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NBTHK Shinsa Standards

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The following is a translation of the NBTHK's Shinsa standards. This was published in March of 2006 (issue # 590) in Token Bijutsu, the official publication of the NBTHK. The original document consists of three parts. Token, toso and tosogu. The translation below is of the Token section only.


Hozon Token

1)  Edo and earlier blades with correct mei, or mumei blades on which the time period, kuni and group can be identified, may receive Hozon paper.

2)  Blades that meet the criteria given above can receive Hozon paper even if they are slightly tired or have kizu, as long as those may be permissible in their appreciation.

3)  For Nambokucho and earlier zaimei blades by famous smiths, re-temper can be permissible if the blade is valuable as a reference, and if the jiha and nakago are sufficiently well preserved. However, this has to be documented in the paper.

4)  Repair on jiha is permissible, unless it significantly impairs the beauty of the blade.

5)  Blades made in Meiji and Taisho periods, and those by recently deceased smiths, can receive Hozon paper only when the blade is well made, zaimei and has a ubu-nakago.

6)  Blades are put to "reservation" if a decision could not easily be made on the authenticity of the mei. This also applies to mumei blades in which an attribution is difficult to make.

7)  Blades with hagiri may not receive Hozon paper.

Tokubetsu Hozon Token

1)  Blades with Tokubetsu Kicho, Koshu Tokubetsu Kicho or Hozon papers with good workmanship and state of preservation can receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper, except for the following:

a. Either zaimei or mumei blades may not receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper if they are significantly tired, have kizu or repair which impairs beauty of the blade.

b. Re-tempered blades may not receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper unless they were made by famous smiths and their values are extremely high as a reference.

c. Edo period works by less famous smiths with mid or lower grade workmanship may not receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper.

d. Muromachi and Edo period mumei blades may not receive a Tokubetsu Hozon paper, as a rule. However, if a blade shows good workmanship, attributable to a famous smith, having ubu-nakago, and in good preservation, it may receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper.

e. Suriage cut-mei Edo blades may not receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper.

f. Blades with hagiri may not receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper.

* Among blades that received a Hozon paper in item 5 above, that may be considered the maker's best quality, these may receive a Tokubetsu Hozon paper.

Juyo Token

1)  Blades made in a period from Heian to Edo, having Tokubetsu Kicho, Koshu Tokubetsu Kicho, Hozon or Tokubetsu Hozon papers, of extremely high quality workmanship and state of preservation, and judged as close to Juyo Bijutsuhin, may receive Juyo Token paper.

2)  Blades that meet the criteria given above and made in or before Nambokucho may receive Juyo Token paper even if they are mumei. Blades made in Muromachi and Edo periods, as a rule, have to be ubu and zaimei to receive Juyo Token paper.

Tokubetsu Juyo Token

Among Juyo Token, the ones of excellent quality and superior condition, judged as the same as the top level Juyo Bijutsuhin, or conceivable as equivalent value as Juyo Bunkazai, may receive Tokubetsu Juyo Token paper.

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Professor Frenzel for pointing out the importance of this information and to Dr. Wada for his reviewing of the draft.

Please visit the URL below to view this information on the NBTHK's web site.