Japanese sword has been one of the most important and respected culture in Japan. We pay great respect to our ancestors who have kept a mind pursuing artistic significance as well as developing practical function. We believe that we have responsibility to take over this national asset to the next generation and help people in the world understand its beauty. Also we strongly feel we have to take necessary action to conserve Japanese sword in the right way.
(The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords) was founded in February 1948 as an authorised foundation by the government in order to save Japanese sword that was in a critical situation of total destruction when the Occupation Forces tried to confiscate all the Japanese swords from Japanese people just after World War II. Also the Sword Museum that belongs to the NBTHK was built and opened in May 1968 with co-operation and financial support of its members.
It is our purpose that we conserve Japanese swords that have artistic value and make them be open to the public. Also we support the preservation and the development of sword forging and polishing techniques as well as koshira making as intangible cultural assets. Meanwhile, we make all possible effort to investigate and secure the material of Japanese sword and help people in studying Japanese sword appreciation.
Main Activities and Services
Purpose of the NBTHK
Main Activitys and Services
- Conservation project of Japanese art swords : Judge swords owned by the members and issue certificates of 'Hozon Token', 'Tokubetsu Hozon Token', 'Juyo Token' and 'Tokubetsu Juyo Token'.
- Shinsakuto (Newly-made sword) Exhibition : Hold 'Shinsakuto Exhibition' every year in order to spread shinsakuto and promote sword forging technique then award 'Toku-sho', 'Yushu-sho' and 'Doryoku-sho' prizes. All swords are displayed at the Sword Museum but ones rejected by the judges. (They are also displayed in Osaka too.)
- Sword Polishing and Koshirae (including habaki and shirasaya) Making Competition : Hold Sword Polishing and Koshirae Making Competition every year then they are displayed at the Sword Museum but ones rejected by the judges.
- Nittoho Tatara (NBTHK Smelter) : In order to succeed in the production of tamahagane that is indispensable material for sword forging, we restored traditional tatara operation and provide swordsmiths with tamahagane.
- Projects training successors of traditional craftsmen like sword polisher, shirasaya maker, habaki maker and horimono chaser.
- We have courses of lectures for members in order to give them correct information of sword conservation and grade up their knowledge of Japanese sword also display fine Japanese swords on the second floor of our building.
- The NBTHK publishes monthly magazine 'Token Bijutsu' and it includes study reports of members, publicity of NBTHK's projects, information of branch members, sword attribution and sword appreciation.
- NBTHK's organisations : Three organisations of All Japan Swordsmith Society, Art Sword Polishing Technique Preservation Society and Art Sword Mounting Technique Preservation Society belong to the NBTHK. They play an important part in training successors of the craftsmen in each field with the government subsidy.