japanese swordsmith from Osafune, Bizen, who lived from 1466-1542.
Sukesada

Sukesada uchigatana made August 1523

With a sayagaki by Honma sensei attributing it to Yosozaemon.
Jumonji yari

Jūmonji yari (hozon)

A fine cross-shaped yari made by Enju Nobakatsu, with NBTHK Hozon papers.
Yari logo

Yari (槍)

Japanese word for spear or spearhead
Kusabi-hi logo.

Kusabi-hi (楔樋)

Japanese term for an irregular hamon sometimes found on spearheads
Yajirigata yari

Yajirigata yari (鏃形槍)

Japanese for arrowhead-shaped spearhead
Mitsuhiro yari logo

Yari with kusabi-hi

Large Japanese spearhead with red lacquered zig-zag groove. Signed Mitsuhiro.
Otateage suneate with Dutch goudleer logo

Suneate with Dutch leather

A pair of Samurai shin protectors finished with Dutch "goudleer".
Handachi wakizashi

Handachi mounted wakizashi

With Nanban-style guard and kozuka. Signed Fujiwara Hisayoshi.
Momoyama kabuto

Golden kabuto with iron menpo

A striking battle helmet from the Momoyama period of 1568-1600 A.D.
Uchigatana logo

Uchigatana (打刀)

Japanese word for a single-handed curved sword, the predecessor of the katana.
Nanban style ship tsuba signed Hishu Kanesada logo

Signed nanban style ship tsuba

Signed by an artist named Kanesada from Higo.
Tetsugendo Seiryuken Eiji tsuba

Seiryūken Eiju dragon tsuba

Tetsugendo school. Round plate with discoid cross-section, chiseled with dragons.
Hamon logo

Hamon (刃文)

Japanese term for the temperline on a blade, typically achieved by differential heat treatment.
Peony karakusa tsuba

Peony karakusa tsuba

Executed in "nanban style" openwork with chiseled and gold-encrusted peonies.
Sawasa style guard logo

Sawasa style iron guard

Unusual piece with depiction of a foreign figure.
Chysanthemum tsuba

Iron chrysanthemum tsuba

Large example with gold and silver overlay.
Dragon gate guard logo

Unusual dragon gate guard

Asian sword guard of unknown origin, modified in Japan.
Canton tsuba

Japanese tsuba in Canton style

Also known as Kwanto-gata, with two facing dragon chasing a pearl.
Daruma tsuba logo

Daruma tsuba

A peculiar tsuba with a depiction of Bodhidharma and two dragon chasing a pearl.
Kunihiro wan-gata tsuba

Wan-gata tsuba by Kunihiro

Its outer surface is decorated with interlocking swastikas and family crests.
Nanako logo

Nanako (魚子/斜子)

The Japanese name for punched, dotted surface finishes on metal.
Shakudo logo

Shakudō (赤銅)

A Japanese alloy containing copper and gold.
Rooster fight kozuka logo

Rooster fight kozuka

Executed in gold and silver on a shakudō nanako base, with golden back.
Nanban kogai and kozuka called futakoromono

Nanban kogai & kozuka set (futakoromono)

The only set of its type known to me in both private and museum collections.
Ainu sword hilt logo

Ainu sword hilt

Made of wood, with a silver ornamental fitting of remarkable workmanship.
Ainu sword logo

Ainu sword in Japanese polish

Exceedingly rare Ainu sword. Comes in an old Japanese collection box.
Kankyuto

Kankyûtô (貫級刀/貫首刀)

Japanese word for a samurai tool.
Kankyuto logo

An Edo period kankyûtô

A double-edged samurai tool with morbid origins.
Kozuka

Kozuka (小柄)

Japanese name of a small utility knife worn in sword and dagger scabbards.
Nakago kozuka logo

Signed nakago kozuka

A by-knife for a Japanese sword, with a hilt shaped like a sword tang.
Japanese uchidashi armor plate logo

Japanese steel plate

Worked in repousse, possibly once part of an ornamental piece of armor.
Burmese hilted wakizashi in Indian scabbard logo

Wakizashi in Burmese hilt

An unusual cross-cultural mix, blending Burmese, Japanese and Indian parts.
Mail coif

Kusari zukin (鎖頭巾)

Japanese name for the hood of a mail armor set.
Japanese mail jacket

Kusari katabira (鎖帷子)

Japanese name for a jacket of mail armor.
Mail logo

Kusari gusoku (鎖具足)

Japanese word for mail armor.
Japanese mail logo

Kusari (鎖)

Japanese word for "chain", also used to describe mail armor.
Japanese mail kusari zukin

Kusari katabira zukin

Japanese mail set, with small ring vest and coif sewn to a thick cotton undergarment.
Tsuba logo

Tsuba (鍔 / 鐔)

Japanese name for a sword guard.
Chinese pierced sword guard logo

Qing openwork saber guard

A very rare Chinese saber guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty.
Yari logo

An interesting Japanese yari

Signed Yasutsugu, with sayagaki referring to the Tokugawa family.
Inome logo

Inome (猪目)

"Boar's eye", a heart-shaped pattern commonly used in Japanese art.
Kogai

Kōgai (笄)

The Japanese term for a hair arranging pin that was worn in Japanese sword scabbards.
Wari kogai

Wari-kōgai (割笄)

The Japanese term for a hair arranging needle that can be split to form a pair of chopsticks.