The system for non-profit making foundations was first introduced in 1896, over 110 years ago, by the Meiji government. On the 1st of December 2008, the Japanese government greatly revised the system and enforced a new set of laws. In December 2008, in accordance with these new laws, we established a general foundation called the Nihonto Bunka Shinko Kyokai Public Foundation (The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Sword Culture (NBSK)). We applied for the status of ‘Public Foundation’ to the Cabinet Office in March 2009 and was officially designated as a ‘Public Foundation’ by the prime minister in December 2009.

It is our intention to perform various activities to promote Japanese art and culture to generate public interest.

Japanese swords attract a deep interest and are highly valued outside of Japan today. We also understand that there is an intense desire to learn about their cultural value and beauty.

The Japanese Sword is a representative symbol of the culture of Japan and a mirror reflecting the soul of the Japanese. We hope to successfully promote Japanese sword culture and that people will be able to enrich their minds through the taking an interest in Japanese swords. The Japanese sword culture is an intellectual asset and concept that has been fostered and inherited throughout our history. Also we spare no effort to add new substance to this admirable tradition.

We believe that it is our obligation to succeed to the tradition and culture of the Japanese sword, which has been passed down for over a thousand years. We must also create a new value for the sword in modern society and introduce it to the world as a treasure for all human beings. We hope people who share these ideals will join us and we can take a step forward in the promotion of Japanese sword culture.

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Sword Culture (NBSK)

President Shunji Yanai


[Board members of  The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Sword Culture (NBSK)]

  • President, Special adviser and Counselors
President Yanai Shunji Former Ambassador to the USA, Judge: International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
Special adviser Kawabata Terutaka Advisor: The Association for the Research and Preservation of Japanese Helmets and Armor , President: Honganji Japonisme Academy, Visiting Professor: Kanazawa Institute of Technology
Honorary Chairman Hon’ami Koshu National Living Treasure Japanese Sword Polisher
Consultants Gassan Sadatoshi Swordsmith, Consultant: The All Japan Swordsmiths Association, Intangible Cultural Property of Nara Prefecture
Consultants Takayama Kazuyuki Master Sword Mountings Artisan, Nationally Appointed Conservationist of National Treasures, Advisor: The Society for the Preservation of Sword Mounting Techniques
  • Board of Trustees
Iida Yoshio CEO: Iida Koendo Co., Ltd
Izumi Koshiro Master Sword Fittings Artisan
Ito Masanobu Rep: Mark’s Guide, Former Director: Mitsui & Co.
Inami Kenichi CEO:JAPAN SWORD Co., Ltd
Kamata Kimiko Manga Writer
Kawachi Ippei Swordsmith, Director: All Japan Swordsmiths Association
Nishikawa Mitsuo Lawyer, Sword Enthusiast
Hasegawa Akihiko Sword Enthusiast, President & CEO: Sankei Giken Kogyo Co., Ltd
Hiruta Michiko Antique Dealer
Paul Martin Former Curator: British Museum, Japanese Sword Specialist
Morii Tetsutaro Japanese Sword Polisher
  • Board of Directors and Inspectors
Chairman of the board of Director Ono Yoshimitsu Master Japanese Swordsmith
Managing Director Watanabe Yoshio President & CEO WATAKI Co., Ltd, Vice-President: Kokusai Tosogu Kai
Executive Directors Koga Makio Special-Consultant for Japan Airport Buildings, Senior-Advisor: Morgan Stanley Securities
Executive Directors Miyairi KozaemonYukihira Master Japanese Swordsmith, Chairman: All Japan Swordsmiths Association
Executive Directors Hasegawa Masashi Sword Enthusiast, President: Sankei Giken Holdings Co., Ltd
Executive Directors Watanabe Tsunetsugu Japanese Sword Polisher
Directors Kenmochi Naotoshi Master Sword Mountings Maker
Directors Hirano Nobuo Sword Enthusiast, President & CEO Bless You
Directors Fukami Nobuhiko Head Director; All Japan Sword Traders Association
Directors Hon’ami Masao Japanese Sword Polisher, Sword Licensing Officer for the City of Tokyo
Directors Mori Takahiro Master Sword Mountings Maker
Inspectors Sasatsu Mitsugu Sword Enthusiast, Vice-CEO: Conti
Inspectors Takita Tsukasa Former Tax Adviser, Consultant: Real Estate


  • Curator
Ikuta Kyoko Former curator: Gakushuin University Museum of History
Researcher: Kokusai Tosogu Kai


  • Researcher
Paul Martin Former Curator: British Museum, Japanese Sword Specialist
  • Head Office Secretary General
Takamori Kunihiko Head Secretariat

[Mission statement]

Purposes and Activities of The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Sword Culture (NBSK)

This foundation contributes to the conservation of Japanese swords, the training of sword craftsmen and endeavours to develop Japanese sword culture with the spirit and intention of protecting the cultural properties of Japan. The NBSK contributes to the promotion of Japanese culture both inside and outside Japan. To accomplish the above purposes, it is our intention to implement the activities described below.

  1. Conserve traditional sword craftsmanship and foster its successors.

  2. Host sword exhibitions, training courses of sword craftsmanship, lecture meetings, etc.

  3. Research traditional craftsmanship and collect relevant data and present papers.

  4. Promote the traditional culture of Japan.

  5. Create publications to distribute information related to Japanese sword culture, traditional craftsmanship and Japanese culture.

  6. Other activities to accomplish the mission of the foundation.

Current activities serving for public interest

  1. Support to the training courses for swordsmiths and other craftsmen.

  2. Sword and tosogu (sword fittings) appreciation meetings.

  3. Training course of sword and tosogu handling for museum curators.

  4. Co-host the Omamori-katana Exhibition with the All Japan Swordsmiths Association.

  5. Co-host sword fittings exhibitions and international symposiums with the Kokusai Tosogu Kai (KTK).

  6. Host an annual competition and exhibition of swordsmiths and other sword craftsmen.