Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai
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 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.
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). Certification by the NBTHK can increase the resale value of a sword tenfold. The NBTHK is also responsible for the Japanese Sword Museum in Tokyo.
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