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New NBTHK Shinsa standards amended by May 19th 2015


Special thanks to Markus Sesko and James Lawson

Token

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) Repair on jiba is permissible, unless it significantly impairs the beauty of the blade.
4) Blades made in the Meiji period and later can receive Hozon paper only when the blade is well made and zaimei.
5) 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 jiba and nakago are sufficiently well preserved. However, this will be documented as "yaki-naoshi" in the paper.
6) Blades are put to "reservation" (horyu) 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.


Tokubetsu Hozon Token
1) Blades with Hozon papers, good workmanship and state of preservation can receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper.
2) Blades with the following conditions are excluded from point 1.
a. Re-tempered blades may not receive a Tokubetsu Hozon paper, as a rule, unless they date not later than Nanbokucho, are zaimei, by famous smiths, if the blade is valuable as a reference, and if the jiba and nakago are sufficiently well preserved. However, this will be documented as "yaki-naoshi" in the paper.
b. Muromachi and Edo period mumei blades may not receive a Tokubetsu Hozon paper, as a rule. However, if a blade is attributable to a famous smithand in excellent condition it may receive Tokubetsu Hozon paper.


Juyo Token
Blades with Tokubetsu Hozon paper can receive Juyo if one of the following points is true:
1) Blades 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 the Muromachi period have to be zaimei and blades from the Edo period and later, 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.





Toso (Koshirae)

Hozon Toso
1) Momoyama and earlier koshirae with some faults or repairs can receive Hozon as long as they show the characteristic features of their time and if their value is high as a reference.
2) Edo koshirae may receive Hozon if they are in good preservation and if their value is high as a reference.
3) Koshirae made in Meiji and later may receive Hozon if they reflect a preservation of the craft and are excellently made. However, works of living artists can not be submitted to Shinsa.
4) Koshirae with missing kozuka and/or kogai may receive Hozon if the other fittings and the lacquer of the saya show a good workmanship and if the mounting as a whole is of a certain aesthetic quality. However, missing kozuka and/or kogai are mentioned as "kozuka-ketsu" or "kogai-ketsu" respectively on the paper.
5) Koshirae of which fittings, e.g. kozuka or kogai are gimei may receive Hozon if the other, authentic fittings and the lacquer of the saya show a good workmanship and if the mounting as a whole is of a certain aesthetic quality. However, non-authentic kozuka or kogai are mentioned as "kozuka-ketsu" or "kogai-ketsu" respectively or as "… to mei ga aru" ("bears the signature…") on the paper.
6) Koshirae with fittings whose signature(s) need further study but which do show the workmanship of the artist may receive Hozon if these fittings are in harmony with the other elements of the mounting, e.g. the other fittings, the hilt, and the lacquer of the saya. However, such fittings are mentioned as "to mei ga aru" (bears the signature) on the paper.
7) Koshirae with a repaired or renewed tsukamaki may receive Hozon if the hilt wrapping is in harmony with the lacquer of the saya and the other elements of the mounting and if it is of a certain artistic quality.
8) Koshirae are put to "reservation" (horyu) if a decision could not be made.
9) Except for aikuchi-style mountings, koshirae without tsuba are rejected.
10) Foreign made koshirae can not be submitted to Shinsa.


Tokubetsu Hozon Toso
Koshirae with Hozon paper can receive Tokubetsu Hozon if one of the following points is true:
1) If the workmanship is very good, the mounting shows relative few faults, and is in a good state of preservation.
2) Edo period koshirae only if they show very little repair and are of an excellent workmanship.
3) Meiji and later koshirae only in perfect condition and of an excellent workmanship.
4) Koshirae of all periods with fittings by not famous artists can receive Tokubetsu Hozon if they can be regarded as among the very best works of the maker and if the mounting is of a certain overall aesthetic quality.


Juyo Toso
Koshirae with Tokubetsu Hozon paper may receive Juyo if one of the following points is true:
1) If of extremely high quality workmanship, of a very high artistic value and judged as close to Juyo Bijutsuhin.
2) Koshirae from all periods with fittings by not famous artists may receive Juyo if these fittings can be regarded as among the very best works of the maker, if the mounting reflects the characteristic features of its time of production and if the mounting as a whole is of an extremely high artistic value.


Tokubetsu Juyo Toso
Koshirae with Juyo Toso paper can receive Tokubetsu Juyo if one of the following points is true:
1) Koshirae of excellent quality and superior condition may receive Tokubetsu Juyo if their value is extremely high as art and reference work for our country.
2) Koshirae may receive Tokubetsu Juyo if they are judged as the same as the top level Juyo Bijutsuhin or conceiveable as equivalent value as Juyo Bunkazai.





Tosogu

Hozon Tosogu
1) Fittings up to the Edo period with correct mei, or mumei fittings on which the time period and school can be identified and which are of a certain artistic quality may receive Hozon.
2) Fittings that meet the criteria given above can receive Hozon paper even if they show some wear or are slightly damaged, as long as those may be permissible in their appreciation.
3) Repair is permissible, unless it significantly impairs the beauty of the fitting.
4) Fittings made in Meiji times and later which are of good quality and condition.
5) Cast fittings that are of high class and worthy being appreciated can receive Hozon if they do not date later than Edo.
6) Contemporary cast fittings will be rejected.
7) Works of iron that show a minor fire damage or a slighty damaged patina can receive Hozon if these damages do not significantly impair the aesthetic quality of the piece.
8) Fittings are put to "reservation" (horyu) if a decision could not easily be made on the authenticity of the mei. This also applies to mumei fittings in which an attribution is difficult to make.
9) Cast fittings made in Meiji times and later will be rejected.
10) Foreign made fittings can not be submitted to Shinsa.


Tokubetsu Hozon Tosogu
Fittings with Hozon papers can receive Tokubetsu Hozon if one of the following points is true:
1) Fittings with good workmanship and state of preservation.
2) Fittings with excellent workmanship and which are in terms of signature and/or workmanship valuable references.
3) Fittings of all periods by not famous artists can receive Tokubetsu Hozon if they can be regarded as among the very best works of the maker and if they are of a certain overall aesthetic quality.
4) Fittings which reflect a preservation of the craft, are extremely well made, and are of a certain overall aesthetic quality.
Fittings with Hozon papers can not receive Tokubetsu Hozon if one of the following points is true:
1) Either zaimei or mumei fittings which show significant repair or remodelling.
2) If they are top grade kinko works but whose surface, motif areas or coloration is so much polished down that the characteristics of age can no longer be judged.
3) If they are of a good quality but the mei is no longer decipherable.


Juyo Tosogu
Fittings with Tokubetsu Hozon papersmay receive Juyo if one of the following points is true:
1. If of extremely high quality workmanship, of a very high artistic value, and judged as close to Juyo Bijutsuhin.
2. Fittings from all periods with fittings by not famous artists may receive Juyo if these fittings can be regarded as among the very best works of the maker and if they are of an extremely high artistic value.


Tokubetsu Juyo
Fittings with Juyo Tosogu papers may receive Tokubetsu Juyo if one of the following points is true:
1. Fittings of excellent quality and superior condition may receive Tokubetsu Juyo if their value is extremely high as art and reference work for our country.
2. Fittings may receive Tokubetsu Juyo if they are judged as the same as the top level Juyo Bijutsuhin or conceiveable as equivalent value as Juyo Bunkazai.


Common matters for all categories of papers
1) If a kizu or other fault or weakness is discovered during Shinsa which is detrimental to the appreciation, an item may not pass.
2) Works of living artists can not be submitted for Shinsa.
3) In the case items are submitted with older or lower papers and do not pass an initial or higher Shinsa respectively, they are returned with the remark "genjo" ("returned as submitted")