samurai_13Frequently Asked Questions

Grading (Certificate) Information:

NKBKHK Japanese Armour Society.

(Nihon Bugu Katchu Kenkyu Hozan Kai)

1. Juyo Bunkazai (Best) (Approx.700 pieces world-wide)

2. Koshu Tokubetsu Kicho

3. Tokubetsu Kicho

4. Kicho

This is currently the only recognized armor group in Japan that is utilizing this grading system. There are several “private” organizations issuing their own grading certificates. We will leave the debate over the validity of these certificates to others. Currently Shogun Art does not submit items to these other “private” organizations.


Evaluation of the work of Armor Makers (Signatures):

The appraisal of armor was adopted by the Myochin from the practice of the Honnami family who specialized in the appraisal of swords. The Myochin masters recorded “Kiwame Fuda” or armor certificates and issued them. Most armor makers over time recieved a grade as recognition of their work.

The scale is as follows:

1. Sai Jo I (Superb)

2. Jo Jo I (Excellent)

3. Jo I (Very Good)

4. Chu I (Good)

Only the work of 3 Myochin smiths were accorded the highest grade of “Sai Jo I”.

The rating of “Jo Jo I” was reserved for about 10% of the armor makers followed by “Jo I” for another 60%.

These grades are an important factor in some cases of evaluating a specific piece of armor. It is important to note that most of the early period armor was never signed.


Sales Policy:

All of our items are described to the best of our knowledge and sold “as is”. We guarantee the approximate age and condition of all our items. If an item is noted to be accompanied by authentication papers issued by a particular individual or organization, We consider it to represent an opinion by experts and the issuer should be considered by you to be the responsible party for their written opinion and its accuracy. The reputation of certain papers, individuals and organizations varies depending on who you ask; you are responsible to make up your own decision about how reliable the issuer of any particular document may be. One should always research and verify statements independently so that you are satisfied about the accuracy of the description put forth.

Insurance and shipping charges are the responsibility of the purchaser and will be added to the price of the item shipped. Shogun Armory is committed to your satisfaction. Should you have any questions or require further information, we would be happy to hear from you. Additional photos are provided upon request. Payment may be made by bank wire. We will also accept personal checks, money orders or cashiers checks on a case by case basis. By sending us funds to purchase an item, you agree that there is no further guarantee or warranty granted, or implicit, in any way. The item is now your item, and you have no ability to make any refund claim.

Orders are shipped upon receipt of payment. In the case of a Personal Check, there will be a waiting period until the check has cleared. We reserve the right to include a 4% processing charge for Paypal transactions. If you are an established customer we will consider a layaway plan if both parties agree to the terms in advance.

We do not accept returns. If an unusual circumstance exists in which both parties agree that a return of an item is in order a mandatory re-stocking fee of 20% of the total purchase price plus shipping and handling fees will be required. Refunds will only be issued upon final approval and examination of the returned item. Returned items will only be accepted if received in the same condition as originally shipped Insurance claims are to be made through the appropriate shipping authorities, and are not the responsibility of the seller.

Privacy Policy:

At Shogun Armory, we are committed to ensuring the privacy of our customers. We do not sell or exchange names or any other information about our online customers with third parties. We keep confidential any information we receive. In an effort to offer you the best – and most current – buying opportunities, we may contact you with news about our special pieces. If, for any reason, you would like to be removed from our e-mail list, please contact us.

Special Orders:

Our website only contains a small selection of what is available. Many of our international customers special order specific items for their collections. If you have any specific needs or are searching for that special Kabuto, Menpo or complete set of Samurai Armor let us know. We work with some of the best and most experienced sources in the world. Our goal is to ensure that our customers are proud to own the items they obtain from Shogun Art and obtain a lifetime of aesthetic pleasure from the beauty of these items. We promise to work hard to provide you with the best customer experience possible.

Periodically some items will first appear on our website already marked as “sold”. These items were purchased in advance by customers that provided us with specific requests. Many other items sell the same day they are listed. Our goal is to provide you with a small representative sample of what we have available and what we can provide based on your requests. In other words if you want it we will get it for you. It is very important that you contact us in advance with your specific needs.


Recommended Website Links:

1. Kyoto National Museum

2. The Samurai Archives Japanese History Page

3. The Stibbert Museum

4. National Archives of Japan

5. Traditional Japanese Armor Restoration

6. Tokugawa Art Museum