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Latest Japanese Swords, Tsuba & Fittings To Be Added Soon. Plus Over A Dozen WW2 Shingunto Officer’s Swords, Some With Ancient Ancestral Family Blades

Latest Japanese Swords, Tsuba & Fittings To Be Added Soon. Plus Over A Dozen WW2 Shingunto Officer’s Swords, Some With Ancient Ancestral Family Blades

Dozens of fine swords and tsuba waiting to be added to our web store, Some fine rare and ancient pieces, several of museum quality. Though we do show just a few added in the past couple of days.

We sincerely apologise for the slowness in adding our new acquisitions, but we are buying several dozen pieces a day but often only have time to add several a day to our web store. Plus, at the same time, assisting our hundreds, sometimes thousands, of visitors every day {except Sunday} with their queries, questions and purchases.

**** Due notice! Brighton will be swamped with an extra few hundred thousand visitors on Pride Weekend this coming 3rd and 4th of August. Just as last year, we closed for the day, as all the main town centre access roads will be closed from Friday night until Sunday evening. It was a fabulous weekend for all the local service shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, hotels etc. but the retail stores will mostly close. If you are visiting Brighton then, enjoy, it is a wonderful experience, and great joy and fun will be had by all. Our top floor web-store office and apartments will be open as usual 24/7, for the whole weekend, but not the ground floor-gallery shop. But, you can contact us here by phone, or email the partners wherever they may be anytime. But please be patient for a reply.
Our family representatives are travelling to Tokyo by personal invitation on Monday, then hopefully Beijing China in two weeks time, {the Microsoft update of doom permitting}. They have also been invited to see the Brighton & Hove Albion, aka the ‘Seagulls’ in Tokyo, and watch them play the ‘Kashima Antlers’ in the Japanese National Stadium on Wednesday. Good Luck Seagulls!.
These visits may bear interesting fruit, we will hopefully let our Far East Artefact collectors know in mid August.  read more

Code: 25371

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A Very Beautiful & Incredibly Elegant Koto Katana Art Sword Circa 1500, With Very Fine All Original Edo Koshirae, of Finely Decorated Shakudo, Combined With Exceptional Urushi Lacquer Work.

A Very Beautiful & Incredibly Elegant Koto Katana Art Sword Circa 1500, With Very Fine All Original Edo Koshirae, of Finely Decorated Shakudo, Combined With Exceptional Urushi Lacquer Work.

Very fine original Edo period fittings, mokko gata tsuba and saya. Shakudo fuchi-kashira, decorated with a wonderfully defined little long armed monkey reaching for the moon's reflection in a stream. The long armed monkey is on the kashira, the stream and moon are on the fuchi. ‘The Monkey Reaching for the Moon’, fuchi-kashira, depicts a delightful little monkey hanging from a tree branch over the surface of water, reaching down to touch the reflection of the moon. This imagery is undoubtedly derived from a popular Buddhist story that warns how the spiritually unenlightened cannot distinguish between reality and illusion.

Shakudo and gold menuki of artistically bound reeds, with a fine mokko-shaped Higo school iron tsuba with a raised mimi {edge}, and a black beautiful ishime urushi lacquered saya with matching copper ishime koiguchi, kurikata and kojiri, {scabbard mountings}.

It has a very fine 25.25 inch blade, measured tsuba to tip. Typical Koto style and period, extremely elegant blade with fine graduation, beautiful curvature and iconic Koto form small kissaki. it has a superb complex hamon and grain {with just a few light surface fingerprint stains that we can have removed}.

Some provinces of Japan were famous for their contribution to the ishime style of urushi lacquer art: the province of Edo (later Tokyo), for example, produced the most beautiful lacquered pieces from the 17th to the 18th centuries. Lords and shoguns privately employed lacquerers to produce ceremonial and decorative objects for their homes and palaces.
The varnish used in Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the urushi tree, also known as the lacquer tree or the Japanese varnish tree (Rhus vernacifera), which mainly grows in Japan and China, as well as Southeast Asia. Japanese lacquer, 漆 urushi, is made from the sap of the lacquer tree. The tree must be tapped carefully, as in its raw form the liquid is poisonous to the touch, and even breathing in the fumes can be dangerous. But people in Japan have been working with this material for many millennia, so there has been time to refine the technique!
Flowing from incisions made in the bark, the sap, or raw lacquer is a viscous greyish-white juice. The harvesting of the resin can only be done in very small quantities.
Three to five years after being harvested, the resin is treated to make an extremely resistant, honey-textured lacquer. After filtering, homogenization and dehydration, the sap becomes transparent and can be tinted in black, red, yellow, green or brown.
Once applied on an object, lacquer is dried under very precise conditions: a temperature between 25 and 30°C and a humidity level between 75 and 80%. Its harvesting and highly technical processing make urushi an expensive raw material applied in exceptionally fine successive layers, on objects such as bowls or boxes, or as you see, samurai sword saya {scabbards}. After heating and filtering, urushi can be applied directly to a solid, usually wooden, base. Pure urushi dries into a transparent film, while the more familiar black and red colours are created by adding minerals to the material. Each layer is left to dry and polished before the next layer is added. This process can be very time-consuming and labour-intensive, which contributes to the desirability, and high costs, of traditionally made lacquer goods. The skills and techniques of Japanese lacquer have been passed down through the generations for many centuries. For four hundred years, the master artisans of Zohiko’s Kyoto workshop have provided refined lacquer articles for the imperial household. It is extraordinary that a finest urushi lacquer saya would have taken up to, and over, a year to hand produce, by some of the most finely skilled artisans in the world.

Shakudo {that can be used to make samurai sword mounts and fittings} is a billon of gold and copper (typically 4-10% gold, 96-90% copper) which can be treated to form an indigo/black patina resembling lacquer. Unpatinated shakudo Visually resembles bronze; the dark colour is induced by applying and heating rokusho, a special patination formula.

Shakudo was historically used in Japan to construct or decorate the finest katana fittings such as fuchi-kashira, tsuba, menuki, and kozuka; as well as other small ornaments. When it was introduced to the West in the mid-19th century, it was thought to be previously unknown outside Asia, but recent studies have suggested close similarities to certain decorative alloys used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

The above descriptions show just why the finest Japanese fully mounted swords can be referred to as ‘Art Swords’, not because they were made just to be items of incredible beauty, to admire and revere, but also as useable everyday swords to be worn by highest status samurai and clan lords, that are also statements of the status of the wearer, as well as of the finest beauty and artistic merit..  read more

Code: 25351

7450.00 GBP

A Spectacular Museum Quality Wakazashi Art Sword Sue Seki School Of Seki City in Mino Province, Central Japan, Of The 1500's. All Original, Very Fine Edo Fittings, Of Pure Gold Decorated Shakudo & NBTHK Papers

A Spectacular Museum Quality Wakazashi Art Sword Sue Seki School Of Seki City in Mino Province, Central Japan, Of The 1500's. All Original, Very Fine Edo Fittings, Of Pure Gold Decorated Shakudo & NBTHK Papers

This sword has a Hozon certificate issued by NBTHK. This authentication paper was only given to Japanese swords, worth preserving by Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai(the Society for the Preservation of the Japan Art Sword).

Sueseki refers to the sword makers who forged swords from Mino province at the end of the Muromachi Period.The Mino swordsmiths style, also known as Mino-Den, basically has the Togari (Pointed shapes protruding from the Hamon ) in a classic straight line and random temper line with some white Utsuri. Mino-Den had its origin from Yamato-Den in the late Kamakura period(1280-1330). It flourished in the Muromachi period(1333-1573) and continued until the Edo period(1603-1868).

Mino-Den especially prospered during Sengoku Jidai (Warring State period) due to the high demand for weapons. And the location of Mino province beat others. Akechi Mitsuhide controlled Mino province, and Nobunaga Oda ruled Owari province, and Tokugawa Ieyasu was the lord of Suruga (Neighboring areas). There was high demand from those powerful feudal lords and their retainers.
Furthermore, so many wars occurred between the Kanto region and the Kyoto area, and Mino is located in the middle, making feudal lords feel convenient to order swords from Mino-Den. The blades forged in Mino provinces {now called Gifu Prefecture} also had the reputation of its practical design and sharpness. Many feudal lords demanded swords forged in the Mino province.

Koto blade circa 1550, superb midare hamon, and iconic itame hada, fully bound tsuka with shakudo fuchi-kashira decorated with prunus blossom in gold, shakudo and gold and shakudo menuki, circular shakudo tsuba decorated with prunus and pine branches, gold details on a nanako ground, contained in its black ishime lacquered saya stunningly decorated with scrolling waves, with a fine shakudo nanako kodzuka decorated with pine cones in two colour gold.
Nanako Ji: "fish roe ground" A surface decoration produced by forming very small raised bosses by a sharply struck punch or burin called 'nanako tagane'. Shakudo is the metal most often used, but copper and gold are quite often employed. The harder metals, shibuichi, silver and iron are rarely decorated in this way. The size of the dots vary from 0.04" to 0.008" (25 to 125 and inch) and the regularity of the work is marvellous as the dots must be spaced entirely by touch. The dots are usually arranged in straight lines or in lines parallel to the edge of the piece being decorated, but sometimes in more elaborate patterns. Used on guards since the Momoyama period although the technique existed since much earlier periods. Usually done by specialist 'nanako-shi', but sometimes done by the maker of the guard himself.

Shakudo is a billon of gold and copper (typically 4-10% gold, 96-90% copper) which can be treated to form an indigo/black patina resembling lacquer. Unpatinated shakudo Visually resembles bronze; the dark color is induced by applying and heating rokusho, a special patination formula.

Shakudo Was historically used in Japan to construct or decorate katana fittings such as tsuba, menuki, and kozuka; as well as other small ornaments. When it was introduced to the West in the mid-19th century, it was thought to be previously unknown outside Asia, but recent studies have suggested close similarities to certain decorative alloys used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

The above descriptions show just why the finest Japanese fully mounted swords can be referred to as ‘Art Swords’, not because they were made just to be items of incredible beauty, to admire and revere, but also as useable everyday swords to be worn by highest status samurai and clan lords, that are also statements of the status of the wearer, as well as of the finest beauty and artistic merit

99% of our swords left Japan in the 1870's so none have the traditional 'papers' issued post WW2. And have never returned to Japan for papering. However, as with this sword, we acquire swords from serious collectors who have either sent swords to Japan for papering, or, had a sword papered before it arrived in the UK, such as this sword, that was papered almost 20 years ago.
The blade has its 28th June 2007 Hozon papers of the NBTHK  read more

Code: 25345

8950.00 GBP

The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists

The Lanes Armoury, As Well As Being Referred To As Britain’s Favourite Antique Store, After Being Family Traders For Four Generations Over 100 Years, We Are Europe’s Leading Original Samurai Sword Specialists

We are the leading and pre-eminent original samurai sword specialists in the whole of Europe, in fact we know of no other specialists outside of Japan, and likely within it, that stock anywhere near the quantity of our selection. Constantly striving to achieve the very best for all our clients from around the world, our solution demanded a holistic approach and a strategic vision of what can be achieved. A solution that has effectively taken over 100 years in the making, and thus in order to be improved upon, it is evolving, constantly. However, never forgetting our old fashioned values of a personal, one to one service, dedicated for the benefit of our customers.

We even had the enormous privilege, to own and sell, although, sadly, only very briefly, thanks to the kind assistance of the most highly esteemed Japanese sword expert in England, Victor Harris, an incredibly rare and unique sword, an original, Edo period, traditionally hand made representation copy of the most famous Japanese sword in world history, the Japanese National Treasure, Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi (草薙の剣). It is a legendary Japanese sword and one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan. It was originally called Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi (天叢雲剣, "Heavenly Sword of Gathering Clouds"), but its name was later changed to the more popular Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi ("Grass-Cutting Sword"). In folklore, the sword represents the virtue of valour. Victor stated it was the only example he had ever seen, possibly an official Imperial commission, to create a faithful, identical copy of the most treasured sword ever made in Japan’s history. A sword used in the coronation of the Emperor, yet even the emperor is not permitted to see it, only to place his hand upon it under a ceremonial silk cloth.
Our one time advisor, Victor Harris, was Curator, Assistant Keeper and then Keeper (1998-2003) of the Department of Japanese Antiquities, at the British Museum. Studied 1968-71 under Sato Kenzan, Tokyo National Museum and Society for the Preservation of Japanese Swords. We fondly remember many brainstorming sessions on our Japanese swords with Victor and our late colleague, Chris Fox, here in our store .

After well over 50 years personal experience as a professional dealer by Mark, since 1971, and David’s over 40 years, we are now recognised as Europe’s leading samurai sword specialists, with hundreds of swords to view and buy online 24/7, or, within our store, on a personal visit, 6 days a week. In fact we know of no better and varied original samurai sword selection for sale under one roof outside of Japan, or probably, even within it. Hundreds of original pieces up to 800 years old. Whether we are selling to our clients representing museums around the globe, the world’s leading collectors, or simply a first time buyer, we offer our advice and guidance in order to assist the next custodian of a fine historical Japanese sword, to make the very best and entirely holistic choice combination, of a sword and it’s fittings.

But that of course is just one small part of the story and history of The Lanes Armoury, and the Hawkins brothers, as the world famous arms armour, militaria & book merchants

Both of the partners of the company have spent literally all of their lives surrounded by objects of history, trained, almost since birth in the arts, antiques and militaria. Supervised and mentored, first by their grandfathers, then their father, who left the RAF sometime after the war, to become one of the leading antique exporters and dealers in the entire world. Selling, around the globe, through our network of numerous shops, warehouses, and antique export companies, in today’s equivalent, hundreds of millions of pounds of our antiques and works of art.

Both Mark and David were incredibly fortunate to be mentored by some of the world’s leading experts within their fields of antiques and militaria. For example, just to mention two of Mark’s diverse mentors, one was Edward ‘Ted’ Dale, who was one of Britains most highly respected and leading experts on antiques, he was chief auctioneer and managing director in the 1960’s and 70’s of Bonham’s Auctioneers of London, now one of the worlds highest ranked auction companies, and at the other end of the spectrum, there was Bill ‘Yorkie’ Cole, the company’s ‘keeper of horse’, who revelled in the title of the company’s ‘head stable boy’, right up until his 90’s, in fact he refused to retire, he simply ‘faded away’. He controlled our stables and dozens of horse drawn vehicles up to the 1970’s. He was a true Brighton character, whose experiences in the antique trade went way back to WW1, and, amongst other skills, he taught young Mark, as a teenager in the 1960’s, to drive a horse drawn pantechnicon with ‘Dolly’, Britain’s last surviving English dray horse that was trained for night driving in the ‘blackout’ during the blitz. See a photo of the company pantechnicon and 'Dolly' in the gallery

Mark has been a director and partner in the family businesses since 1971, specialising in elements of the family business that varied from the acquisition and export of vintage cars, mostly Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Aston Martins and Lagondas, to America, to the complete restoration and furnishing of a historical Sussex Georgian country Manor House for his late mother from the ground up, but long before that he was handling and buying swords and flintlocks since he was just seven years old, obviously in a very limited way though, naturally.

David jnr, Mark’s younger brother, also started collecting militaria when he was seven, in fact he became the youngest firearms dealer licence holder in the country, and it was he that convinced Mark that concentrating on militaria and rare books was the future for our world within the antique trade, and as you will by now guess, history, antiques, books and militaria are simply in their blood.

Thus, around 40 years ago, they decided to sell their export business and concentrate where their true hearts lie, in the world of military history and its artefacts, from antiquity to the 20th century. From fine and rare books and first editions, to antiquities and the greatest historical and beautiful samurai swords to be found. One photo in the gallery was one of the rarest books we have ever had, some years ago, a Great Gatsby Ist edition they can now command up to $360,000

One photo in the gallery is of Mark, some few years ago with his then new lockdown companion at the farm, ‘Cody’, named after Buffalo Bill naturally. Cody is now somewhat bigger! .Another photo is of two of our ten company trucks photographed just after their delivery from the signwriters. As you can see we always enjoyed a very old fashioned British tradition of having our vehicles fully liveried, hand sign written and artistically painted by our local and very talented artisans. Vehicles that ranged from our many horse drawn vehicles, to our 1930’s Bedford generator lorry that doubled up during WW2 as a mobile searchlight for the local anti-aircraft artillery installations, and then to our more modern fleet from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. The green liveried Leyland truck in the photograph was hand painted with a massive representation of the scene of the chariot race from Chuck Heston’s movie spectacular Ben Hur, and on the other side a huge copy of Lady Butler’s Charge of the Heavy Brigade. Each painting took over three months to complete. When we called Chuck in America to show him the completed livery, painted in his honour, he was delighted and very impressed and promised to visit us again to see it personally in all its glory, sadly his filming schedules for his 1970’s blockbuster disaster movies such as ‘Earthquake’ prevented it. Chuck was recommended to us years before by one of his co-stars in Solyent Green, one of Hollywood’s true greats, {alongside Chuck} Edward G. Robinson, who used to buy, undervalued {then}, impressionist paintings from David snr in the 1960’s.  read more

Code: 24364

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A Superb, Gendaito, Japanese Traditionally Hand Made Officer's Katana By A Famous Gendaito Sword Maker, & Signed Ichihara Ichiryushi Nagamitsu, With His Kakihan, and Silver Clan Kamon Of the Fujii

A Superb, Gendaito, Japanese Traditionally Hand Made Officer's Katana By A Famous Gendaito Sword Maker, & Signed Ichihara Ichiryushi Nagamitsu, With His Kakihan, and Silver Clan Kamon Of the Fujii

In excellent condition overall, the signed blade bearing the smiths signature with his personal kakihan at the bottom of his name. A kakihan is a rarely seen feature that is a personal symbol for the smith, that can either take the form of a chisel engraved kanji on the nakago or a seal stamp, at the base of the tang, beneath the signature, this is a rare and exclusive personal identification mark. One can see it clearly in the photo of the signature on the blade in the gallery, it is the last kanji at the bottom beneath his name. Kakihan can also be found used by tsuba makers. The blade shows a very fine hamon and is in original superb polish, and all the traditional WW2 sword fittings are very good plus. Metal saya covered in combat leather. The tsuka bears a very good silver kanji clan kamon crest, of the Fujii family of traditional samurai.

Nagamitsu is one of the most famous names in the history of Japanese swords. There have been various swordsmiths named Nagamitsu who worked from the mid 1200’s through the 1940’s. The most famous of them worked in Bizen, although swordsmiths by this name are recorded as having worked in Satsuma, Yamato, Yamashiro and other locations.

Ichihara Ichiryushi Nagamitsu worked during the Showa Era in the 1930’s and 1940’s. He was the one of the famous gendaito smiths who was often thought to be the so-called Director of Okayama Prison, and who men under his control to make fine gendaito known as Emura swords. However, some now believe this is not the case.

It has been established that Nagamitsu was a participant in the first Army Shinsakuto Exhibition held in 1944, in which he entered under the name of Ichihara Nagamitsu. Nagamitsu resided in Okayama and is mentioned in the Tosho Zensho by Shimizu which lists him as a Rikugun Jumei Tosho (Army approved swordsmith) and as a member of the Rikugun Gunto Gijutsu Tenrankai. He was awarded the Kaicho-sho prize at a sword competition held by Riku-gun Gunto Sho-rei Kai before the war.

Some Nagamitsu blades will have a small, faint “saka” stamp on the nakago or nakago-mune. This indicates a blade made for the Osaka Rikugun Zoheisho (Osaka Army Arsenal). Several smiths including Ichihara Nagamitsu, Gassan Sadakatsu, Kawano Sadashige and Kosaka Masayoshi made blades for the Osaka Rikugun Zoheisho.

Swordsman Saruta Mitsuhiro, head of the Musashi Dojo Ryuseika of Osaka, used a blade made by Ishiryushi Nagamitsu to perform kabutowari (helmet cutting). The blade successfully cut several centimeters into the iron plate helmet without sustaining significant damage, thus demonstrating the excellent quality and resilience of Nagamitsu’s swords.
This hand forged katana is a finest quality Gendaito, made by a Kaicho-sho prize winning swordsmith  read more

Code: 25370

3950.00 GBP

An Original Edo Period, 1598 to 1873, Samurai Bowman's War Arrow {Tagari Ya} With Forged Steel Head, Sea Eagle Feathers, and Yadake Bamboo Haft

An Original Edo Period, 1598 to 1873, Samurai Bowman's War Arrow {Tagari Ya} With Forged Steel Head, Sea Eagle Feathers, and Yadake Bamboo Haft

The arrow tip is a traditional tamagahane steel hand made long arrow head, with folding and tempering exactly as would be a samurai sword blade, possibly signed on the tang under the binding but we would never remove it to see. The Togari-Ya or pointed arrowheads look like a small Yari (spear) and were used only for war and are armour piercing arrows . Despite being somewhat of a weapon that was 'fire and forget' it was created regardless of cost and time, like no other arrow ever was outside of Japan. For example, to create the arrow head alone, in the very same traditional way today, using tamahagane steel, folding and forging, water quench tempering, then followed by polishing, it would likely cost way in excess of a thousand pounds, that is if you could find a Japanese master sword smith today who would make one for you. Then would would need hafting, binding, and feathering, by a completely separate artisan, and finally, using eagle feathers as flights, would be very likely impossible. This is a simple example of how incredible value finest samurai weaponry can be, items that can be acquired from us that would cost many times the price of our original antiques in order to recreate today. Kyu Jutsu is the art of Japanese archery.The beginning of archery in Japan is pre-historical. The first images picturing the distinct Japanese asymmetrical longbow are from the Yayoi period (c. 500 BC – 300 AD).
The changing of society and the military class (samurai) taking power at the end of the first millennium created a requirement for education in archery. This led to the birth of the first kyujutsu ryūha (style), the Henmi-ryū, founded by Henmi Kiyomitsu in the 12th century. The Takeda-ryū and the mounted archery school Ogasawara-ryū were later founded by his descendants. The need for archers grew dramatically during the Genpei War (1180–1185) and as a result the founder of the Ogasawara-ryū (Ogasawara Nagakiyo), began teaching yabusame (mounted archery) In the twelfth and thirteenth century a bow was the primary weapon of a warrior on the battlefield. Bow on the battlefield stopped dominating only after the appearance of firearm.The beginning of archery in Japan is pre-historical. The first images picturing the distinct Japanese asymmetrical longbow are from the Yayoi period (c. 500 BC – 300 AD).
The changing of society and the military class (samurai) taking power at the end of the first millennium created a requirement for education in archery. This led to the birth of the first kyujutsu ryūha (style), the Henmi-ryū, founded by Henmi Kiyomitsu in the 12th century. The Takeda-ryū and the mounted archery school Ogasawara-ryū were later founded by his descendants. The need for archers grew dramatically during the Genpei War (1180–1185) and as a result the founder of the Ogasawara-ryū (Ogasawara Nagakiyo), began teaching yabusame (mounted archery) Warriors practiced several types of archery, according to changes in weaponry and the role of the military in different periods. Mounted archery, also known as military archery, was the most prized of warrior skills and was practiced consistently by professional soldiers from the outset in Japan. Different procedures were followed that distinguished archery intended as warrior training from contests or religious practices in which form and formality were of primary importance. Civil archery entailed shooting from a standing position, and emphasis was placed upon form rather than meeting a target accurately. By far the most common type of archery in Japan, civil or civilian archery contests did not provide sufficient preparation for battle, and remained largely ceremonial. By contrast, military training entailed mounted maneuvers in which infantry troops with bow and arrow supported equestrian archers. Mock battles were staged, sometimes as a show of force to dissuade enemy forces from attacking. While early medieval warfare often began with a formalized archery contest between commanders, deployment of firearms and the constant warfare of the 15th and 16th centuries ultimately led to the decline of archery in battle. In the Edo period archery was considered an art, and members of the warrior classes participated in archery contests that venerated this technique as the most favoured weapon of the samurai.

The arrows are made using yadake bamboo (Pseudosasa Japonica), a tough and narrow bamboo long considered the choice material for Japanese arrow shafts called no. The black {now faded to brown} and white feather flights {hane} are likely Steller's sea eagle feather. Period 1599 -1863. it is the essential munition of an archer.

Ya used in war by the samurai had a variety of tips called yajiri or yanone; these arrowheads were forged using the same steel (tamahagane) and methods as traditional Japanese swords. There are many different kinds of arrowhead and they all have their own special name. Togari-ya is a simple pointed design. The yanagi-ba, also known as "willow-leaf", is known for its elegant design. Karimata have a unique split point, and are sometimes referred to as "rope-cutters". The barbed "flesh-torn" is known as watakushi. The tagone-ya is shaped like a chisel. Kaburi-ya was used for signalling and creating fear with the loud whistling noise it would produce.

Ya were large enough that they could be signed on the tang by the fletcher in the manner of Japanese swords.

The no are made from yadake bamboo and can have different shapes – straight or tapered – depending on the use of the arrow in long-distance shooting or target practice. Lighter arrows can lose their stability when shot from a strong bow, heavier arrows have a trajectory that arcs more. Typically they use bamboo from the Kanto area. This is for a purely practical reason: bamboo will not grow fast enough in a cold area and the joints are too close together, whereas in a warm area the bamboo grows too fast and the joints are too far apart; the Kanto area has a moderate climate which makes the joints the perfect distance apart. The joints of the shaft help with the balance. After harvesting, bamboo continues to change in size and shape so it must rest for 2+1⁄2 to 3 years after cutting before it can be used. When it has aged the proper time the bamboo should provide a good tight grip around the tang of the yanone. The bamboo is tempered in a special kiln similar to the Viking beehive style and straightened with a tool called a tomegi, or "tree tame", which is also used when creating bamboo fishing poles. The appearance of the no varies; some are plain, while others glisten with red lacquer. The proper length is measured from the archer's throat to five centimeters beyond the tip of the outstretched left hand.

Fletching
The arrows are fletched with hane (feathers) about fifteen centimetres in length, and originally when made fletching can be the most expensive part of the arrow. Traditionally, the outermost tail feathers of large birds of prey were considered the finest. Many of these birds are now endangered – in particular the sea eagle – and therefore feathers of lesser eagles, swans, geese or even turkeys are being used in modern times. On the other hand, owl feathers were never used, as they were thought to be bringers of misfortune. Feathers from either the left and right wing may be used; these wing feathers naturally curve left or right. Ya with feathers from the left wing are called haya and they spiral clockwise, whereas ya made from the right wing feathers are called otoya and they spiraled counter-clockwise.

Nock
The nock or hazu is often made from goat or deer horn and archers file the slot to match the diameter of their own bowstring. Older or ceremonial ya can have bamboo nocks.

The sea eagle feathers are somewhat tired and worn, but considering their age, likely 200 to 300 years old, they have survived very well indeed.

The last photo in the gallery is another, display mounted, Edo takari ya just to illustrate how long the tang would be on our arrow head that is concealed by the haft.  read more

Code: 25356

SOLD

A Stunning Edo Period Chisa Katana, Art Sword With A Most Beautiful Original Edo Saya Decor of Gold Nishiji Lacquer Flowers Over An Abilone Shell Infused Black Urushi Lacquer Ground. The Blade With Suguha Hamon And Wonderful Hada Grain.

A Stunning Edo Period Chisa Katana, Art Sword With A Most Beautiful Original Edo Saya Decor of Gold Nishiji Lacquer Flowers Over An Abilone Shell Infused Black Urushi Lacquer Ground. The Blade With Suguha Hamon And Wonderful Hada Grain.

This is a most impressive sword of superb elegance with all original Edo koshirae fittings and mounts that compliment each other beautifully.

The tettsu plate tsuba has takebori multi coloured gold leaves tumbling down the branches of a weeping willow, with a pair of swallows in flight swooping above a rolling river. The fuchi kashira are takebori shi-shi lion dogs in gold on a Nanako ground. Shakudo and gold menuki over black tsukaito.
The blade is late Koto to early Shinto, and shows a most attractive and impressive grain, almost a blending of two styles, the Mokume Hada, this is based on Itame hada using a different hammer blow to produce whorls yet it also verges on a Shitahara Hada. A Shitahara-hada shows conspicious uzumaki burls along the centre of the blade, i.e. along the shinogi-ji or the center of the ji if in hira-zukuri. But these burls might also appear more towards the ha or in an irregular manner, that means as isolated large burls in places.
However, in truth, it takes about 10 to 15 times fold depending on the methods used by the swordsmith. With every fold, the strength of the sword increases.

The gold flower lacquer decor on the saya has very elegant black pen-work defining upon every leaf and flower. The result of such fine and technical craftsmanship is incredibly pleasing to the eye. With the finest abilone infused black urushi beneath and clear urushi upon the outer whole, it is a saya of incredible beauty.
Japanese lacquer, or urushi, is a transformative and highly prized material that has been refined for over 7000 years.
Cherished for its infinite versatility, urushi is a distinctive art form that has spread across all facets of Japanese culture from the tea ceremony to the saya scabbards of samurai swords
Japanese artists created their own style and perfected the art of decorated lacquerware during the 8th century. Japanese lacquer skills reached its peak as early as the twelfth century, at the end of the Heian period (794-1185). This skill was passed on from father to son and from master to apprentice.

Some provinces of Japan were famous for their contribution to this art: the province of Edo (later Tokyo), for example, produced the most beautiful lacquered pieces from the 17th to the 18th centuries. Lords and shoguns privately employed lacquerers to produce ceremonial and decorative objects for their homes and palaces.
The varnish used in Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the urushi tree, also known as the lacquer tree or the Japanese varnish tree (Rhus vernacifera), which mainly grows in Japan and China, as well as Southeast Asia. Japanese lacquer, 漆 urushi, is made from the sap of the lacquer tree. The tree must be tapped carefully, as in its raw form the liquid is poisonous to the touch, and even breathing in the fumes can be dangerous. But people in Japan have been working with this material for many millennia, so there has been time to refine the technique!
Flowing from incisions made in the bark, the sap, or raw lacquer is a viscous greyish-white juice. The harvesting of the resin can only be done in very small quantities.
Three to five years after being harvested, the resin is treated to make an extremely resistant, honey-textured lacquer. After filtering, homogenization and dehydration, the sap becomes transparent and can be tinted in black, red, yellow, green or brown.
Once applied on an object, lacquer is dried under very precise conditions: a temperature between 25 and 30°C and a humidity level between 75 and 80%. Its harvesting and highly technical processing make urushi an expensive raw material applied in exceptionally fine successive layers, on objects such as bowls or boxes.After heating and filtering, urushi can be applied directly to a solid, usually wooden, base. Pure urushi dries into a transparent film, while the more familiar black and red colours are created by adding minerals to the material. Each layer is left to dry and polished before the next layer is added. This process can be very time-consuming and labor-intensive, which contributes to the desirability, and high costs, of traditionally made lacquer goods. The skills and techniques of Japanese lacquer have been passed down through the generations for many centuries. For four hundred years, the master artisans of Zohiko’s Kyoto workshop have provided refined lacquer articles for the imperial household

Nanako Ji: "fish roe ground" A surface decoration on the swords fuchi kashira are produced by forming very small raised bosses by a sharply struck punch or burin called 'nanako tagane'. Shakudo is the metal most often used, but copper and gold are quite often employed. The harder metals, shibuichi, silver and iron are rarely decorated in this way. The size of the dots vary from 0.04" to 0.008" (25 to 125 and inch) and the regularity of the work is marvelous as the dots must be spaced entirely by touch. The dots are usually arranged in straight lines or in lines parallel to the edge of the piece being decorated, but sometimes in more elaborate patterns. Used on guards since the Momoyama period although the technique existed since much earlier periods. Usually done by specialist 'nanako-shi', but sometimes done by the maker of the guard himself

A katana was two shaku or longer in length (one shaku = about 11.93 inches). However, the Chisa katana is longer than the wakizashi, which was somewhere in between one and two shaku in length. The most common blade lengths for Chisa katana was approximately eighteen to twenty-four inches. They were most commonly made in the Buke-Zukuri mounting (which is generally what is seen on katana and wakizashi). The chisa katana was able to be used with one or even two hands like a katana. The Chisa Katana is a slightly shorter Katana highly suitable for two handed, or two sword combat, or, combat within enclosed areas such as castles or buildings. As such they were often the sword of choice for the personal Samurai guard of a Daimyo, and generally the only warriors permitted to be armed in his presence. Chisa katana, Chiisagatana or literally "short katana", are shoto mounted as katana.

The chisa katana was also the long sword of choice for the art of twin sword combat, using two at once in unison, a chisa katana and wakazashi, one in each hand, a form used by the great and legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi who reportedly killed 60 men before his 30th birthday.
Miyamoto Musashi 1584 – June 13, 1645), also known as Shinmen Takezo, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Doraku, was an expert Japanese swordsman and ronin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent, and unique double bladed swordsmanship and undefeated record in his 60 duels. He was the founder of the Hyoho Niten Ichi-ryu or Niten-ryu style of swordsmanship and in his final years authored the The Book of Five Rings, a book on strategy, tactics, and philosophy that is still studied today.

The blade is in old polish and superb condition for age with the tiniest of near invisible edge marks at the kissaki. The lacquer saya is also in fabulous condition for age with just very small surface losses in one area.

Every single item from The Lanes Armoury is accompanied by our unique Certificate of Authenticity. Part of our continued dedication to maintain the standards forged by us over the past 100 years of our family’s trading, as Britain’s oldest established, and favourite, armoury and gallery  read more

Code: 25316

7450.00 GBP

A Superb 500 Year Old Koto Era Muramachi Period Katana With Clan Mon  Of The Atagi Clan of Naval Samurai. Silver Habaki Engraved with the Atagi Crest Mon

A Superb 500 Year Old Koto Era Muramachi Period Katana With Clan Mon Of The Atagi Clan of Naval Samurai. Silver Habaki Engraved with the Atagi Crest Mon

Superb Koto blade in very fine polish showing stunning activity. When it first arrived the blade looked super but had a few very light old fingerprint stains, after two months away for conservation it now looks absolutely wonderful, likely just as it did when it left Japan after it was presented to an Englishman in the 1870’s. It has very fine quality Edo period shakudo and shibuishi mounts, including a fuchi decorated with takebori pure gold monkeys climbing a tree on a nanako ground.

Nanako Ji: "fish roe ground" A surface decoration produced by forming very small raised bosses by a sharply struck punch or burin called 'nanako tagane'. Shakudo is the metal most often used, but copper and gold are quite often employed. The harder metals, shibuichi, silver and iron are rarely decorated in this way. The size of the dots vary from 0.04" to 0.008" (25 to 125 and inch) and the regularity of the work is marvellous as the dots must be spaced entirely by touch. The dots are usually arranged in straight lines or in lines parallel to the edge of the piece being decorated, but sometimes in more elaborate patterns. Used on guards since the Momoyama period although the technique existed since much earlier periods. Usually done by specialist 'nanako-shi', but sometimes done by the maker of the guard himself.
A very similar example of a Fuchi with gold monkeys, possibly by the same Japanese craftsman, is in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore USA.

The kashira is decorated with gold and silver sea shells and sea grasses, and the tsuba has a shakado basket, a jingasa helmet and the ninja angle bladed hand weapon with chain called a Kusarigama, and a ninja shikome-zue a hidden sword disguised as a walking stick. Very fine pure gold decorated shakudo menuki under the Edo silk binding, and the Edo saya has a fine ishime stone finish lacquer. Very good and well defined gunome based on suguha hamon.

Used by a high ranking samurai retainer of the samurai Governor of Settsu, Fuyuyasu, who in his turn served as a highest rank retainer of the Miyoshi clan and a samurai Captain of the Awaji Navy. He was the third son of Miyoshi Motonaga and adopted by the Atagi clan. The Atagi were related to the Miyoshi clan and served the Mioyshi clan. They commanded ships for the Miyoshi clan crewed by samurai. Fuyuyasu served as captain of the Awaji Navy in support of the Miyoshi governance, but was killed by his eldest brother, Miyoshi Nagayoshi. There are many views and uncertainties regarding the reasons for the incident.

Fuyuyasu’s father, Motonaga, reached a settlement with Hosokawa Harumoto, in 1531, only to be killed the following year by monks acting in concert with Harumoto’s rival, Hosokawa Takakuni. Harumoto served as a sengoku daimyō and kanrei, or deputy shōgun, to Ashikaga Yoshiharu. Harumoto was the final kanrei of the Muromachi period to exercise real authority.

The Atagi clan served as the navy for Awaji Province. His older brother, Nagayoshi, was driven out of the Kinai and went to the island province of Awaji. Nagayoshi arranged for Fuyuyasu to be adopted by Atagi Haruoki, lord of the Atagi clan, and to become his successor.

On behalf of the Miyoshi clan, Nagayoshi led soldiers on battles in Settsu, Kawachi, and Izumi provinces. Fuyuyasu’s next eldest brother, Miyoshi Jikkyū, operated in Awa Province. Fuyuyasu served in Awaji, and his younger brother, Sogō Kazumasa, in Sanuki Province. Fuyuyasu participated in suppression actions near Ōsaka Bay, the Battle of Kitashirakawa against Hosokawa Harumoto in 1558, and the Battle of Kumeda against Hatakeyama Takamasa in 1562, causing the loss of his brother, Jikkyū. Fuyuyasu retreated to Awa, and just months later, prevailed against Takamasa at the Battle of the Kōkyō Temple in the Takayasu District of Kawachi Province.

Thereafter, Kazumasa, Jikkyū, and Miyoshi Yoshioki (Nagayoshi’s eldest son and Fuyuyasu’s nephew), all died in succession. Fuyuyasu made great efforts supporting Nagayoshi in a bid for survival of the Miyoshi family. Nevertheless, in 1564, Fuyuyasu was summoned to Iimoriyama Castle and forced to kill himself at the age of thirty-eight. His son, Atagi Nobuyasu, became his successor. The naval history of Japan began with early interactions with states on the Asian continent in the 3rd century BCE during the Yayoi period. It reached a pre-modern peak of activity during the 16th century, a time of cultural exchange with European powers and extensive trade with the Asian continent.
The Sengoku period (15th–16th century)
Various daimyo clans undertook major naval building efforts in the 16th century, during the Sengoku period, when feudal rulers vying for supremacy built vast coastal navies of several hundred ships. The largest of these ships were called atakebune. Around that time, Japan seems to have developed one of the first ironclad warships in history, when Oda Nobunaga, a Japanese daimyo, had six iron-covered Ō-atakebune ("Great Atakebune") made in 1576 . These ships were called tekkosen (鉄甲船), literally "iron armoured ships", and were armed with multiple cannons and large calibre rifles to defeat the large, but all wooden, vessels of the enemy. With these ships, Nobunaga defeated the Mori clan navy at the mouth of the Kizu River, near Osaka in 1578, and began a successful naval blockade. The O-atakebune are regarded as floating fortresses rather than true warships, however, and were only used in coastal actions. After over two centuries of self-imposed seclusion under the Tokugawa shogunate, Japan's naval technologies became outdated compared to Western navies. The country was forced to abandon its maritime restrictions by American intervention with the Perry Expedition in 1854. As to be expected the blade has a few light fingerprint stains. overall in saya 37.25 inches, blade tsuba to tip 26.3 inches long It is important to bear in mind, that due to the revered status that Japanese swords achieve for most of their working lives in Japan, that the condition they survive in can be simply remarkable. One can see just how remarkable it can be, by comparing the condition of this fine sword that was made around the same time as the early Tudor period of King Henry the VIIIth to any equivalent aged, surviving, early Tudor period sword, from any country outside of Japan, and that comparison will show just how fine any Japanese sword’s state of preservation, from the same era, truly can be.  read more

Code: 23644

7450.00 GBP

A Rare Japanese Edo Period Samurai War Bow 'Daikyū ' With Quiver 'Yabira Yazutsu' in a Cherry Bark Design, With Four Arrows 'Ya', Including A Rare Swallow Tail Arrow 'Ageha Ya', & A 'Tsurumaki' Functionary Yumi Rattan Bow String Holder

A Rare Japanese Edo Period Samurai War Bow 'Daikyū ' With Quiver 'Yabira Yazutsu' in a Cherry Bark Design, With Four Arrows 'Ya', Including A Rare Swallow Tail Arrow 'Ageha Ya', & A 'Tsurumaki' Functionary Yumi Rattan Bow String Holder

More photos to be added on Monday.
A wonderful original antique Edo period {1603-1863} Samurai long war bow Yumi, made in either yohonhigo or gohonhigo form {4 piece or 5 piece bamboo laminate core, that is surrounded by wood and bamboo, then bound with rattan and lacquered}
Edo Era, 1600 to 1700's, with different arrows, war and practice, three fixed with sea eagle feathers, one unfeathered, that fit into in a cherry bark lacquer quiver {yabira yazutsu} with four arrows {ya}, including a rare ageha swallow tail arrow. The ageha swallow tail arrows of this type appear mostly in the Kamakura period, the head may indeed be from that period. Experienced Kamakura archers were allowed to use arrows with the V-shaped swallowtail prong {ageha}. If armour is struck, it will splinter, so, the optimum target for a lethal blow on any opponent, wearing full traditional samurai armour (O-Yoroi), is the space just beneath the helmet visor that is often bare. It was once told to us by a very aged and respected Japanese sensei visitor, who was a master of Yabusame mounted archery, that to hit a samurai at the bridge of the nose, beneath his kabuto helmet peak, with the swallowtail ageha ya, it would penetrate both eyes at once. It may not be instantly lethal but the samurai would be immediately blinded, and thus have no function in combat.

The arrows are made using yadake bamboo (Pseudosasa Japonica), a tough and narrow bamboo long considered the choice material for Japanese arrow shafts. The black {now faded to brown} and white feather flights {hane} are likely Steller's sea eagle feather. Period 1599 -1863. The lidded quiver is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship in hardened lacquered tree bark pattern. A functionary yumi rattan bow string holder and string tsuru, it is an essential munition of an archer. Material is wooven rattan in spool shape used to wrap sinew string, often strapped with leather and horn. A functionary yumi rattan bow string holder is an essential munition of an archer.

These sets are very rarely to be seen and we consider ourselves very fortunate, indeed privileged, to offer one.
It was from the use of the war bow or longbow in particular that Chinese historians called the Japanese 'the people of the longbow'. As early as the 4th century archery contests were being held in Japan. In the Heian period (between the 8th and 12th centuries) archery competitions on horseback were very popular and during this time training in archery was developed. Archers had to loose their arrows against static and mobile targets both on foot and on horseback. The static targets were the large kind or o-mato and was set at thirty-three bow lengths and measured about 180cm in diameter; the deer target or kusajishi consisted of a deer's silhouette and was covered in deer skin and marks indicated vital areas on the body; and finally there was the round target or marumono which was essentially a round board, stuffed and enveloped in strong animal skin. To make things more interesting for the archer these targets would be hung from poles and set in motion so that they would provide much harder targets to hit. Throughout feudal Japan indoor and outdoor archery ranges could be found in the houses of every major samurai clan. Bow and arrow and straw targets were common sights as were the beautiful cases which held the arrows and the likewise ornate stands which contained the bow. These items were prominent features in the houses of samurai. The typical longbow, or war bow (daikyu), was made from deciduous wood faced with bamboo and was reinforced with a binding of rattan to further strengthen the composite weapon together. To waterproof it the shaft was lacquered, and was bent in the shape of a double curve. The bowstring was made from a fibrous substance originating from plants (usually hemp or ramie) and was coated with wax to give a hard smooth surface and in some cases it was necessary for two people to string the bow. Bowstrings were often made by skilled specialists and came in varying qualities from hard strings to the soft and elastic bowstrings used for hunting; silk was also available but this was only used for ceremonial bows. Other types of bows existed. There was the short bow, one used for battle called the hankyu, one used for amusement called the yokyu, and one used for hunting called the suzume-yumi. There was also the maru-ki or roundwood bow, the shige-no-yumi or bow wound round with rattan, and the hoko-yumi or the Tartar-shaped bow. Every Samurai was expected to be an expert in the skill of archery, and it presented the various elements, essence and the representation of the Samurai's numerous skills, for hunting, combat, sport and amusement, and all inextricably linked together.

The mounted archer mainly controls his horse with his knees, as he needs both hands to draw and shoot his bow. As he approaches his target, he brings his bow up and draws the arrow past his ear before letting the arrow fly with a deep shout of In-Yo-In-Yo (darkness and light).

Yabusame (流鏑馬) is a type of mounted archery in traditional Japanese archery. An archer on a running horse shoots three special "turnip-headed" arrows successively at three wooden targets.

This style of archery has its origins at the beginning of the Kamakura period. Minamoto no Yoritomo became alarmed at the lack of archery skills his samurai possessed. He organized yabusame as a form of practice.

Nowadays, the best places to see yabusame performed are at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū in Kamakura and Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto (during Aoi Matsuri in early May). It is also performed in Samukawa and on the beach at Zushi, as well as other locations.
On his final day in Japan in May 1922, Edward, Prince of Wales was entertained by Prince Shimazu Tadashige (1886–1968), son of the last feudal lord of the Satsuma domain. Lunch was served at Prince Shimazu’s villa, followed by an archery demonstration. Afterwards, the Prince of Wales was presented with a complete set for archery practice, including an archer’s glove, arm guard and reel for spare bowstrings

This war bow is 86 inches long {but too long to ship abroad}  read more

Code: 25342

4950.00 GBP

A Beautiful Samurai's Yabusami Bow Sleeve. The Form of Samurai Bowman's Armoured Arm Protection Worn With Full Armour

A Beautiful Samurai's Yabusami Bow Sleeve. The Form of Samurai Bowman's Armoured Arm Protection Worn With Full Armour

For the martial art of Yabusami bowmanship in combat when in full armour. Wonderful condition for age. With a small strip of fully articulated lateral iron shoulder protection armour, decorated with war fans. Gold embossed leather scroll enhancements, doeskin panels decorated at the wrist with a date, and circular elbow protector. All the doeskin is decorated with dark brown and red highlights, in coloured ink, in a traditional floral design used on armour, on the doeskin sections, for centuries. The linen cloth sleeve has carved buffalo horn cord mounts for attaching the sleeve to the armour suit, and two printed gold circular mon decorated on the linen cloth. Although fully armoured in combat, just the archers bow sleeve, worn on the left arm, was not armoured with chain mail or iron plates at all, other than the small iron flexible ridge at the top to protect against an upper sword cut, unlike all the other parts of his samurai armour. This was to allow fully flexible left arm movement. When not armoured and only wearing regular garb, the samurai bow sleeve was shaped somewhat like a leg o'lamb with a very wide shoulder fixing that went acroos the chest to the right arm pit. As described in the section of Chuyuki (a diary written by Fujiwara no Munetada) dated 1096, yabusame has been practiced since the Heian period as a practical fighting bowmanship skill performed on horseback. A technique known as 'the Hidesato-style of yabusame' was practiced during the Kamakura period, and samurai trained in this pastime enthusiastically, giving demonstrations at events organized by the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun).  read more

Code: 21518

645.00 GBP