Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai

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A Soshu school katana attributed to Etchu Norishige and ranked Tokubetsu Juyo Token by the NBTHK.

The Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (日本美術刀剣保存協会) (NBTHK) or Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords is an agency of the Japanese government whose remit is the registration and preservation of antique swords.

The Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency founded the NBTHK in 1948, in response to the Allied prohibition on Japanese swords after World War Two.[1][2]

The NBTHK holds annual competitions for modern swordsmiths, which is the highlight of the Japanese sword-making calendar. Success in this competition is a high accolade.[3]

The Society issues certification for antique swords. There are four levels of classification in this system: hozon (worthy of preservation), tokubetsu hozon (high value work worthy of preservation), juyo token (important sword) and tokubetsu juyo token (highest value and importance).[4][5] Certification by the NBTHK can increase the resale value of a sword tenfold.[6] The NBTHK is also responsible for the Japanese Sword Museum in Tokyo.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Police Raid Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords". Japan Probe. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  2. ^ Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere; British Museum; Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan (Japan); Kyōto Kokuritsu Kindai Bijutsukan; Nihon Kōgeikai; Kokusai Kōryū Kikin (30 August 2007). Crafting beauty in modern Japan: celebrating fifty years of the Japan traditional art crafts exhibition. University of Washington Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-295-98733-0. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  3. ^ Leon Kapp; Hiroko T. Kapp; Yoshindo Yoshihara (2002). Modern Japanese Swords and Swordsmiths: From 1866 to the Present. Kodansha International. p. 7. ISBN 978-4-7700-1962-2. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  4. ^ Worth. CurtCo. Publishing. 2007. p. 84. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Tosogu Kanteisho". Nihonto Kanji. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  6. ^ Myles J. Connor; Jenny Siler (21 April 2009). The Art of the Heist: Confessions of a Master Art Thief, Rock-and-Roller, and Prodigal Son. HarperCollins. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-06-167228-6. Retrieved 29 April 2013.

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