Nihonto: Antique Japanese Swords

My name is Darcy Brockbank and I am a life member of the Nippon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (NBTHK). I collect, buy and sell authentic antique Japanese swords: katana, tanto, tachi and other sword related items, and I am also an author and photographer. You can contact me by using the contact button on the upper right hand corner of this website or try me at the following address:

I specialize in the sale of high grade antique, authentic Japanese swords that have met my personal criteria for quality, and interest. These are usually items that have passed the stringent requirements to be awarded Juyo Token (Important Sword) or Tokubetsu Juyo Token (Extraordinarily Important Sword) by the NBTHK in Japan. If this is the first time you have encountered these terms, you can read about them more in my nihonto ratings article.

The swords I buy for my inventory are usually shown for the first time in the western market, having come from Japanese collections. Items not owned by me are highlighted as the property of collectors, as I do not advertise or speculate for other dealers on a commission basis.

I maintain a mailing list for occasional updates if you want to join. I'll announce items that are coming in or sometimes flash sales.

E-mail:

Please read this statement about buying or trading swords, it covers your rights and mine, and the extent of my guarantee and return policy. The act of sending me funds for purchase is your implicit agreement to these terms, so please read them.

Blog: The Cutting Edge

I started a blog tentatively called The Cutting Edge. Subject to change in case I am stepping on someone's toes who is using this phrase. Basically I am going to use this to write down my thoughts and experiences regarding collecting, attributions, the sword market, and general advice.

Coming Soon

  • Mutsu no Kami Tadayoshi (Shinto, Sandai, Sai-jo O-wazamono) katana with fine koshirae (submitting for Juyo)
  • Osafune Kencho ('Kanenaga', Nanbokucho, Juyo Token)
  • Yamato Shizu Kaneuji (Nanbokucho, Choshu Mori daimyo blade, Tokubetsu Juyo Token)
  • Hizen Tadakuni (Shinto, Tokubetsu Hozon, 2 body cutting test)
  • Sakakura Masatoshi (Koto, Muramasa school, very long katana with koshirae
  • Heianjo Nagayoshi (teacher of Muramasa) katana + koshirae
  • Goto Tokujo Mitokoromono of dragons (TH, Juyo Candidate)
  • Gassan Sadakatsu katana (Hozon) with nice horimono.
  • Soshu Yukimitsu katana (Juyo) from the Hotta Roju, advisors to the Shogun.

Available Items

Hagiya Katsuhira

Joko (Superior Craftsman)

End of Edo (ca. 1850)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Tosogu

A dynamic dragon from the late Edo master, Katsuhira.

-new- $27,500-

Ko-Yamashiro Gojo

Sai-jo/Jo-jo Saku

Heian Koto (ca. 1040)

NBTHK Juyo Token

An ancient sword, and one of the very few works left that represent the Ko-Yamashiro schools of Sanjo and Gojo. On consignment.

-new, please enquire-

Saeki Norishige

Sai-jo Saku

Late Kamakura Koto (ca. 1320)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A flamboyant tanto from one of the pillars of the Soshu tradition, accompanied by koshirae.

$60,000 $44,000 reduced!

Legacy Care Kit

A smart, modern, sword care kit. Click on the image to go to the blog post for details.

Free to New Sword Clients.

Yoshioka Mitokoromono

Late Edo (ca. 1800)

NTHK Kanteisho

A well preserved mitokoromono, bearing the family symbol of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

$9,500

Kamakura Ichimonji Suketsuna

Sai-jo Saku

Kamakura Koto (ca. 1280)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A very rare katana from the Kamakura Ichimonji branch of Fukuoka Ichimonji, by one of the founding fathers of the Soshu swordsmiths. On consignment.

$54,000

Soshu Hiromitsu

Sai-jo Saku

Nanbokucho Koto (ca. 1360 – 1375)

NBTHK Juyo Token (tsuba Hozon Tosogu)

Very rare example of the pillar of the Nanbokucho Soshu tradition, in hitatsura and complete with koshirae. Property of a private collector, on consignment.

$55,000

Omi Daijo Tadahiro

Jo-jo Saku, O-wazamono

Kanbun Edo Shinto (ca. 1661)

NBTHK Hozon Token

A long katana by one of the famous Hizen smiths. On consignment.

$15,000

Reference Archive

These are a selection of items that have previously been on my site, included for education and enjoyment.

Saeki Norishige

Sai-jo Saku

Late Kamakura Koto (ca. 1332)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon New Juyo Token Session 63 (passed for the buyer)

A beautiful katana by one of the best Soshu smiths.

-sold-

Osafune Kagemitsu

Sai-jo Saku

Late Kamakura Koto (ca. 1315)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon New Juyo Token Session 63 (passed for the buyer)

A work with vivid utsuri by the best maker of Bizen tanto.

-sold-

Soshu Yukimitsu

Sai-jo Saku

Late Kamakura Koto (ca. 1303)

NBTHK Juyo Token new Tokubetsu Juyo Token Session 24 (passed for the buyer)

One of the finest blades made by Soshu Yukimitsu, in the style of his teacher Shintogo Kunimitsu.

-sold-

Sekishu Naotsuna

Late Kamakura / Early Nanbokucho (ca. 1334)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A healthy and gorgeous example of Soshu-den from one of the famous Masamune Juttetsu.

-sold-

Rai Kuniyuki

Early to Mid Kamakura Koto (ca. 1250)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Juyo Token

A nearly mint condition katana made by the founder of the famous Rai school, from the golden era of the Japanese sword. Top ranked at Tokubetsu Juyo.

-sold-

Kaga Goto

Mid Edo (ca. 1700-1750)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Tosogu

A shakudo tsuba of deeply carved dragons by the Kaga branch of the famous Goto school.

-sold-

Hatakeda Moriie

Sai-jo Saku

Middle Kamakura Koto (ca. 1259)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A finely mounted tachi by the famous Kamakura period grandmaster.

-sold-

Goto Mitsuyoshi

Late Edo (ca. 1810)

NBTHK Hozon Tosogu

Charming menuki in the theme of fish by the 15th main line master Mitsuyoshi (aka Goto Shinjo), and signed.

-sold-

Omori Terumitsu

Edo (ca. 1790)

NBTHK Hozon Tosogu

Kirin over waves, done in the famous Omori style.

-sold-

Hasebe

Jo-jo Saku

Middle Nanbokucho Koto (ca. 1356)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Juyo Token

A massive, brutal katana from the Soshu/Yamashiro Hasebe school, ranked at the highest level.

-sold-

Ko-Hoki

Heian Koto (ca. 987 - 1050)

NBTHK Juyo Token

An ancient katana about a thousand years in age, from the school that inspired and challenged Masamune and Norishige to create their masterpieces.

-sold-

Omori Terumitsu

Edo (ca. 1790)

NBTHK Hozon Tosogu

Rare work of dragons by the 3rd head of the Omori school.

-sold-

Ko-Bizen Tomonari

Sai-jo Saku

Late Heian Koto (ca. 987 – 1185)

NBTHK Juyo Token

The first of eight accepted at the Juyo level by the NBTHK as works of Ko-Bizen Tomonari, the founder of the Bizen tradition. An extremely precious and ancient blade, its maker very rarely seen. Polished by the Living National Treasure togishi Ono Kokei.

-sold-

Kyo-Kinko

Edo (ca. 1600-1800)

NBTHK Hozon Tosogu

Solid gold shi-shi menuki from the Kyoto region. On consignment.

-sold-

Owari Nobuie

Muromachi/Momoyama Koto (ca. 1580)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Tosogu

A nice signed work by Nobuie, one of the two top makers of iron tsuba. Featuring the mon of Hideyoshi and the Emperor.

-sold-

Ko-Mino

Muromachi (ca. 1550)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Tosogu

A pair of large solid gold menuki with deeply carved dragons from the early Mino artisans.

-sold-

Hasebe Kunishige

Chu-jo Saku

Nanbokucho Koto (ca. 1370 – 1380)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token

A Soshu beautiful tanto in hitatsura by the 2nd generation Hasebe Kunishige, accompanied by koshirae.

-sold-

Shibata Ka

Showa, 1945

A heartfelt katana copying Ichimonji by the scion of the wealthy Shibata, a member of government, sculptor, sword researcher, military man, and known as the shining star of gendai swordsmiths. On the nakago is inscribed a poem of honorable death in the service of the Empire, made during its fall.

-sold-

Hizen Yukihiro

Jo Saku

Kanbun Shinto (ca. 1675 )

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token

A shinto katana from the well known Hizen school, complete with koshirae.

-sold-

Ayanokoji Sadatoshi

Sai-jo Saku

Early Kamakura (possibly late Heian) Koto (ca. 1200)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A long tachi of 75cm, almost ubu, a treasure from the beginning of the Kamakura period. Property of a private collector.

-sold-

Aoe Tsugunao

Jo-jo Saku, Ryo-wazamono

Nanbokucho Koto (ca. 1352)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A long tachi of 77cm with rare katana-mei from the top smith of the middle Aoe school, in nearly mint condition.

-sold-

Ko-Goto Joshin

Late Muromachi (ca. 1540)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Tosogu

A whimsical futatokoromono in shakudo by the 3rd mainline Goto master Joshin.

-sold-

Araki Tomei

Late Edo (ca. 1850)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon

A fuchigashira in Tomei's famous style of millet and hakogaki by Kuwabara Yohiro.

-sold-

Yosozaemon Sukesada

Sai-jo Saku, O-wazamono

Muromachi Koto (1537)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A rare and flamboyant hitatsura katana made by one of the best smiths of the Muromachi period, in the style of his most famous work. (I recently bought this out from the owner who had it on consignment.)

-sold-

Kano Natsuo

Late Edo (1858)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Tosogu

Gorgeous menuki of crashing waves by the peerless Imperial Craftsman Kano Natsuo. Published in the Natsuo Taikan, and in his sketchbook.

-sold-

Aoe Sadatsugu

Jo-jo Saku

Late Kamakura Koto (ca. 1326)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A beautiful Aoe school katana with kinzogan mei by Honami Kokyu, accompanied by Edo period Tokugawa samurai koshirae and solid gold Aoi mon habaki.

-sold-

Osafune Mitsutada

Sai-jo Saku

Middle Kamakura Koto (ca. 1250)

NBTHK Juyo Token

An extremely important signed tachi from the founder of the Osafune school, the highly praised smith Mitsutada. Property of an American collector on consignment.

-sold-

Shodai Hizen Tadayoshi

Sai-jo Saku, Sai-jo O-wazamono

Early Edo Shinto (1616)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token

A stunning and rare naginata work of Shodai Tadayoshi made in the early part of his career.

-sold-

Suishinshi Masatsugu

Late Edo (1850)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token

A massive tachi of 76cm in the style of Norishige, mounted as a katana in original mounts, by the third generation master of the Suishinshi school. Featured in the Shinshinto Taikan.

-sold-

Chikuzen Samonji

Sai-jo Saku

Early Nanbokucho Koto (ca. 1340)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A rare, beautiful and healthy Soshu tanto by the famed Great Sa. Ensuite with koshirae.

-sold-

Soshu Masatsugu

Middle Muromachi Koto (ca. 1500)

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Token

An Esoteric Buddhist blade devoted to the Shingon sect. In top condition, a good example of the Sue-Soshu school.

-sold-

Osafune Nagashige

Jo-jo Saku

Early Nanbokucho Koto (ca. 1330 – 1340)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A huge magnificent Nanbokucho tachi, 79cm or 31 inches, by the very rare first maker of the Soden Bizen style and producer of Honami Kotoku's favorite tanto.

-sold-

Omori Mitsutoki

Late Edo (ca. 1800 – 1830)

NBTHK Juyo Toso

An incredible original daisho set by the Omori artist Mitsutoki. One of only 55 daisho koshirae awarded Juyo by the NBTHK. Particularly rare, and beautiful. Property of a private collector.

-sold-

Hizen Tadayoshi

Sai-jo Saku, Sai-jo O-wazamono

Early Edo Shinto (1632)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A rare kenjo-mei katana custom ordered by the Nabeshima Daimyo clan. Bearing his final art name Tadahiro and the last date of his career, and gold inlaid two body cutting test by Yamano Nagahisa. An exquisite package complete with koshirae.

-sold-

Rai Kunimitsu

Sai-jo Saku

Late Kamakura - Nanbokucho Koto (ca. 1320 – 1340)

NBTHK Juyo Token

An excellent and dignified katana by the Yamashiro grand master.

-sold-

Fukuoka Ichimonji

Sai-jo Saku

Middle Kamakura Koto (ca. 1260)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A stunning katana with radiant utsuri by the top school of Ichimonji. Accompanied by Honami Kochu origami and koshirae.

-sold-

Shizu Saboro Kaneuji

Sai-jo Saku

Kamakura Koto (ca. 1320)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A masterpiece katana from the famous student of Masamune, and founder of the Mino tradition. Kinzogan mei, and a former possession of the noble Konoe clan.

-sold-

Koyama Munetsugu

Jo-jo Saku

Late Edo Shinshinto (1854)

Tanobe Michihiro sayagaki, and a guarantee of passing NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon

A consigned katana by the top Bizen tradition smith of the late Edo period, accompanied by koshirae.

-sold-

Ko-Osafune Norimitsu

Jo Saku

Late Kamakura Koto (ca. 1303)

NBTHK Juyo Token

A rare katana from the student of Bizen Nagamitsu, with kinzogan attribution by Honami Kokan. On consignment.

-sold-

Hosho Sadakiyo

Jo-jo Saku

Late Kamakura Koto (ca. 1330)

NBTHK Juyo Token

One of the very few signed works of the Yamato Hosho school to survive to the present day. Excellent, typical work of this school. Ex. Han Bing Siong collection.

-sold-

Rai Kunitoshi

Late Kamakura (ca. 1310)

NBTHK Hozon Token

A beautiful Rai tanto with gold maki-e koshirae and kozuka by Goto Mitsumasa.

-sold-

Experimental: Automatic Translation