NBTHK Paperwork

Hi everybody!
I am new here and new to sword collecting. I have a question hope some experienced collectors can help me.

I'm thinking of purchasing a sword, one with a NBTHK cert. As I am buying it online and the sum is quite big I want to know what's the possibility of landing a fake NBTHK cert? Is there any way of veryfying the authenticity of the cert? Can I write to the society for verification, I mean, has there been instances where fake certs were encountered?

My second question is what's the opnion on (Osaka Ishido) Bitchu Yasuhiro's works? Are swords by this smith any good for collectiing?

Thanks and appreciate your replies,


Hi Bennjn,

Yes, unfortunately fake certificates exist and buyers should always be careful about it. There might be at least 3 tricks with NBTHK certs to look for:

1) The cert is a fake. It has been made to look like the real one. See below how to identify it.

2) The cert (paper, writings etc) is real, but is was issued for a different blade (with the photo or oshigata replaced to match the blade for sale). Certs get stolen and you can even buy them on eBay sometimes. Look carefully if the photo has been replaced and also if sword measurements match the cert.

3) The cert is real, but it's not an NBTHK cert. Some shops (expecially in Japan) issue their own origami (which sometimes look like NBTHK official papers, especially for a Westerner). Dodgy sellers may position these certs as official ones, but they aren't as trustworthy as NBTHK or other official bodies. And of course those certs wouldn't add any premium to the price of the sword.

You may read about Nihonto cerfiticates here: NIHONTO ORIGAMI. I would suggest you to spend some time and decipher the writings on the cert. It is useful as a sword study exercise too (and you'll know the issue date of the certificate.  If the structure of the cert deviates from the description in the link above - be very cautious. Also compare advertised lengths with the ones on the cert. Nihonto Kanji Pages site will provide you with most of the information you'd need for translation.

If you don't mind posting the image of the cert here, we could have a look. Also, guys from Nihonto Message Board crack fake certs like nuts ;-)

But the most important thing is the seller you are dealing with. Reputable seller would NEVER try selling a sword with a fake cert (unless it's on sale as if there's no cert and it's clearly mentioned that the existing cert is fake). Majority of the good online sword shops (you may find a list in Weblink Directory or on other Nihonto related sites) are run by very knowledgeable people and you may trust them.

As for Yasuhiro's works, I'm not personally familiar with them, but in my opinion ANY authentic Nihonto is worth looking at. This is the only way to study Nihonto. So you shouldn't worry: that sword will be an interesting one to do a research on, whatever it is. But of course it's important for the price to match the quality.

Kind Regards,

Hi Stan, Thanks so much for

Hi Stan,

Thanks so much for your reply and insight. I checked those web links you indicated and found tons of information there too!

Thanks for your help!

NBTHK certs

Hi everybody,

maybe this link will help:

It is a quite good page regarding the history and evolution of the NBTHK paperwork.

Best regards