The Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai or Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Sword (N.B.T.H.K.) has long been recognized as the most respected organization in the world dedicated to the preservation of Japanese Art Swords.The NBTHK was established and sponsored by the Japanese government as a foundation in 1948 to save the Japanese Art Swords from destruction by occupying American military forces. At that time, Japanese swords were considered by the American military to be only weapons of war; and as a result, many fine swords were destroyed until the intervention of NBTHK representatives including Homma Sensei & Sato Sensei, who convinced the military authorities that these blades were historically and culturally important, and should not be destroyed or removed from Japan.
Today, the main goal of the NBTHK is to preserve all Japanese Art Swords, as well as to educate those who are interested in learning about these special blades and their mountings. The headquarters of the NBTHK are located at the Japanese Sword Museum in Tokyo
The NBTHK also supports modern craftsmen that are carrying on the traditions which are over a thousand years old. It sponsors regular exhibitions as well as yearly contests for modern day sword smiths, habaki makers and sword polishers. It also provides “shinsa” or judging of Japanese Art Swords and Fittings. Items can be submitted to the sword museum for Shinsa to either be authenticated as genuine if signed, or attributed to a maker or a school if unsigned. The NBTHK certificate is the most respected and prestigious document of authenticity that a Japanese sword or sword fitting can receive.
The museum gallery offers a changing display of the best examples of both Japanese Art Swords and related items. The museum provides care for many of Japan’s national treasure class items so that they can be seen and enjoyed by the public.
Monthly lectures are also held at the museum for active members, including international members of both the American and European Branches. At these meetings, “hands on” study is available with detailed, expert explanations of each item displayed. Every 2-3 years, a national convention is held in Japan for Japanese and international members. The highlight of the convention is the unrivaled display of swords and fittings including items classified at the national treasure level for “in hand” study.
The location of the sword museum in Tokyo is:
Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai,
4-25-10 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Hours of operation: 9am-4pm closed Mondays.
Closed from December 28th –January 4th for the holidays. Admission: Members 525 Japanese Yen, Children 315 Japanese Yen.