We are dedicating this post to a good friend of ours, Pablo Kuntz, founder of Unique Japan, who has kindly allowed us to showcase his antique Japanese sword catalog volume 40. Unique Japan are fine art dealers based in Tokyo and publish one of the highest quality Japanese sword catalogs available, with photographs by Eric Bossick. We must stress that while you, our subscriber can download this fine catalog, you are prohibited from sharing the catalog or posting on social media. This is a request from the publishers. Thank you for understanding.
All of the Japanese swords are either. available with price displayed or have a sold sticker. They can be legally owned and exported outside of Japan. All swords have certification papers (origami) such as from NBTHK and/or the NTHK-NPO. More information is inside the pages of the detailed catalog and if you have questions they can be answered at uniquejapan.com
A Naotane ‘3-Body Cutting Test’ Katana
We cannot highlight every sword in the catalog here, but we showing you an example of a rare and valuable sword, photo above. This sword is signed and dated from the Shinshinto period – Bunka era: October 6th 1815. This katana was commissioned by a samurai from the swordsmith grandmaster Taikei Naotane. This museum-worthy jûyô tôken blade has performed an ultra-rare 3-body cutting test – see below. This appears to be the only jûyô token cutting test piece in existence that can make this claim.
The swordsmith Taikei Naotane used his student Shigetane to test the sword’s sharpness and strength, by cutting through a human body, known as tameshigiri. This method was as close to reality as possible and usually they would use convicted criminals who have been sentenced to death (carried out prior to the test cutting). This katana was able to cut cleanly through three bodies, making it very rare indeed.
This blade performed a tameshigiri (cutting test) severing three human bodies in one stroke. This feat alone is rare and impressive. However, what makes this katana extra special is that the test was completed by Naotane’s master student, Sawara Shigetane – a swordsmith – not by a professional sword tester. And that it was commissioned by a Hatamoto-ranked samurai.
To give further perspective, of the circa 12,000 jûyô tôken certified swords, there are only about 130 swords with a tameshigiri cutting test. And of those 15 are anonymous, that is, they only record the cut that was performed and/or the number of bodies the blade cut through. Eight were carried out by non-professional sword testers, e.g., certain samurai retainers who were testing swords for their fiefs.
Details of authentication
Swordsmith: Taikei Shôji Naotane (shodai, first generation)
Measurements: Length: 69.9cm (ubu) Curvature: 2.1cm Motohaba: 2.9cm
Jihada: Densely forged ko-itame with ji-nie, fine chikei, and midare-utsuri
Hamon: Ko-nie-laden gunome with a wide, bright, and clear nioiguchi mixed with many ashi
Certificate: 60th NBTHK Jûyô Tôken (designated as Profound and Important)
Certificate #2: NTHK-NPO Kanteisho (a koshirae designated as Authentic)
Fujishiro: Saijô-saku (grandmaster swordsmith, highest rank)
Authentication: Sayagaki by Tanobe-sensei (Tanobe Michihiro)
Included: Shirasaya, Edo-period koshirae, stand, kit, booklet, printed description
Download the Japanese Sword Catalog
Exclusive to our subscribers, click above to download the Japanese sword Catalog number 40. Please do not share this PDF or upload to social media. Thank you.
Art of the Japanese Sword Trailer
The Japanese sword … prized as much for its exceptional beauty as for it’s deadly cutting ability. It has endured for a thousand years as the pinnacle of Japanese culture. Now you can enter a world rarely seen by outsiders. To experience the true story of the Art of the Samurai Sword. A story told in the swordsmiths own words that separate the myth from the fact. Go to movie: Art of the Japanese Sword.