How does buying a genuine sword from Japan work?
Japanese swords are, as is true with any piece of historical art, a wonderful investment for interacting directly with a unique and cherished blade that has truly come to represent the spirit of bushido. Each item is unique to its period in time, its smith, and even unique unto itself from all others. Each item is like an exquisite painting, in that each carried with it the vision of the smith who labored with fire, hammer, and anvil to bring the shape and depth of the steel to life.
Like all the vibrant colors used in a fresco, the darkness and shimmering steel is contrasted and brought to the surface by the togishi or “sharpener.” Each item has seen history unfold before it. Perhaps being carried on horseback across the fields of battle or through the castle gates of ancient Japan and adored by the samurai who wielded them. These items are now available to you, to appreciate in much the same way; and they are brought to you by a reliable partner in helping to preserve and bring Japanese culture to the world, Tozando.
Finding the sword for you.
Whether you are looking for a centerpiece, looking to start collecting, or hoping to expand an existing collection, purchasing a sword is an important decision. We are fully committed to helping you find the perfect item for you. From the Kamakura Period Tachi with thin, elegant lines and a wonderful curved sori, to the Late Edo Bakumatsu swords with thick piercing blades and shallow sori design; there are a multitude of swords to choose from to find the one to make your own. As each of our swords has received a certificate authenticating it by the Nippon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai or “The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords” you can rest assured knowing each sword has been expertly reviewed and deemed authentic and worthy of preservation as a cultural art piece.
At the bottom of each of our antique sword pages is a form that can easily be submitted to let us know of the interest you have in a sword. We will use the required information to check all the shipping requirements for getting the sword to you and the cost of this as well as all the necessary processing fees that will apply. Please take care to enquire with your local authorities and customs agencies to see what requirements your country has for importing and owning one of these items.
Purchasing Your Sword
We of course accept the full payment for the item, shipping, and processing up front, we also accept down payments on items (non-refundable) to then make the item on hold for you while we begin the processing of the item for you. This will usually be 20% of the cost of the sword but may vary by the item in question. We are more than happy to work with those interested to create a mutually agreed upon payment plan to help get you the sword you are looking for.
Upon receiving the initial payment, we will then begin to file for the item to be made legal for export with the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs. All of this will be done by us on your behalf with no additional cost to you. As we have been dealing with the creation, acquisition, and sale of Japanese Swords for more than a decade, as well as have our very own brick and mortar Shogoin Japanese antique weapons shop here in Kyoto, we bring the highest level of trust and security to this process while treating each and every sale with the respect each of these swords deserve.
Shipment and Delivery
As these items are highly valued, historical works of art we make sure that the shipping options reflect this. Each item will be fully insured and shipped using methods that will ensure the item’s safe and smooth arrival to you, its new owner. All of this will be prepared by Tozando staff, here in Kyoto, Japan.
The item is delivered
You are now the owner of a piece of Japanese history. A genuine weapon adored and honored for hundreds of years and wielded by some of the most adept warriors the world has ever seen!
Nippon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai
This organization was created following World War II with and is authorized by the Government of Japan. Created in the hopes of saving Japanese swords from being lost or destroyed, the NBTHK verifies the provenance of swords and also grades each sword to a level of cultural significance as a work of art. The level of certification does not dictate the price of the item per se, but higher quality items will likely also demand more substantial prices. Currently, three ranks are given to these items:
This simply means that the item is not an imitation and is a genuine work by a historical Japanese smith. It is therefore worthy of preservation and given the necessary qualifications to be bought and sold on the Japanese market.
These swords will usually possess a special quality, such as being from a famous smithing school, individual smith, or be of exceptional quality and beauty.
JUYO TOKUBETSU HOZON
These items are particularly important works. Few swords receive this title and will very likely carry a price tag equal to their exceptional beauty.