One of the current activities of the NBSK public foundation is the issuance of Certificates of Authenticity for newly made Japanese Swords (Tachi, Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto).
Sword Certification History
The various appraisal circles of the antique world, many fakes have been uncovered since ancient times. It is no different in the Japanese sword world.
Long ago, the Hon’ami family issued authenticating certificates called ‘origami’ that became the standard for appraisal. However, those origami were mainly used for distribution between shoguns and daimyo family members, and are generally irrelevant today.
After the war, many swords (including old masterpieces) were released from the collections of daimyo and other famous families. These swords came into the ownership of general public, and the number of sword enthusiasts increased rapidly. Subsequently, various sword organizations began issuing appraisal or certification certificates that quickly became a standard for enthusiasts and the general public to increase the worth of their swords. It can be said, that this recognition of swords as art was unique to Japan.
Unfortunately, it is a well-known fact that the number of fakes of the work of currently active famous swordsmiths has increased. Until now, there has never been an appraisal/authenticating certificate from a public organization that verifies the work of modern swordsmiths. However, from June 2021, NBSK started issuing ‘Newly Made Japanese Sword Certificate’s to maintain the value, and trust in the sword industry of modern swordsmiths’ works. Additionally, this certificate is produced bilingually (Japanese/English) for the benefit of overseas sword enthusiasts.
Since the Second World War, modern swordsmiths have steadily improved upon their skills and artistic quality. Due to their unremitting efforts, they have been producing excellent works. So far in modern Japanese sword history, six swordsmiths have been designated with the title of Living National Treasure. With such a backdrop, the work of modern swordsmiths in particular surely requires authentication. With this in mind, these certificates will soon become increasingly valuable data for modern swords.
Therefore, we call upon all sword enthusiasts, traders and craftsmen alike to order New Made Japanese Sword Certificates. We would be extremely happy that if through these certificates a new standard is created to increase the reliability and value of Japanese swords for everyone.
Overview of the issuing process of a certificate
① Modern swordsmiths interested in using our certificates register with our association and we then issue certificates for their swords on a per sword request basis. By registering their works with us, the data will be recorded and accumulated by our association for future reference. Please note, that there are some swordsmiths who do not wish to list their names on the website. If would like to confirm, please contact the NBSK head office by E-mail.
② If you wish to order a certificate (for example, if you already own a modern sword by a modern swordsmith), please contact the NBSK head office for information on the monthly schedule and reception place. After that, we will carry out an appraisal of the work and if it meets the requirements, issue a ‘Newly Made Japanese Sword Certificate’ in a special presentation case.
* Certificate issuance fee: 30,000 jpy (+ 10% consumption tax) per blade.
③ If you purchase a sword that has one of our certificates, but you have some doubts if it is the same sword as in the certificate, please send the sword and certificate to us. We will confirm if it is correct or not by referring to other data that is not displayed on the certificate.
* Inquiry fee: 20,000 yen (+ 10% consumption tax) per blade.
※ For further details, please see the homepage or contact the head office via email.
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Sword Culture (N.B.S.K.)
301 Takasho Heights, 2-4-7 Akabane Minami, Kita-ku, Tokyo 115-0044, Japan.