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List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts-swords)

List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts-swords)

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Encyclopedia
The term "National Treasure
National treasures of Japan
National Treasures are the most precious of Japan's Tangible Cultural Properties, as determined and designated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs...

" has been used in Japan to denote cultural properties
Cultural Properties of Japan
As defined by the Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, the are tangible properties and intangible properties created or developed in JapanDespite the official definition, some Cultural Properties of Japan were created in China, Korea or other...

 since 1897,
although the definition and the criteria have changed since the introduction of the term. The swords and sword mountings in the list adhere to the current definition, and have been designated national treasures according to the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties that came into effect on June 9, 1951. The items are selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan)
The , also known as MEXT or Monkashō, is one of the ministries of the Japanese government.The Meiji government created the first Ministry of Education in 1871....

 based on their "especially high historical or artistic value". The list presents 110 swords and 12 sword mountings from ancient to feudal Japan, spanning from the late Kofun
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

 to the Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

. The objects are
housed in Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, museums or held privately. The Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

 houses the largest number of these national treasures, with 20 of the 122.

During the Yayoi period
Yayoi period
The is an Iron Age era in the history of Japan traditionally dated 300 BC to 300 AD. It is named after the neighbourhood of Tokyo where archaeologists first uncovered artifacts and features from that era. Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new...

 from about 300 BC to 300 AD, iron tools and weapons such as knives, axes, swords or spears, were introduced to Japan from Korea and China. Shortly after this event, Chinese, Korean, and eventually Japanese swordsmiths produced ironwork locally. Swords were forged to imitate Chinese blades: generally straight chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

 with faulty tempering
Tempering
Tempering is a heat treatment technique for metals, alloys and glass. In steels, tempering is done to "toughen" the metal by transforming brittle martensite or bainite into a combination of ferrite and cementite or sometimes Tempered martensite...

. Worn slung from the waist, they were likely used as stabbing and slashing weapons. Although functionally it would generally be more accurate to define them as hacking rather than slashing weapons. Swordmaking centers developed in Yamato
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

, San'in and Mutsu
Mutsu Province
was an old province of Japan in the area of Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate and Aomori prefecture and the municipalities of Kazuno and Kosaka in Akita Prefecture...

 where various types of blades such as tsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

, tōsu
Tosu
This has multiple meanings:* an alternate name for the Ersu language *Tosu, a city in Japan*Sagan Tosu, Tosu's professional football club...

 and tachiThese tachi of the ancient sword (jokotō) period should not be confused with later tachi of the old sword (kotō) period. The former, spelled 大刀, are Chinese style straight chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

, while the latter, spelled 太刀, are curved blades.
were produced. Flat double-edged (hira-zukuri) blades originated in the Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

, and around the mid-Kofun period swords evolved from thrusting to cutting weapons. Ancient swords were also religious objects according to the 8th century chronicles Nihon Shoki
Nihon Shoki
The , sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second oldest book of classical Japanese history. It is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, and has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical...

 and Kojiki
Kojiki
is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan, and the Kami...

. In fact, one of the Imperial Regalia of Japan
Imperial Regalia of Japan
The , also known as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, consist of the sword Kusanagi , the mirror Yata no Kagami , and the jewel Yasakani no Magatama...

 is a sword, and swords have been discovered in ancient tumuli or handed down as treasures of Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples. Few ancient blades (jokotō) exist because the iron has been corroded by humidity.

The transition from straight jokotō or chokutō to deliberately curved, and much more refined Japanese swords (nihontō), occurred gradually over a long period of time, although few extant swords from the transition period exist. Dating to the 8th century, Shōsōin swords and the Kogarasu Maru show a deliberately produced curve. Yasutsuna from Hōki Province
Hoki Province
was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the western part of Tottori Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hōki bordered on Inaba, Mimasaka, Bitchū, Bingo, and Izumo Provinces....

 forged curved swords that are considered to be of excellent quality. Stylistic change since then is minimal, and his works are considered the beginning of the old sword (kotō) period, which existed until 1596, and produced the best-known Japanese swordsmiths. According to sources Yasutsuna may have lived in the Daidō
Daido
was a after Enryaku and before Kōnin. This period spanned the years from May 806 through September 810. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* November 16, 806 : The new era name 'was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (806–809), around 900; or more likely, was a contemporary of Sanjō Munechika and active in the Eien
Eien
was a after Kanna and before Eiso. This period spanned the years from April 987 through August 988. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* January 2, 987 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (987, 988). The change in blade shape increased with the introduction of horses (after 941) into the battlefield, from which sweeping cutting strokes with curved swords were more effective than stabbing lunges required of foot soldiers. Imparting a deliberate curve is a technological challenge requiring the reversal of natural bending that occurred when the sword edge is hammered. The development of a ridge (shinogi) along the blade was essential for construction. Various military conflicts during the Heian period helped to perfect the techniques of swordmanship, and led to the establishment of swordsmiths around the country. They settled in locations close to administrative centers, where the demand for swords was high, and in areas with easy access to ore, charcoal and water. Originally smiths did not belong to any school or tradition. Around the mid to late-Heian period distinct styles of workmanship developed in certain regional centers. The best known of these schools or traditions are the gokaden (five traditions) with each producing a distinct style of workmanship and associated with the five provinces: Yamashiro
Yamashiro Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai. It overlaps the southern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture on Honshū. Aliases include , the rare , and . It is classified as an upper province in the Engishiki....

, Yamato
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

, Bizen
Bizen Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of Honshū, in what is today the southeastern part of Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bitchu and Bingo Provinces. Bizen borders Mimasaka, Harima, and Bitchū Provinces....

, Sagami
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

/Sōshū and Mino
Mino Province
, one of the old provinces of Japan, encompassed part of modern-day Gifu Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Mino Province bordered Echizen, Hida, Ise, Mikawa, Ōmi, Owari, and Shinano Provinces....

. These five schools produced about 80% of all kotō period swords. Each school consisted of several branches. In the late Heian period Emperor Go-Toba
Emperor Go-Toba
was the 82nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1183 through 1198....

, a sword lover, summoned swordsmiths from the Awataguchi school of Yamashiro, the Ichimonji school of Bizen and the Aoe school of Bitchū Province
Bitchu Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces....

 to forge swords at his palace. These smiths, known as goban kaji (honorable rotation smiths) are considered to have been the finest swordsmiths of their time.According to the Showa Mei Zukushi (1312–1317), one of the oldest extant lists of swordsmiths, the goban kaji were Norimune, Nobufusa, Muneyoshi, Sukemune, Yukikuni, Sukenari, Sukenobu or Sukechika from Bizen province; Sadatsugu, Tsunetsugu, Tsuguie from Bitchū province and Kuniyasu, Kunitomo from Yamashiro province. Go-Toba selected from the Awataguchi, Hisakuni and Ichimonji Nobufusa to collaborate on his own tempering. Early Kamakura period tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 had an elaborately finished tang
Tang (weaponry)
A tang or shank is the back portion of a tool where it extends into stock material or is connected to a handle as on a knife, sword, spear, arrowhead, chisel, screwdriver, etc...

 and an elegant dignified overall shape (sugata). Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 daggers from the same period showed a slight outward curvature.

Around the mid-Kamakura period, the warrior class reached its peak of prosperity. Consequently sword production was thriving in many parts of Japan. Following the Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions of Japan
The ' of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank...

 of 1274 and 1281, smiths aimed at producing stronger swords that would pierce the heavy armour of the invaders. To achieve this, tachi became wider, thicker with an overall grand appearance (sugata) and a straight temper line. With the Mongol threat dissipated at the end of the Kamakura period, this trend was partially reversed, as blades grew longer with a more dignified shape than those from the mid-Kamakura period. However the so called "unchangeable smiths", including Rai Kunitoshi, Rai Kunimitsu, Osafune Nagamitsu and Osafune Kagemitsu, continued to produce swords of the elegant style of the late Heian/early Kamakura period. These swords were particularly popular with Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

's aristocracy. The production of tantō daggers increased considerably towards the late Kamakura period. Master tantō makers include Awataguchi Yoshimitsu, Rai Kunitoshi, Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

, Osafune Kagemitsu, Etchū Norishige and Samonji. The naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

 appeared as a new weapon in the late Kamakura period. The confrontation between the Northern and Southern Court
Southern Court
The were a set of four emperors whose legitimate claims were usurped during the Nanboku-chō period spanning from 1336 through 1392. In spite of the legitimacy of its claims to the throne, the Southern Court was permanently replaced in 1392 by the illegitimate Northern Court.-Nanboku-chō overview:...

 resulted in a 60 year long power struggle between warrior lords known as the Nanboku-chō period and caused a tremendous demand for swords. The stylistic trends of the Kamakura period continued, and tachi were characterized by magnificent shape, growing in overall length and the length of the point (kissaki). They were generally wide and disproportionately thin. Similarly tantō grew in size to 30 centimetre and became known as ko-wakizashi
Wakizashi
The is one of the traditional Japanese swords worn by the samurai class in feudal Japan.-Description:...

 or sunnobi tantō (extended knives). But also tantō shorter than those of the Kamakura period were being forged. Enormous tachi called seoi-tachi (shouldering swords), nodachi
Nodachi
A nodachi is a large two-handed Japanese sword. Some have suggested that the meaning of "nodachi" is roughly the same as ōdachi meaning "large/great sword". A confusion between the terms has nearly synonymized "nodachi" with the very large "ōdachi"...

 (field swords) and ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....

 with blades 120 centimetre long were forged.Many of these were shortened into katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 during the Momoyama period.
The high demand for swords during feudal civil wars after 1467 (Sengoku period
Sengoku period
The or Warring States period in Japanese history was a time of social upheaval, political intrigue, and nearly constant military conflict that lasted roughly from the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The name "Sengoku" was adopted by Japanese historians in reference...

) resulted in mass production and low quality swords as swordsmiths no longer refined their own steel. There are no national treasure swords after this period.

Statistics

Prefecture
Prefectures of Japan
The prefectures of Japan are the country's 47 subnational jurisdictions: one "metropolis" , Tokyo; one "circuit" , Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures , Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures . In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as...

City National
Treasures
Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

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Ehime
Ehime Prefecture
is a prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan. The capital is Matsuyama.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, Ehime prefecture was known as Iyo Province...

Imabari
Imabari, Ehime
is a city located in Ehime, Japan. It is the second largest city in Ehime prefecture.Following a recent merger, the city has an estimated population of 172,384 and density of 410.87 persons per km². The total area is .-Transportation:...

3
Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Dazaifu
Dazaifu, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Nearby cities include Ōnojō and Chikushino. Although mostly urban, it does have arable land used for paddy fields and market gardening....

1
Fukuoka
Fukuoka, Fukuoka
is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.Voted number 14 in a 2010 poll of the World's Most Livable Cities, Fukuoka is praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by...

2
Yanagawa
Yanagawa, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka, Japan.On March 21, 2005 the towns of Yamato and Mitsuhashi, both from Yamato District, were merged into Yanagawa.As of April 30, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 71,848, with a household number of 24,507, and the population density of 934.55 persons per km²...

1
Gifu
Gifu Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu.Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasendō...

Takayama
Takayama, Gifu
is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of July, 2011 the city has an estimated population of 92,369. The total area is .Takayama was settled as far back as the Jōmon period. Takayama is best known for its inhabitants' expertise in carpentry. It is believed carpenters from Takayama worked on the...

1
Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Hatsukaichi
Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
is a city of some 120,000 people located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. The name derives from a market traditionally held on the 20th of each month with hatsuka meaning "20th day" and ichi translating to "market"...

2
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Hyōgo
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

Nishinomiya
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

2
Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...

Kashima
Kashima, Ibaraki
is a port city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 66,249 and a population density of 708.02 persons per km². The total area is 93.57 km². Kashima was formerly a town in Kashima District and became a city after merging with the...

1
Tsuchiura
Tsuchiura, Ibaraki
is a city located in Ibaraki prefecture, in Japan. It is situated along the western shores of Lake Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan. Tokyo city lies about 60 km to the south, and Tsukuba science city borders Tsuchiura to the west.-Demographics:...

1
Ishikawa
Ishikawa Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is Kanazawa.- History :Ishikawa was formed from the merger of Kaga Province and the smaller Noto Province.- Geography :Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast...

Kanazawa
Kanazawa, Ishikawa
is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.-Geography, climate, and population:Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan, bordered by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. The city sits between the Sai and Asano rivers. Its total area is 467.77 km².Kanazawa's...

1
Kagoshima
Kagoshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Kagoshima.- Geography :Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwest tip of Kyushu and includes a chain of islands stretching further to the southwest for a few hundred kilometers...

Kagoshima
Kagoshima, Kagoshima
is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the Kyūshū island of Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin...

1
Kanagawa
Kanagawa Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Japan. The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.-History:The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period...

Kamakura
Kamakura, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about south-south-west of Tokyo. It used to be also called .Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency during the...

1
Kōchi
Kochi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.- History :Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi was known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chosokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi family during the Edo period.- Geography...

Hidaka
Hidaka, Kochi
is a village located in Takaoka District, Kōchi, Japan.As of 2003, the village has an estimated population of 5,917 and a density of 131.84 persons per km²...

1
Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto prefecture was known as Yamashiro....

Kyoto 2
Nara
Nara Prefecture
is a prefecture in the Kansai region on Honshū Island, Japan. The capital is the city of Nara.-History:The present-day Nara Prefecture was created in 1887, making it independent of Osaka Prefecture....

Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

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Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

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Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...

Kawachinagano
Kawachinagano, Osaka
is a city located in Osaka, Japan.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 112,696 and the density of 1,030 persons per km². The total area is 109.61 km².The city was founded on April 1, 1954.-Claims to fame:...

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Osaka 3
Private 9
Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...

Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

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Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Numazu
Numazu, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 205,636 and a population density of 1,100 persons per km². The total area was 187.11 km².- Geography:...

1
Mishima
Mishima, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 112,078 and a population density of 1,800 persons per km². The total area is 62.13 km²...

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Shizuoka
Shizuoka, Shizuoka
is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture's second-largest city in terms of both population and area. It became one of Japan's 19 "designated cities" in 2005.-Geography:...

1
Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...

Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

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Tokyo Private 12
Tokyo 39
Yamagata
Yamagata Prefecture
-Fruit:Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.- Demographics :...

Tsuruoka
Tsuruoka, Yamagata
is a city located in the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.Tsuruoka is the second largest city in Yamagata Prefecture after Yamagata City...

2
Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Yamaguchi, in the center of the prefecture. The largest city, however, is Shimonoseki.- History :...

Hōfu
Hofu, Yamaguchi
is a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan.-History:Hōfu means "the capital of Suō Province".The eastern part of Yamaguchi prefecture was formerly called Suō Province.The city was founded on August 25, 1936...

1
Iwakuni
Iwakuni, Yamaguchi
is a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan.On March 20, 2006, the old city of Iwakuni absorbed the towns of Kuga, Mikawa, Miwa, Nishiki, Shūtō and Yū, and the village of Hongō, all from Kuga District, to form the new, expanded city of Iwakuni.- History :...

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Period National
Treasures
Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

1
Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

2
Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

19
Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

86
Nanboku-chō period 13
Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

1

Usage


The table's columns (except for Remarks and Design and material) are sortable pressing the arrows symbols. The following gives an overview of what is included in the table and how the sorting works. Not all tables have all of the following columns.
  • Type/Name: type of sword or sword mounting; blades mentioned in the kyōhō
    Kyoho
    was a after Shōtoku and before Gembun. This period spanned the years from July 1716 through April 1736. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:...

     era Kyōhō Meibutsuchō as masterpieces (meibutsu) are mentioned by name and marked in yellow
  • Signature: for signed swords, the signature and its reading; otherwise "unsigned"
  • Swordsmith: name of the swordsmith who forged the blade; if applicable it includes the name of the school; the ten students of Masamune
    Masamune
    , also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

     (juttetsu) are marked in green; the goban kaji, smiths summoned to the court of Emperor Go-Toba
    Emperor Go-Toba
    was the 82nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1183 through 1198....

     are marked in blue
  • Remarks: additional information such as notable owners or its curvature
  • Date: period and year; the column entries sort by year. If the entry can only be dated to a time-period, they sort by the start year of that period
  • Length: distance from the notch to the tip of the sword
  • Present location: "temple/museum/shrine-name town-name prefecture-name"; column entries sort as "prefecture-name town-name temple/museum/shrine-name"


The table of sword mountings differentiates between Sword type and Mounting type; includes a column on the employed Design and material; and lists the Overall length as the mounting in addition to the sword's length.

Key
# Meibutsu
* One of the ten students of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

^ One of the goban kaji

Ancient swords (jokotō)


Four ancient straight swords (chokutō) and one tsurugi handed down in possession of temples and shrines have been designated as National Treasure craft items.Other swords from that period have been designated as National Treasures as part of excavated sets of items in the category archaeological materials. A notable collection of 55 swords and other weapons from the 8th century have been preserved in the Shōsōin
Shosoin
The is the treasure house that belongs to Tōdai-ji, Nara The building is in the azekura log-cabin style, with a raised floor. It lies to the northwest of the Daibutsuden...

 collection. Being under the supervision of the Imperial Household Agency
Imperial Household Agency
The is a government agency of Japan in charge of the state matters concerning Japan's imperial family and also keeping the Privy Seal and the State Seal...

, neither these items nor the well known Kogarasu Maru
Kogarasu Maru
The Kogarasu Maru , or "Little Crow," is a unique Japanese tachi sword rumored to have been created by legendary Japanese smith Amakuni during 8th century CE.-Blade Classification and History:...

 are National Treasures.
Name
Remarks
Date
Type
Length
Present location
Double-edged blade, said to be the oldest Japanese object transmitted from generation to generation; offered to Kunitokotachi
Kunitokotachi
In Japanese mythology, is one of the two gods born from "something like a reed that arose from the soil" when the earth was chaotic. In the Nihon Shoki, he is named "Kuni-toko-tachi no mikoto" and is the first of the first three divinities born after heaven and earth were born out of chaos, and...

 by the Kusakabe clan and worshipped as shintai
Shintai
In Shinto, , or when the honorific prefix go- is used, are physical objects worshiped at or near Shinto shrines as repositories in which spirits or kami reside...

 of Omura Shrine
Omura Shrine
is a Shinto shrine in Hidaka, Takaoka District, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan.The shrine was founded in 587, but the present main building of the shrine dates to 1705. The Japanese cedar behind the main building is considered sacred and said to be 1000 years old. It has been designated by the village...

; 527 g (18.6 oz), hilt
Hilt
The hilt of a sword is its handle, consisting of a guard,grip and pommel. The guard may contain a crossguard or quillons. A ricasso may also be present, but this is rarely the case...

 length: 7.5 cm (3 in), scabbard
Scabbard
A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword, knife, or other large blade. Scabbards have been made of many materials over the millennia, including leather, wood, and metals such as brass or steel.-Types of scabbards:...

 length: 92.1 cm (36.3 in)
0500late Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

68.4 cm (26.9 in) Kochi Hidaka Omura ShrineOmura Shrine,Sometimes misspelled as Komura Shrine Hidaka
Hidaka, Kochi
is a village located in Takaoka District, Kōchi, Japan.As of 2003, the village has an estimated population of 5,917 and a density of 131.84 persons per km²...

, Kōchi
Kochi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.- History :Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi was known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chosokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi family during the Edo period.- Geography...

or Seven Stars Sword The sword contains a gold inlay of clouds and seven stars forming the Great Bear
Ursa Major
Ursa Major , also known as the Great Bear, is a constellation visible throughout the year in most of the northern hemisphere. It can best be seen in April...

 constellation. According to a document at Shitennō-ji
Shitenno-ji
is a Buddhist temple in Osaka, Japan.Prince Shōtoku is said to have constructed this temple in 593. It is the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan, although the temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries. Most of the present structures are from when the...

, this sword was owned by Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shotoku
, also known as or , was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who served under Empress Suiko. He was a son of Emperor Yōmei and his younger half-sister Princess Anahobe no Hashihito. His parents were relatives of the ruling Soga clan, and was involved in the defeat...

. Considered to be directly imported from the Asian continent
0600Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

, 7th century
chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

62.1 cm (24.4 in) Osaka Osaka ShintennojiShitennō-ji, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

The sword contains an inscription in gold inlay: which according to one theory, represents 丙子 (bǐng-zǐ), which is a stem-branch of the Sexagenary cycle
Sexagenary cycle
The Chinese sexagenary cycle , also known as the Stems-and-Branches , is a cycle of sixty terms used for recording days or years. It appears, as a means of recording days, in the first Chinese written texts, the Shang dynasty oracle bones from the late second millennium BC. Its use to record years...

 and the author's name: . According to a document at Shitennō-ji
Shitenno-ji
is a Buddhist temple in Osaka, Japan.Prince Shōtoku is said to have constructed this temple in 593. It is the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan, although the temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries. Most of the present structures are from when the...

, this sword was owned by Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shotoku
, also known as or , was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who served under Empress Suiko. He was a son of Emperor Yōmei and his younger half-sister Princess Anahobe no Hashihito. His parents were relatives of the ruling Soga clan, and was involved in the defeat...

. Considered to be directly imported from the Asian continent
0538Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

65.8 cm (25.9 in) Osaka Osaka ShintennojiShitennō-ji, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

 (or ) and A karabitsu (唐櫃) chest is attached to the nomination.
Legendary sword used by Emperor Jimmu
Emperor Jimmu
was the first Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He is also known as Kamuyamato Iwarebiko and personally as Wakamikenu no Mikoto or Sano no Mikoto....

 to found the Japanese nation
0794early Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

223.5 cm (88 in) Ibaraki Kashima Kashima ShrineKashima Shrine
Kashima Shrine
Kashima Shrine is a shrine dedicated to the Shinto kami Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto , one of the patron deities of martial arts. Dojo of kenjutsu and kendo sometimes display a kakejiku emblazoned with Kashima Taishin...

, Kashima, Ibaraki
Kashima, Ibaraki
is a port city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 66,249 and a population density of 708.02 persons per km². The total area is 93.57 km². Kashima was formerly a town in Kashima District and became a city after merging with the...

, Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...

A is attached to the nomination. Handle in the shape of a Buddhist ritual implement, a pestle like weapon with three prongs (sanko); double-edged sword for ceremonial use only 0794early Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

tsurugiTsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

62.2 cm (24.5 in) Osaka Kawachinagano Kongoji, Kawachinagano
Kawachinagano, Osaka
is a city located in Osaka, Japan.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 112,696 and the density of 1,030 persons per km². The total area is 109.61 km².The city was founded on April 1, 1954.-Claims to fame:...

, Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...


Old swords (kotō)


105 swords from the kotō period (late 10th century to 1596) including tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 (61), tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 (26), katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 (11), ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....

 (3), naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

 (2), tsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

 (1) and kodachi
Kodachi
A , literally translating into "small or short tachi ", is a Japanese sword that is too long to be considered a dagger but too short to be a long sword...

 (1) have been designated as national treasures. They represent works of four of the five traditions: Yamato (5), Yamashiro (19), Sōshū (19), Bizen (45); and blades from Etchū Province
Etchu Province
was an old province in central Honshū, on the Sea of Japan side. It was sometimes called , with Echizen and Echigo Provinces. It bordered Echigo, Shinano, Hida, Kaga, and Noto provinces...

 (3), Bitchū Province
Bitchu Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces....

 (5), Hōki Province
Hoki Province
was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the western part of Tottori Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hōki bordered on Inaba, Mimasaka, Bitchū, Bingo, and Izumo Provinces....

 (2) and Saikaidō
Saikaido
, literally meaning "western sea circuit," is a Japanese term denoting both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through it. Saikaido was one of the main circuits of the Gokishichidō system, which was originally established during the Asuka Period.This name identified the...

 (7).

Yamato Province



The Yamato tradition is the oldest, originating as early as the 4th century with the introduction of ironworking techniques from the mainland. According to legend, the smith Amakuni
Amakuni
is the legendary swordsmith who created the first single-edged longsword with curvature along the edge in the Yamato Province around 700 AD. He was the head of a group of swordsmiths employed by the Emperor of Japan to make weapons for his warriors. His son, Amakura, was the successor to his work...

 forged the first single-edged long swords with curvature (tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

) around 700. Even though there is no authentication of this event or date, the earliest Japanese swords were probably forged in Yamato Province
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

. During the Nara period
Nara period
The of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Gemmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō . Except for 5 years , when the capital was briefly moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kammu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784...

, many good smiths were located around the capital in Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

. They moved to Kyoto when it became capital at the beginning of the Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, but about 1200 smiths gathered again in Nara when the various sects centered in Nara rose to power during the Kamakura period and needed weapons to arm their monks. Thus, the Yamato tradition is associated closely with the warrior monks
Sohei
were Buddhist warrior monks of feudal Japan. At certain points of history they held considerable power, obliging the imperial and military governments to collaborate....

 of Nara. Yamato tradition sugata is characterized by a deep torii-zori, high shinogi, and slightly extended kissaki. The jihada is mostly masame-hada, and the hamon is suguha, with rough nie. The bōshi is mainly ko-maru. Generally the style of Yamato blades is considered to be restrained, conservative and static. Five major schools or branches of the Yamato tradition are distinguished: Senjuin,Oldest of five Yamato schools, named after Senjuin temple Shikkake, Taima,Named after Taima-dera
Taima-dera
Taima-dera is a Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan built originally in 612 by the Imperial Prince Maroko, the brother of Prince Shotoku. The temple was moved to its present location in 681 by the grandson of Prince Maroko, and serves as the head temple, or honzan of the now-defunct Hosso sect...

TegaiNamed after Tengai-mon, a gate of Tōdai-ji
Todai-ji
, is a Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall , the largest wooden building in the world, houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese simply as Daibutsu . The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the ...

and Hōshō.Named after a family name, located at Takaichi
Takaichi District, Nara
Takaichi is a district located in Nara Prefecture, Japan.As of 2003, the district has an estimated population of 14,624 and a density of 293.36 persons per km². The total area is 49.85 km².-Towns and villages:*Asuka*Takatori...

Four of the five schools are represented by national treasure swords.

Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Sword by the founder of the Taima branch; handed down in the Abe clan; curvature: 1.5 cm (0.590551181102362 in) 1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō era (1288–1293)
69.7 cm (27.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Formerly the property of Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Emperor Go-Mizunoo
was the 108th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Go-Mizunoo's reign spanned the years from 1611 through 1629.This 17th century sovereign was named after the 9th century Emperor Seiwa and , translates literally as "later;" and thus, he could be called the "Later...

, curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in)
1317Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Bunpō era (1317–1319)
73.5 cm (28.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

}
| Sword by the founder of the Tegai branch
| 1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō era (1288–1293)
| 71.2 cm (28 in)
| Tokyo Tokyo Seikado Bunko, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


|-
| Ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....


|
|
| Curvature: 4.9 cm (1.9 in)
| 1366Nanboku-chō period, 1366
| 136 cm (53.5 in)
| Ehime Imabari Oyamazumi ShrineŌyamazumi Shrine
Ōyamazumi Shrine
is located on the island of Omishima in the Seto Inland Sea. The shrine is dedicated to the gods who protect sailors and soldiers. Because of this, many daimyo and other military leaders have made offerings at the shrine in hopes of military success, or in thanks for victory in battle.The...

, Imabari
Imabari, Ehime
is a city located in Ehime, Japan. It is the second largest city in Ehime prefecture.Following a recent merger, the city has an estimated population of 172,384 and density of 410.87 persons per km². The total area is .-Transportation:...

, Ehime
Ehime Prefecture
is a prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan. The capital is Matsuyama.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, Ehime prefecture was known as Iyo Province...


|-
|style="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
| ,
|
|
| 1317Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Bunpō era (1317–1319)
|
| Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate (Matsumoto Ko), Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...


|}

Yamashiro Province


The Yamashiro tradition was centered around the capital Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

 in Yamashiro Province
Yamashiro Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai. It overlaps the southern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture on Honshū. Aliases include , the rare , and . It is classified as an upper province in the Engishiki....

 where swords were in high demand. Sanjō Munechika (c. 987) was a forerunner of this tradition, and the earliest identified smith working in Kyoto. Various branches of the Yamashiro tradition are distinguished: Sanjō, Awataguchi, Rai, Ayanokoji, Nobukuni, Hasebe and Heian-jo.

Yamashiro tradition sugata is characterized by torii-zori, smaller mihaba, slightly bigger kasane, funbari, and small kissaki. The jihada is dense small-grained itame-hada and the hamon is suguha in nie, or small-grain nie.
Sanjō, Ayanokoji and Hasebe schools

The Sanjō branch, named after a street in Kyoto and founded by Sanjō Munechika around 1000, is the oldest school in Yamashiro Province. In the early Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

 it was the most advanced school of swordmanship in Japan. Sanjō Munechika's pieces, together with those of Yasutsuna from Hōki Province
Hoki Province
was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the western part of Tottori Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hōki bordered on Inaba, Mimasaka, Bitchū, Bingo, and Izumo Provinces....

, consist of some of the oldest curved Japanese swords and mark the start of the old sword (kotō) period. Sanjō school's sugata is characterized by a much narrower upper area compared to the bottom, small kissaki, torii-zori and deep koshi-zori. The jihada uses good quality steel with abundant ji-nie and chikei, small mokume-hada mixed with wavy, large hada. The hamon is bright and covered with thick nioi. It is based on suguha mixed with small chōji midare. Hataraki appear along the temper line.

The Ayanokoji school is named for a street in Kyoto where the smith Sadatoshi lived, and may possibly be a branch of the Sanjō school. Ayanokoji tachi are slender with small kissaki. The jihada uses soft jigane, small mokume-hada mixed with masame-hada, abundant ji-nie, yubashiri and chikei. The temper line is small chōji midare, nie with lots of activity.

A later branch of the Yamashiro tradition, was the Hasebe school which was active in the Nanboku-chō period and early Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

. It was founded by Hasebe Kunishige who originally came from Yamato Province. He travelled to Sagami Province where he became one of the ten great students of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

 (Masamune juttetsu), and eventually went to Kyoto to found the Hasebe school. The sugata is characterized by a wide mihaba, thin kasane and shallow sori. The jihada is fine itame-hada mixed with masame-hada, chikei and abundant ji-nie. The hamon is of irregular width, narrow and small-patterned at the bottom and wide and large-patterned at the top of the blade. There are many tobiyaki and hitatsura as well as rough nie.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or #
One of the ; the name, "crescent moon" refers to the shape of the tempering pattern; owned by Kōdai-in, wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

 who bequeathed it to Tokugawa Hidetada
Tokugawa Hidetada
was the second shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, who ruled from 1605 until his abdication in 1623. He was the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.-Early life :...

, then handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

; curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in)
1000Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 10th–11th century
80 cm (31.5 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

}
| Sword by the founder of the Ayanokoji school; handed down in the Abe clan
Abe clan
The was one of the oldest of the major Japanese clans ; and the clan retained its prominence during the Sengoku period and the Edo period. The clan's origin is said to be one of the original clans of the Yamato people; they truly gained prominence during the Heian period , and experienced a...

 from 1663 when Tokugawa Ietsuna
Tokugawa Ietsuna
was the fourth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan who was in office from 1651 to 1680. He was the eldest son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, thus making him the grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu.-Early Life :...

 gave it to Abe Masakuni, lord of Iwatsuki castle; strong curvature 3 cm (1.2 in)
| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
| 78.8 cm (31 in)
| Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


|-
|style="background:LemonChiffon;"| Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or #
| Unsigned
|style="background:#d0f0c0;"| *
| Owned by the Kuroda family
Kuroda clan
The ' was a Japanese samurai clan which came to prominence during the Sengoku period.-Origins:The Kuroda clan claimed its origins in Tōtōmi Province.-Sengoku era:...

, with an inscription in gold inlay by : , curvature 0.9 cm (0.354330708661417 in)
| 1336Nanboku-chō period, 14th century
|64.8 cm (25.5 in)
| Fukuoka Fukuoka Fukuoka City Museum, Fukuoka
Fukuoka, Fukuoka
is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.Voted number 14 in a 2010 poll of the World's Most Livable Cities, Fukuoka is praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by...

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....


|}
Awataguchi school


Located in the Awataguchi district of Kyoto, the Awataguchi school was active in the early and mid-Kamakura period. Leading members of the school were Kunitomo, whose tachi are similar to those of Sanjō Munechika, and Tōshirō Yoshimitsu, one of the most celebrated of all Japanese smiths. Yoshimitsu was the last of the significant smiths in the Awataguchi school, and the school was eventually replaced by the Rai school as the foremost school in Yamashiro Province.

Characteristic for this school are engraved gomabashi near the back ridge (mune), a long and slender tang
Tang (weaponry)
A tang or shank is the back portion of a tool where it extends into stock material or is connected to a handle as on a knife, sword, spear, arrowhead, chisel, screwdriver, etc...

 (nakago), and the use of two-character signatures. Awataguchi sugata is in the early Kamakura period similar to that of the Sanjō school; later in the mid-Kamakura period it became ikubi kissaki with a wide mihaba. Tantō were normal sized with slight uchi-zori. The jihada is nashiji-hada of finest quality, dense small grain mokume-hada mixed with chikei, yubashiri appear, thick nie all over the ji The hamon is narrow, suguha mixed with small chōji midare.
Type/NameName as listed in the Kyōhō Meibutsu-chō (享保名物帳)
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Name ("atsushi" meaning "thick") refers to the unusual thickness of the blade; handed down through shoguns of the Ashikaga clan
Ashikaga clan
The ' was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573.The Ashikaga were descended from a branch of the Minamoto clan, deriving originally from the town of Ashikaga in Shimotsuke province .For about a century the clan was...

 and in the possession of among others Toyotomi Hidetsugu
Toyotomi Hidetsugu
was a nephew and retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi who lived during the Sengoku period of the 16th century of Japan.A practitioner of the shudō tradition, Hidetsugu had a number of Wakashū...

, Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

 and Mōri Terumoto
Mori Terumoto
Mōri Terumoto , son of Mōri Takamoto and grandson and successor of the great warlord Mōri Motonari, fought against Toyotomi Hideyoshi but was eventually overcome, participated in the Kyūshū campaign on Hideyoshi's side and built Hiroshima Castle, thus essentially founding Hiroshima.Terumoto was a...

; presented to Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

 by the Mōri family
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
21.8 cm (8.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Formerly in the possession of the Gotō house 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
27.6 cm (10.9 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

Formerly in the possession of the Tachibanaya family 1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

23.2 cm (9.1 in) Fukuoka Yanagawa Ohana MuseumOhana Museum, Yanagawa
Yanagawa, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka, Japan.On March 21, 2005 the towns of Yamato and Mitsuhashi, both from Yamato District, were merged into Yanagawa.As of April 30, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 71,848, with a household number of 24,507, and the population density of 934.55 persons per km²...

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Tsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

The blade was part of the dowry
Dowry
A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both...

 of the adopted daughter (Seitaiin) of Tokugawa Iemitsu
Tokugawa Iemitsu
Tokugawa Iemitsu was the third shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. He was the eldest son of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Iemitsu ruled from 1623 to 1651.-Early life :...

 on her wedding with Maeda Mitsutaka
Maeda Mitsutaka
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Kaga Domain.By way of his mother, he was shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu's nephew. As Iemitsu was heirless for some time, Mitsutaka was considered as a potential heir; had this happened, he would have become the fourth Tokugawa shogun....

; one year after Seitaiin's death, her son, Maeda Tsunanori
Maeda Tsunanori
was a Japanese daimyo of the early Edo period who ruled the Kaga Domain....

 offered the blade to the Shirayamahime Shrine praying for her happiness in the next life; width: 2.2 cm (0.866141732283465 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

34.8 cm (13.7 in) Ishikawa Hakusan Shirayamahime Shrinecustodian: Ishikawa Prefecture Art Museum, Kanazawa
Kanazawa, Ishikawa
is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.-Geography, climate, and population:Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan, bordered by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. The city sits between the Sai and Asano rivers. Its total area is 467.77 km².Kanazawa's...

 (owner: , Hakusan
Hakusan, Ishikawa
is a city located in Ishikawa, Japan.The city was founded on February 1, 2005 from the merger of the city of Mattō with seven towns and villages from Ishikawa District. As of April 1, 2008 population data, the city has an estimated population of 110,654 and a density of 147 persons per km²...

), Ishikawa
Ishikawa Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is Kanazawa.- History :Ishikawa was formed from the merger of Kaga Province and the smaller Noto Province.- Geography :Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

}
| Curvature: 3 cm (1.2 in), breadth at butt: 2.7 cm (1.1 in)
| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, first half of 13th century
| 80.4 cm (31.7 in)
| Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


|-
| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...


|
|
| Curvature 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in)
| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
| 74.7 cm (29.4 in)
| Kyoto Kyoto Kyoto National MuseumKyoto National Museum
Kyoto National Museum
The is one of the three formerly imperially-mandated art museums in Japan. The museum is located in Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto. The collections of the Kyoto National Museum focus on pre-modern Japanese and Asian art....

, Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...


|}
Rai school

The Rai school, active from the mid-Kamakura period through the Nanboku-chō period, succeeded the Awataguchi school as the foremost school in Yamashiro Province. It was founded in the 13th century either by Kuniyuki or his father Kuniyoshi from the Awataguchi school. The name, "Rai" refers to the fact that smiths of this school preceded their signatures with the character "来" ("rai"). Rai school works show some characteristics of the later Sōshū tradition, especially in the work of Kunitsugu.

Rai school sugata resembles that of the late Heian/early Kamakura period being both gentle and graceful, but grander and with a more vigorous workmanship. Starting with Kunimitsu, the kissaki becomes larger. The jihada is small-grain mokume-hada, dense with ji-nie, yubashiri and chikei. The quality of the jigane is slightly inferior to that of the Awataguchi school. The hamon shows medium suguha with chōji midare.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Blade by the founder of the Rai school; handed down in the Matsudaira clan
Matsudaira clan
The was a Japanese samurai clan that claimed descent from the Minamoto clan. It first originated in and took its name from Matsudaira village, in Mikawa Province . Over the course of its history, the clan produced many branches, most of which also centered around Mikawa Province...

 lords over the Akashi Domain
Akashi Domain
The was a feudal domain of Japan. It occupied Akashi District and surroundings in Harima Province. Fudai and Shimpan daimyo were assigned, and frequently reassigned, to Akashi. The domain had its administrative headquarters at Akashi Castle.Akashi was established in 1617 when Ikeda Mitsumasa was...

 in Harima Province
Harima Province
or Banshu was a province of Japan in the part of Honshū that is the southwestern part of present-day Hyōgo Prefecture. Harima bordered on Tajima, Tamba, Settsu, Bizen, and Mimasaka Provinces. Its capital was Himeji....

; curvature 3 cm (1.2 in)
1250mid-Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

76.5 cm (30.1 in) Tokyo Tokyo The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1280Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

Uchi-zori 1316Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1316
25.1 cm (9.9 in) Aichi Nagoya Atsuta ShrineAtsuta Shrine
Atsuta Shrine
is a Shinto shrine traditionally believed to have been established during the reign of Emperor Keikō located in Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan. The shrine is familiarly known as Atsuta-Sama or simply as Miya...

, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

1280Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

Hyogo Nishinomiya Kurokawa Institute of Ancient Cultures, Nishinomiya
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

, Hyōgo
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

Kodachi
Kodachi
A , literally translating into "small or short tachi ", is a Japanese sword that is too long to be considered a dagger but too short to be a long sword...

Curvature: 1.67 cm (0.65748031496063 in) 1280Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

54.4 cm (21.4 in) Tochigi Nikko Futarasan ShrineFutarasan Shrine
Futarasan Shrine
, also known as Nikkō Futarasan Shrine, is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. To distinguish it from the shrine in nearby Utsunomiya. It enshrines three deities: Ōkuninushi, Tagorihime, and Ajisukitakahikone....

, Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

, Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Handed down in the Matsudaira clan
Matsudaira clan
The was a Japanese samurai clan that claimed descent from the Minamoto clan. It first originated in and took its name from Matsudaira village, in Mikawa Province . Over the course of its history, the clan produced many branches, most of which also centered around Mikawa Province...

, used by Matsudaira Tadaaki
Matsudaira Tadaaki
was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period through early Edo period. He was a retainer and relative of the Tokugawa clan, and became a daimyo in 1602.-Biography:...

 in the Siege of Osaka
Siege of Osaka
The was a series of battles undertaken by the Tokugawa shogunate against the Toyotomi clan, and ending in that clan's destruction. Divided into two stages , and lasting from 1614 to 1615, the siege put an end to the last major armed opposition to the shogunate's establishment...

; later owned by the Iwasaki family, founders of Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Group , Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy...

, then by Yamagata Aritomo
Yamagata Aritomo
Field Marshal Prince , also known as Yamagata Kyōsuke, was a field marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army and twice Prime Minister of Japan. He is considered one of the architects of the military and political foundations of early modern Japan. Yamagata Aritomo can be seen as the father of Japanese...

 and by Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
The or was the 122nd emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 3 February 1867 until his death...

1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century
80.7 cm (31.8 in) Fukuoka Dazaifu Kyushu National MuseumKyushu National Museum
Kyushu National Museum
The opened on October 16, 2005 in Dazaifu near Fukuoka -- the first new national museum in Japan in over 100 years, and the first to elevate the focus on history over art. The distinct modern impression created by the architectural facade is mirrored in the Museum's use of technological...

, Dazaifu
Dazaifu, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Nearby cities include Ōnojō and Chikushino. Although mostly urban, it does have arable land used for paddy fields and market gardening....

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Presented to the crown prince, the later Emperor Taishō
Emperor Taishō
The was the 123rd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 30 July 1912, until his death in 1926.The Emperor’s personal name was . According to Japanese customs, the emperor has no name during his reign and is only called the Emperor...

, by Tokugawa Iesato
Tokugawa Iesato
Prince was the first head of the Tokugawa clan after the overthrow of the Tokugawa bakufu, and a figure in Japanese politics during the Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa period Japan.-Early life:...

; particularly strong curvature 3.5 cm (1.4 in)
1327Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1327
79.1 cm (31.1 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1292Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1292
77.3 cm (30.4 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Oda Nagamasu
Oda Nagamasu
was a Japanese daimyo who lived from the late Sengoku period through the early Edo period. Also known as Urakusai , he was a brother of Oda Nobunaga. Nagamasu converted to Christianity in 1588 and took the baptismal name of John....

, also known as Urakusai (有楽斎) received this sword from Toyotomi Hideyori
Toyotomi Hideyori
was the son and designated successor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general who first united all of Japan. His mother, Yodo-dono, was the niece of Oda Nobunaga....

; later handed down in the Maeda clan
Maeda clan
The was a branch of the Sugawara clan who descended from Sugawara no Kiyotomo and Sugawara no Michizane in the eighth and ninth centuries. It was one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan and they were second only to the Tokugawa clan in rice production and fief size...

1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

27.6 cm (10.9 in) Shizuoka ??? PrivatePrivate, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

* 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century
32.7 cm (12.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


Sōshū or Sagami Province



The Sōshū (or Sagami) tradition owes its origin to the patronage of the Kamakura shogunate
Kamakura shogunate
The Kamakura shogunate was a military dictatorship in Japan headed by the shoguns from 1185 to 1333. It was based in Kamakura. The Kamakura period draws its name from the capital of the shogunate...

 set up by Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo
was the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199.-Early life and exile :Yoritomo was the third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, heir of the Minamoto clan, and his official wife, a daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori, who was a member of the...

 in 1185 in Kamakura
Kamakura, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about south-south-west of Tokyo. It used to be also called .Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency during the...

, Sagami Province
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

. Though the conditions for swordsmithing were not favourable, the intense military atmosphere and high demand for swords helped to establish the school. The tradition is believed to have originated in 1249, when Awataguchi Kunitsuna from the Yamashiro tradition forged a tachi for Hōjō Tokiyori
Hojo Tokiyori
Hōjō Tokiyori was the fifth shikken of the Kamakura shogunate in Japan. He was born to Hōjō Tokiuji and a daughter of Adachi Kagemori....

. Other recognized founders were Ichimonji Sukezane and Saburo Kunimune, both from the Bizen tradition.There were likely many other founders whose works do not exist anymore. The Sōshū tradition's popularity increased after the Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions of Japan
The ' of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank...

 (1274, 1281). It is characterized by tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 daggers that were produced in large quantities; but also tachi and katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 were forged. With the exception of wider and shorter so called "kitchen knives" (hōchō tantō), daggers were 24 centimetre long, uncurved or with a slight curve toward the cutting edge (uchi-zori).
During the early Sōshū tradition, from the late Kamakura period to the beginning of the Nanboku-chō period, the smiths' goal was to produce swords that exhibited splendor and toughness, incorporating some of the best features of the Bizen and Yamashiro traditions. The Midare Shintōgo by Awataguchi Kunitsuna's son, Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

, is considered to be the first true Sōshū tradition blade. Shintōgo Kunimitsu was the teacher of Yukimitsu and of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

 who is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. Together with Sadamune, whose work looks modest compared to Masamune's, these are the most representative smiths of the early Sōshū tradition. Sōshū tradition sugata is characterized by a shallow torii-zori, bigger mihaba, smaller kasane, medium or large kissaki. The jihada is mostly itame-hada with ji-nie and chikei and the hamon is gunome, midareba and hitatsura. Nie, sunagashi and kinsuji are often visible in the hamon.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Size
Present location
Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

Formerly owned by the Maeda clan
Maeda clan
The was a branch of the Sugawara clan who descended from Sugawara no Kiyotomo and Sugawara no Michizane in the eighth and ninth centuries. It was one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan and they were second only to the Tokugawa clan in rice production and fief size...

; blade exhibits intermediary style between straight tempering pattern used by Yukimitsu's teacher, Gokunimitsu, and curved-wave tempering pattern of his student, Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century
26.2 cm (10.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

1293Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Einin
Einin
was a after Shōō and before Shōan. This period spanned the years from August 1293 through April 1299. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* 1298 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Shōwa eras (1293–1317)
25.5 cm (10 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

1293Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Einin
Einin
was a after Shōō and before Shōan. This period spanned the years from August 1293 through April 1299. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* 1298 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Shōwa eras (1293–1317)
Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

Formerly owned by Gamō Ujisato
Gamo Ujisato
was a Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods. The heir and son of Gamō Katahide, lord of Hino Castle in Ōmi Province, he later held Matsusaka and finally Aizuwakamatsu Castle in Mutsu Province...

. The name, "Aizu", refers to the Aizu
Aizu
is an area comprising the westernmost third of Fukushima Prefecture in Japan. The principal city of the area is Aizuwakamatsu.During the Edo period, Aizu was a feudal domain known as and part of Mutsu Province.-History:...

 area which he controlled.
1293Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, late 13th century
25.5 cm (10 in) Hiroshima ??? PrivatePrivate, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

With an inscription in gold inlay from 1609: and (authenticated by Honami Kōtoku as Masamune sword); formerly in possession of the Tsugaru clan
Tsugaru clan
The was a Japanese samurai clan originating in northern Japan, specifically Mutsu Province . A branch of the local Nanbu clan, the Tsugaru rose to power during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. It was on the winning side of the Battle of Sekigahara, and entered the Edo period as a family of lords ...

; curvature 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in)
1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
70.8 cm (27.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or #
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

Formerly in the possession of the Kanze school, a Noh
Noh
, or - derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. Traditionally, a Noh "performance day" lasts all day and...

 school
1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō to Karyaku
Karyaku
, also romanized as Kareki, was a after Shōchū and before Gentoku. This period spanned the years from April 1326 through August 1329. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 eras (1288–1328)
64.4 cm (25.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or #
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō to Karyaku
Karyaku
, also romanized as Kareki, was a after Shōchū and before Gentoku. This period spanned the years from April 1326 through August 1329. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 eras (1288–1328)
64.3 cm (25.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo Maeda IkutokukaiMaeda Ikutokukai
Maeda Ikutokukai
The foundation is a public interest corporation established on February 26, 1926 for the management and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Maeda clan, rulers of the Kaga Domain. It is located in Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"|Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or #
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

With a gold inlay inscription: ; formerly held by Honda Tadakatsu
Honda Tadakatsu
, also called Honda Heihachirō , was a Japanese general of the late Sengoku through early Edo period, who served Tokugawa Ieyasu. Honda Tadakatsu was one of the Tokugawa Four Heavenly Kings along with Ii Naomasa, Sakakibara Yasumasa and Sakai Tadatsugu. - Biography :A native of Mikawa Province in...

 whose official rank was Nakatsukasa Daisuke; later handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

; curvature: 1.7 cm (0.669291338582677 in)
1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
67 cm (26.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

Formerly in the possession of Ishida Mitsunari
Ishida Mitsunari
Ishida Mitsunari was a samurai who led the Western army in the Battle of Sekigahara following the Azuchi-Momoyama period of the 17th century. Also known by his court title, Jibunoshō...

 who gave this sword to the husband of his younger sister; the sword was stolen during the Battle of Sekigahara
Battle of Sekigahara
The , popularly known as the , was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 which cleared the path to the Shogunate for Tokugawa Ieyasu...

 by Mizuno Katsushige
Mizuno Katsushige
was a daimyo during the late Sengoku Period of Feudal Japan.The son of Mizuno Tadashige, he had in his younger years served Sasa Narimasa, for whom he fought in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Kyushu Campaign in 1587, Kato Kiyomasa, Konishi Yukinaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu, for whom he fought in in the Siege of...

, governor of Hyūga Province
Hyuga Province
was an old province of Japan on the east coast of Kyūshū, corresponding to the modern Miyazaki Prefecture. It was sometimes called or . Hyūga bordered on Bungo, Higo, Ōsumi, and Satsuma Province.The ancient capital was near Saito.-Historical record:...

1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō to Karayku eras (1288–1328)
24.8 cm (9.8 in) Tokyo Tokyo Mitsui Memorial MuseumMitsui Memorial Museum
Mitsui Memorial Museum
The is an art museum in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district.-Collection:The museum's collection includes items used in the Japanese tea ceremony as well as Eastern antiques. The current exhibition is entitled Treasures of Tokugawa Ieyasu....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
24.8 cm (9.8 in) Okayama Okayama Hayashibara Museum of ArtHayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art is a privately owned art museum in Okayama owned by the Hayashibara Group. The owner of the collection was Ichiro Hayashibara, and the museum was opened in 1964, to honor his final wishes to display his collection to the public prior to his death...

, Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

, Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

The name "Kitchen knife" refers to the unusually short and wide shape of the knife. In addition to this item, there are two other national treasure "kitchen knives" by Masamune. 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
24.1 cm (9.5 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Unsigned Sadamune Name derives from the fact that this sword was a favorite of Terasawa Shima no Kami Hirotaka who passed it on to Tokugawa Hidetada
Tokugawa Hidetada
was the second shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, who ruled from 1605 until his abdication in 1623. He was the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.-Early life :...

 and further to Tokugawa Yorinori, lord of the Kishu fief
1335Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, mid 14th century, around Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Kemmu
Kemmu
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Shōkei and before Ryakuō. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.This period spanned the...

 eras (1329–1338)
29.4 cm (11.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

The name "Kitchen knife" refers to the unusually short and wide shape of the knife. In addition to this item, there are two other national treasure "kitchen knives" by Masamune. 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
21.8 cm (8.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Eisei Bunko MuseumEisei Bunko Museum
Eisei Bunko Museum
The is a museum in Bunkyo-ku district in Tokyo, Japan. Its collection includes historical documents and artifacts, and works of fine art. The museum is located what was formerly the grounds of the Hosokawa clan, near the Shin-Edogawa Garden.-History:...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

The name "Kitchen knife" refers to the unusually short and wide shape of the knife. In addition to this item, there are two other national treasure "kitchen knives" by Masamune. 1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō to Karayku eras (1288–1328)
21.7 cm (8.5 in) Osaka Osaka Kinshukai, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Unsigned Sadamune Maeda Gen'i, also known as Abbot Tokuzen-in (a temple name) received this dagger from Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

; later it was handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

 and the Saijō branch of the Matsudaira clan
Matsudaira clan
The was a Japanese samurai clan that claimed descent from the Minamoto clan. It first originated in and took its name from Matsudaira village, in Mikawa Province . Over the course of its history, the clan produced many branches, most of which also centered around Mikawa Province...

1329Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, around Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Kemmu
Kemmu
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Shōkei and before Ryakuō. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.This period spanned the...

 eras (1329–1338)
35.5 cm (14 in) Tokyo Tokyo Mitsui Memorial MuseumMitsui Memorial Museum
Mitsui Memorial Museum
The is an art museum in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district.-Collection:The museum's collection includes items used in the Japanese tea ceremony as well as Eastern antiques. The current exhibition is entitled Treasures of Tokugawa Ieyasu....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or #
Unsigned Sadamune With a red lacquer stamp by a Honami sword appraiser 1329Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, around Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Kemmu
Kemmu
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Shōkei and before Ryakuō. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.This period spanned the...

 eras (1329–1338)
Hyogo Nishinomiya Kurokawa Institute of Ancient Cultures, Nishinomiya
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

, Hyōgo
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or #
Unsigned Sadamune Name ("tortoise shell") refers to an engraving on the tang: a chrysanthemum within a hexagon, resembling a tortoise shell; curvature: 2.4 cm (0.94488188976378 in) 1329Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, around Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Kemmu
Kemmu
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Shōkei and before Ryakuō. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.This period spanned the...

 eras (1329–1338)
70.9 cm (27.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

}
| Sword by the founder of the Kamakura Ichimonji school; curvature 1.8 cm (0.708661417322835 in)
| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Bun'ei era (1264–1275)
| 67 cm (26.4 in)
| Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


|-
| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...


|
|
| Sword by the founder of the Kamakura Ichimonji school; formerly held by Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...


| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Bun'ei era (1264–1275)
| 71.2 cm (28 in)
| Tochigi Nikko Nikko ToshoguNikkō Tōshō-gū
Nikko Tosho-gu
is a Shinto shrine located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the "Shrines and Temples of Nikkō", a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Tōshō-gū is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Initially built in 1617, during the Edo period, while Ieyasu's son Hidetada...

, Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

, Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...


|}

Bizen Province


Bizen Province
Bizen Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of Honshū, in what is today the southeastern part of Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bitchu and Bingo Provinces. Bizen borders Mimasaka, Harima, and Bitchū Provinces....

 became an early center of iron production and swordmaking because of the proximity to the continent. Conditions for sword production were ideal: good iron sand; charcoal and water were readily available; and the San'yōdō
San'yodo
is a Japanese term denoting both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through it. The San'yōdō corresponds for the most part with the modern conception of the San'yō region,San'yō translates to "the sunlight-side of a mountain", while dō, depending on the context, can mean...

 road ran right through the province. Bizen has been the only province to produce swords continuously from the Heian to the Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

. In kotō times, a large number of skilled swordsmiths lived along the lower reaches of the Yoshii river around Osafune
Osafune, Okayama
was a town located in Oku District, Okayama, Japan.On November 1, 2004 Osafune was merged with the towns of Oku and Ushimado, all from Oku District, to form the new city of Setouchi....

 making it the largest center of sword production in Japan. Bizen province not only dominated in the numbers of blades produced but also in quality; and Bizen swords have long been celebrated for excellent swordmanship. The peak of the Bizen tradition, marked by a gorgeous and luxurious style, was reached in the mid-Kamakura period. Later, in the 13th century, the Ichimonji and Osafune schools, the mainstream schools of Bizen Province, maintained the Heian style of the Ko-Bizen, the oldest school in Bizen province. After the 13th century, swords became wider and the point (kissaki) longer, most likely as a response to the thick armour of the invading Mongols
Mongol invasions of Japan
The ' of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank...

. Mass production due to heavy demand for swords from the early 15th to the 16th century led to a lower quality of blades. The Bizen tradition is associated with a deep koshi-zori, a standard mihaba, bigger kasane with medium kissaki. The jihada is itame-hada often accompanied by utsuri. The hamon is chōji midare in nioi deki.
Ko-Bizen


The oldest branch of swordmaking in Bizen Province is the Ko-Bizen (old Bizen) school. It was founded by TomonariSometimes Masatsune is also credited with the founding. who lived around the early 12th century. The school flourished in the late Heian period (10th–12th century) and continued into the Kamakura period. Three great swordsmiths—Kanehira, Masatsune and Tomonari—are associated with the school. Ko-Bizen tachi are generally thin,With some exceptions such as the Ōkanehira by Kanehira have a strong koshi-zori and small kissaki. The grain is itame-hada or small itame-hada and the hamon is small midare made of nie in combination with chōji and gunome.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Curvature: 2.4 cm (0.94488188976378 in) 1000Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 11th century
80.3 cm (31.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

The Tomonari who forged the swords signed Tomonari saku and Bizen no kuni Tomonari tsukuru are two different smiths Handed down trhough Taira no Munemori
Taira no Munemori
was heir to Taira no Kiyomori, and one of the Taira clan's chief commanders in the Genpei War.As his father Taira no Kiyomori lay on his deathbed, Kiyomori declared, among his last wishes, that all affairs of the clan be placed in Munemori's hands...

; curvature: 3 cm (1.2 in)
1100Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 12th century
79.3 cm (31.2 in) Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineItsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan...

, Hatsukaichi
Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
is a city of some 120,000 people located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. The name derives from a market traditionally held on the 20th of each month with hatsuka meaning "20th day" and ichi translating to "market"...

, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or #
Name ("Ōkanehira") refers to the extraordinary size of the blade; unusual signature for Kanehira who usually used a two character signature; owned by Ikeda Terumasa
Ikeda Terumasa
was a Japanese daimyo of the early Edo period. His court title was Musashi no Kami.Terumasa fought in many of the battles of the late Azuchi-Momoyama Period, and due to his service at the Battle of Sekigahara, received a fief at Himeji....

 and passed down in the Ikeda clan
Ikeda clan
The was a Japanese clan that claimed descent from the Seiwa Genji. In the Edo period, several of the clan's branches were daimyo families, most notably of the Tottori Domain, and Okayama Domain. Takamasa Ikeda, present head of the Okayama Ikeda house is a husband of Atsuko Ikeda, fourth daughter...

; curvature 3.5 cm (1.4 in)
1100Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 12th century
89.2 cm (35.1 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Tokugawa Munechika
Tokugawa Munechika
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain....

 received the sword in 1745 from Tokugawa Yoshimune
Tokugawa Yoshimune
was the eighth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, ruling from 1716 until his abdication in 1745. He was the son of Tokugawa Mitsusada, the grandson of Tokugawa Yorinobu, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu.-Lineage:...

1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
72 cm (28.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
74.2 cm (29.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

The sword passed from Tokugawa Yoshimune
Tokugawa Yoshimune
was the eighth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, ruling from 1716 until his abdication in 1745. He was the son of Tokugawa Mitsusada, the grandson of Tokugawa Yorinobu, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu.-Lineage:...

 on his retirement in 1745 to Tokugawa Munekatsu
Tokugawa Munekatsu
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Takasu Domain and then the Owari Domain. As lord of Takasu he used the name ....

 and later on to Tokugawa Munechika
Tokugawa Munechika
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain....

; curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in), breadth at butt: 2.9 cm (1.1 in)
1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
71.8 cm (28.3 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
77.6 cm (30.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate (Aoyama Kikuchi), Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Curvature: 3.9 cm (1.5 in) 1077Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, late 11th century, around Jōryaku
Joryaku
was a Japanese era name after Jōhō and before Eihō. This period spanned the years from November 1077 through February 1081. The reigning emperor was .-Change of Era:...

 are (1077–1081)
89.4 cm (35.2 in) Shizuoka Shizuoka Kunozan ToshoguKunōzan Tōshō-gū
Kunozan Tosho-gu
The is a Shintō shrine in Suruga-ku in the city of Shizuoka in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is the original burial place of the first Shōgun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and is thus the oldest of the Tōshō-gū shrines in the country. The main festival of the shrine is held annually...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka, Shizuoka
is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture's second-largest city in terms of both population and area. It became one of Japan's 19 "designated cities" in 2005.-Geography:...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

A with gold nashiji lacquer and scattered hollyhock insignia from the 17th century Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

 is attached to the nomination. The mounting is made of wood, lacquer, shakudō
Shakudo
Shakudō is a billon of gold and copper , mostly designed for its dark blue-purple patina. It was historically used in Japan to decorate katana fittings such as tsuba and kozuka...

, gold, and silk. Its overall length is 112.1 cm (44.1 in).
Curvature: 2.3 cm (0.905511811023622 in) 1100Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 12th century
76.1 cm (30 in) Yamagata Tsuruoka Chido Museum, Tsuruoka
Tsuruoka, Yamagata
is a city located in the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.Tsuruoka is the second largest city in Yamagata Prefecture after Yamagata City...

, Yamagata
Yamagata Prefecture
-Fruit:Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.- Demographics :...


Ichimonji school

The Ichimonji school was founded by Norimune in the late Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

. Together with the Osafune it was one of the main branches of the Bizen tradition and continued through the Kamakura period with a peak of prosperity before the mid-Kamakura period. The name refers to the signature (mei) on swords of this school. Many smiths signed blades with only a horizontal line (read as "ichi", translated as "one"); however signatures exist that contain only the smith's name, or "ichi" plus the smith's name, and unsigned blades exist as well. From the early Ichimonji school (Ko-Ichimonji), the "ichi" signature looks like a diagonal line and might have been a mark instead of a character. From the mid-Kamakura period however, "ichi" is definitely the character and not a mark. Some Ichimonji smiths lived in Fukuoka village, Osafune
Osafune, Okayama
was a town located in Oku District, Okayama, Japan.On November 1, 2004 Osafune was merged with the towns of Oku and Ushimado, all from Oku District, to form the new city of Setouchi....

 and others in Yoshioka village. They are known as Fukuoka-Ichimonji and Yoshioka-Ichimonji respectively, and were typically active in the early to mid-Kamakura period (Fukuoka-Ichimonji) and the late-Kamakura period (Yoshioka-Ichimonji) respectively.

The workmanship of early Ichimonji smiths such as Norimune resembles that of the Ko-Bizen school: tachi have a narrow mihaba, deep koshi-zori, funbari and an elegant sugata with small kissaki. The hamon is small midare or small midare with small chōji midare in small nie.

Around the middle Kamakura period tachi have a wide mihaba and grand sugata with medium kissaki such as ikubi kissaki. The hamon is large chōji midare or juka chōji in nioi deki and irregular width. Particularly the hamon of tachi with just the "ichi" signature is wide chōji. The hamon of this period's Ichimonji school is one of the most gorgeous amongst kotō smiths and comparable to Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

 and his students' works. The most characteristic works for mid-Kamakura period Ichimonji school were produced by Yoshifusa, Sukezane and Norifusa. Yoshifusa, who left the largest number of blades, and Norifusa might each in fact have been several smiths using the same name.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

Shizuoka Numazu Makiri Corporation, Numazu
Numazu, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 205,636 and a population density of 1,100 persons per km². The total area was 187.11 km².- Geography:...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or #
Unsigned Part of the Kuroda family
Kuroda clan
The ' was a Japanese samurai clan which came to prominence during the Sengoku period.-Origins:The Kuroda clan claimed its origins in Tōtōmi Province.-Sengoku era:...

 collection, handed down in the Hōjō clan
Hojo clan
See the late Hōjō clan for the Hōjō clan of the Sengoku Period.The in the history of Japan was a family who controlled the hereditary title of shikken of the Kamakura Shogunate. In practice, the family had actual governmental power, many times dictatorial, rather than Kamakura shoguns, or the...

; curvature: 2.4 cm (0.94488188976378 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
67.8 cm (26.7 in) Fukuoka Fukuoka Fukuoka City MuseumFukuoka City Museum, Fukuoka
Fukuoka, Fukuoka
is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.Voted number 14 in a 2010 poll of the World's Most Livable Cities, Fukuoka is praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by...

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Unsigned Temper pattern resembles the feather of a pheasant: 1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

79 cm (31.1 in) Okayama ??? PrivatePrivate, Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

^ Curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in) 1185early Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Genryaku
Genryaku
was a after Juei and before Bunji. This period spanned the years from April 1184 through August 1185. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* 1184 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Jōgen eras (1184–1211)
78.4 cm (30.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo Hie ShrineHie Shrine
Hie Shrine
The is a Shinto shrine in Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. Its June 15 Sannō Matsuri is one of the three great Japanese festivals of Edo...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Sword of Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His opus was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi...

 whose son, Oda Nobukatsu
Oda Nobukatsu
was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was the second son of Oda Nobunaga. He survived the decline of the Oda clan from political prominence, becoming a daimyo in the early Edo period.-Kitabatake clan:...

, used it to slay Okada Sukesaburō in the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute
Battle of Komaki and Nagakute
The consisted of two battles in 1584 between the forces of Hashiba Hideyoshi and the forces of Oda Nobukatsu and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hideyoshi and Ieyasu had both served Oda Nobunaga and had not previously come into conflict; this would in fact be their only period of enmity...


Also known as , curvature: 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
69.1 cm (27.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Formerly in the possession of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

, later bestowed on Takekoshi Masanobu, a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

; subsequently owned by Takekoshi's descendants
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
70.6 cm (27.8 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 
In the possession of many people such as the Kishū-Tokugawa family; handed down in the Taira clan
Taira clan
The was a major Japanese clan of samurai in historical Japan.In reference to Japanese history, along with Minamoto, Taira was a hereditary clan name bestowed by the emperors of the Heian Period to certain ex-members of the imperial family when they became subjects...

; curvature: 2.65 cm (1 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
71.2 cm (28 in) Okayama Okayama Hayashibara Museum of ArtHayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art is a privately owned art museum in Okayama owned by the Hayashibara Group. The owner of the collection was Ichiro Hayashibara, and the museum was opened in 1964, to honor his final wishes to display his collection to the public prior to his death...

, Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

, Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
73.9 cm (29.1 in) Hiroshima ??? PrivatePrivate, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Ninji
Ninji
, also called Jinji, was a after En'ō and before Kangen. This period spanned the years from August 1240 to January 1243. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:...

 to Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 eras (1240–1256)
Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Handed down in the Tottori
Tottori Domain
The ' was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, located in Inaba and Hōki Provinces . It was ruled by different branches of the Ikeda clan.-List of lords:*Ikeda clan, 1600-1617 #Nagayoshi#Nagayuki...

 branch of the Ikeda clan
Ikeda clan
The was a Japanese clan that claimed descent from the Seiwa Genji. In the Edo period, several of the clan's branches were daimyo families, most notably of the Tottori Domain, and Okayama Domain. Takamasa Ikeda, present head of the Okayama Ikeda house is a husband of Atsuko Ikeda, fourth daughter...

1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

77.7 cm (30.6 in) Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

; curvature: 3.2 cm (1.3 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
77.3 cm (30.4 in) Hiroshima ??? PrivatePrivate, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

Unsigned 1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

, Curvature: 3.9 cm (1.5 in) 1322-03Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, March 1322
82.4 cm (32.4 in) Osaka Osaka ??? PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

Handed down in the Kaga
Kaga Domain
The was a powerful feudal domain in Kaga, Noto and Etchū Provinces of Japan during the Edo period. The domain was founded by Maeda Toshiie and headed by the Maeda clan. Its income rating, over 1,000,000 koku, was the highest in the nation after the Tokugawa shogunate itself...

 branch of the Maeda clan
Maeda clan
The was a branch of the Sugawara clan who descended from Sugawara no Kiyotomo and Sugawara no Michizane in the eighth and ninth centuries. It was one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan and they were second only to the Tokugawa clan in rice production and fief size...

1320Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1320
56.7 cm (22.3 in) Osaka Osaka ??? PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...


Osafune school

Founded by Mitsutada in the mid-Kamakura period in Osafune
Osafune, Okayama
was a town located in Oku District, Okayama, Japan.On November 1, 2004 Osafune was merged with the towns of Oku and Ushimado, all from Oku District, to form the new city of Setouchi....

, the Osafune school continued through to the end of the Muromachi period. It was for a long time the most prosperous of the Bizen schools and a great number of master swordsmiths belonged to it. Nagamitsu (also called Junkei Nagamitsu), the son of Mitsutada, was the second generation, and Kagemitsu the third generation.

Osafune sugata is characteristic for the period and similar to that of the Ichimonji school: a wide mihaba and ikubi kissaki. After the 13th century the curve moved from koshi-zori to torii-zori. Other stylistic features depend on the swordsmith. In the hamon, Mitsutada adopted the Ichimonji style of large chōji midare mixed with juka chōji and a unique kawazuko chōji; Nagamitsu produced also chōji midare hower with a different pattern and mixed with considerable gunome midare. Starting with Kagemitsu the hamon became suguha and gunome midare. Kagemitsu is also credited with the invention of kataochi gunome. Mitsutada's bōshi is midare komi with short kaeri or yakitsume. Nagamitsu and Kagemitsu use a sansaku bōshi. Kagemitsu is also known as one of the finest engravers particularly through his masterpiece Koryū Kagemitsu.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Sword of Kusunoki Masashige
Kusunoki Masashige
was a 14th century samurai who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in his attempt to wrest rulership of Japan away from the Kamakura shogunate and is remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty.-Tactician:...

, also called after a relief on the face of the blade, curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in)
1322-05Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, May 1322
80.6 cm (31.7 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

Unsigned Also called after the former owner, Ikoma Chikamasa
Ikoma Chikamasa
Ikoma Chikamasa was a daimyo during the Azuchi-Momoyama period of the 16th century to the Edo period of the 17th century of Japan. He was appointed to one of three chu-rō by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. His father was Ikoma Chikashige....

; with a kaō
Kao
Kao may refer to:* Kao, a Japanese term for face., a stylized signature or a mark used in place of a signature in China and Japan* Kao , a crater on the Moon.* Kaō , a Japanese era name* Kao , a film by Michiyo Okusu...

 and a gold inlay inscription: , made by the connoisseur
1238Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Ryakunin
Ryakunin
was a after Katei and before En'ō. This period spanned the years from November 1238 to April 1239. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1238 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Kangen
Kangen
was a after Ninji and before Hoji. This period spanned the years from February 1243 to February 1247. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:; 1243: The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (1238–1247)
Tokyo Tokyo Eisei Bunko MuseumEisei Bunko Museum
Eisei Bunko Museum
The is a museum in Bunkyo-ku district in Tokyo, Japan. Its collection includes historical documents and artifacts, and works of fine art. The museum is located what was formerly the grounds of the Hosokawa clan, near the Shin-Edogawa Garden.-History:...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Tokugawa Tsunanari
Tokugawa Tsunanari
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain....

 received this sword from Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
was the fifth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. He was the younger brother of Tokugawa Ietsuna, thus making him the son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu....

 in 1698; curvature: 2.3 cm (0.905511811023622 in)
1238Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Ryakunin
Ryakunin
was a after Katei and before En'ō. This period spanned the years from November 1238 to April 1239. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1238 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Kangen
Kangen
was a after Ninji and before Hoji. This period spanned the years from February 1243 to February 1247. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:; 1243: The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (1238–1247)
72.4 cm (28.5 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

Inscription in gold inlay 1238Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Ryakunin
Ryakunin
was a after Katei and before En'ō. This period spanned the years from November 1238 to April 1239. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1238 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Kangen
Kangen
was a after Ninji and before Hoji. This period spanned the years from February 1243 to February 1247. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:; 1243: The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (1238–1247)
Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or #
The name ("Daihannya") refers to the Daihannya sutra. The value of the sword during the Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

, 600 kan, was associated with the sutra's 600 volumes; said to have belonged to the Ashikaga clan
Ashikaga clan
The ' was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573.The Ashikaga were descended from a branch of the Minamoto clan, deriving originally from the town of Ashikaga in Shimotsuke province .For about a century the clan was...

, later in the possession of Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His opus was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi...

 who gave it to Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

 at the Battle of Anegawa
Battle of Anegawa
The 1570 came as a reaction to Oda Nobunaga's sieges of the castles of Odani and Yokoyama, which belonged to the Azai and Asakura clans. It was also referred to as the Battle of Nomura by the Oda and Azai clans and the Battle of Mitamura by the Asakura clan.As warriors sallied forth from the...

, who then gave it to Okudaira Nobumasa at the Battle of Nagashino
Battle of Nagashino
The ' took place in 1575 near Nagashino Castle on the plain of Shitaragahara in the Mikawa province of Japan. Forces under Takeda Katsuyori had besieged the castle since the 17th of June; Okudaira Sadamasa , a Tokugawa vassal, commanded the defending force...

; curvature: 2.9 cm (1.1 in)
1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
73.6 cm (29 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or #
Stolen by Akechi Mitsuhide
Akechi Mitsuhide
, nicknamed Jūbei or called from his clan name and title, was a samurai who lived during the Sengoku period of Feudal Japan.Mitsuhide was a general under daimyo Oda Nobunaga, although he became infamous for his betrayal in 1582, which led to Nobunaga's death at Honno-ji...

 from Azuchi Castle
Azuchi Castle
' was one of the primary castles of Oda Nobunaga. It was built from 1576 to 1579, on the shores of Lake Biwa, in Ōmi Province. Nobunaga intentionally built it close enough to Kyoto that he could watch over and guard the approaches to the capital, but, being outside the city, his fortress would be...

; later in the possession of Maeda Toshinaga
Maeda Toshinaga
' was a Japanese daimyo who was the second head of the Kaga Domain. He was the eldest son of Maeda Toshiie and married one of Oda Nobunaga's daughters, Ei-hime....

, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
was the fifth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. He was the younger brother of Tokugawa Ietsuna, thus making him the son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu....

 and in 1709 it passed from Tokugawa Ienobu
Tokugawa Ienobu
was the sixth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. He was the eldest son of Tokugawa Tsunashige, thus making him the nephew of Tokugawa Ietsuna and Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the grandson of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the great-grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the great-great grandson of Tokugawa...

 to Tokugawa Yoshimichi
Tokugawa Yoshimichi
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain....

1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
72.4 cm (28.5 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in) 1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
78.7 cm (31 in) Okayama Okayama Hayashibara Museum of ArtHayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art is a privately owned art museum in Okayama owned by the Hayashibara Group. The owner of the collection was Ichiro Hayashibara, and the museum was opened in 1964, to honor his final wishes to display his collection to the public prior to his death...

, Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

, Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Curvature: 2.9 cm (1.1 in), also called: "Sword of the three temples" 1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
78 cm (30.7 in) Shizuoka ??? PrivatePrivate, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1329-07Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, July, 1329
82.4 cm (32.4 in) Saitama Saitama Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore, Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

, Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...

Naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

Length of tang: 63.5 cm (25 in) 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century
44.2 cm (17.4 in) Shizuoka Mishima Sano Art Museum, Mishima
Mishima, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 112,078 and a population density of 1,800 persons per km². The total area is 62.13 km²...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

A black-lacquered for a tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 with a tsuba (sword guard) is attached to the nomination. It dates to the 16th century Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

 and is made of wood, lacquer, rayskin, leather, shakudō
Shakudo
Shakudō is a billon of gold and copper , mostly designed for its dark blue-purple patina. It was historically used in Japan to decorate katana fittings such as tsuba and kozuka...

, gold, silver and silk. Its overall length is 46.2 cm (18.2 in).
Formerly in the possession of Uesugi Kenshin
Uesugi Kenshin
was a daimyo who ruled Echigo province in the Sengoku period of Japan.He was one of the most powerful lords of the Sengoku period. While chiefly remembered for his prowess on the battlefield, Kenshin is also regarded as an extremely skillful administrator who fostered the growth of local industries...

; with an engraving: on the blade; slight curvature
1323Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1323
28.3 cm (11.1 in) Saitama Saitama Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore, Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

, Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

A with gold nashiji lacquer from the late 16th century Momoyama period is attached to the nomination. The mounting is made of wood, lacquer, shakudō
Shakudo
Shakudō is a billon of gold and copper , mostly designed for its dark blue-purple patina. It was historically used in Japan to decorate katana fittings such as tsuba and kozuka...

, gold, and silk. Its overall length is 109 cm (42.9 in).
Presented to by Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His opus was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi...

 for good service in the Battle of Nagashino
Battle of Nagashino
The ' took place in 1575 near Nagashino Castle on the plain of Shitaragahara in the Mikawa province of Japan. Forces under Takeda Katsuyori had besieged the castle since the 17th of June; Okudaira Sadamasa , a Tokugawa vassal, commanded the defending force...

; curvature: 2.9 cm (1.1 in)
1333Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century towards 1333
77.3 cm (30.4 in) Yamagata Tsuruoka Chido Museum, Tsuruoka
Tsuruoka, Yamagata
is a city located in the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.Tsuruoka is the second largest city in Yamagata Prefecture after Yamagata City...

, Yamagata
Yamagata Prefecture
-Fruit:Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.- Demographics :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in) 1329Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1329
80.5 cm (31.7 in) Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

Slight curvature towards the cutting edge (uchi-zori) 1334Nanboku-chō period, 1334 26.06 cm (10.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....

Handed down in the Bizen Osafune Kanemitsu branch; curvature: 5.8 cm (2.3 in) 1366-02Nanboku-chō period, February, 1366 126 cm (49.6 in) Tochigi Nikko Futarasan ShrineFutarasan Shrine
Futarasan Shrine
, also known as Nikkō Futarasan Shrine, is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. To distinguish it from the shrine in nearby Utsunomiya. It enshrines three deities: Ōkuninushi, Tagorihime, and Ajisukitakahikone....

, Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

, Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...


Saburo Kunimune school

Like the Osafune school, the Saburo Kunimune school was located in Osafune
Osafune, Okayama
was a town located in Oku District, Okayama, Japan.On November 1, 2004 Osafune was merged with the towns of Oku and Ushimado, all from Oku District, to form the new city of Setouchi....

, however the swordsmiths are from a different lineage than those of Mitsutada and his school. The name, "saburo", refers to the fact that Kunimune, the founder of the school, was the third son of Kunizane. Kunimune later moved to Sagami Province
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

 to found the Sōshū tradition together with Ichimonji Sukezane. There were two generations of Kunimune, and their work is very difficult to distinguish. This school's workmanship is similar to that of other smiths of the time but with a slightly coarse jihada and with hajimi.
Type
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

^ Curvature: 3.3 cm (1.3 in), breadth at butt: 3.3 cm (1.3 in), breadth near kissaki: 2.15 cm (0.846456692913386 in) 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
81.7 cm (32.2 in) Tochigi Nikko Nikko ToshoguNikkō Tōshō-gū
Nikko Tosho-gu
is a Shinto shrine located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the "Shrines and Temples of Nikkō", a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Tōshō-gū is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Initially built in 1617, during the Edo period, while Ieyasu's son Hidetada...

, Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

, Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

^ Lost in the chaos following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 but re-discovered by chance in 1963 and returned to Terukuni shrine a year later by the American Mr. Compton; curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in), breadth at butt: 3.3 cm (1.3 in), breadth near kissaki: 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
81.3 cm (32 in) Kagoshima Kagoshima Terukuni Shrine, Kagoshima
Kagoshima, Kagoshima
is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the Kyūshū island of Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin...

, Kagoshima
Kagoshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Kagoshima.- Geography :Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwest tip of Kyushu and includes a chain of islands stretching further to the southwest for a few hundred kilometers...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

^ 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
72.6 cm (28.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate,, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

^ Since 1739 handed down in the Owari branch; curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in), breadth at butt: 3.2 cm (1.3 in), breadth near kissaki: 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in) 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
80.1 cm (31.5 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...


Etchū Province


Two of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

's ten excellent students (juttetsu), Norishige and Gō Yoshihiro, lived in Etchū Province
Etchu Province
was an old province in central Honshū, on the Sea of Japan side. It was sometimes called , with Echizen and Echigo Provinces. It bordered Echigo, Shinano, Hida, Kaga, and Noto provinces...

 at the end of the Kamakura period. While none of Gō Yoshihiro's works is signed, there are extant signed tantō and tachi by Norishigi. One tantō by Norishige and two katana by Gō Yoshihiro have been designated as national treasures. Generally Norishige's sugata is characteristic of the time: tantō are with not-rounded fukura and uchi-zori, thick kasane and steep slopes of iori-mune. The jihada is matsukawa-hada with thick ji-nie, lots of chikei along the o-hada. The jigane is not equal to that of Masamune or Gō Yoshihiro. Norishige hamon is relatively wide and made up of bright and larger nie based in notare mixed with suguha chōji midare or with gunome midare. Gō Yoshihiro produced various sugata with either small kissaki and narrow mihaba or with wider mihaba and larger kissaki. His jihada is identical to that of the Awataguchi school in Yamashiro Province
Yamashiro Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai. It overlaps the southern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture on Honshū. Aliases include , the rare , and . It is classified as an upper province in the Engishiki....

: soft jigane, small mokume-hada mixed with wavy ō-hada. Thick ji-nie becomes yubashiri with chikei. The hamon has an ichimai or ichimonji bōshi with ashi and abundant nie. The kaeri is short or yakitsume.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

* Also called 1308late Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Enkyō to Karyaku
Karyaku
, also romanized as Kareki, was a after Shōchū and before Gentoku. This period spanned the years from April 1326 through August 1329. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1308–1329)
24.6 cm (9.7 in) Tokyo Tokyo Eisei Bunko MuseumEisei Bunko Museum
Eisei Bunko Museum
The is a museum in Bunkyo-ku district in Tokyo, Japan. Its collection includes historical documents and artifacts, and works of fine art. The museum is located what was formerly the grounds of the Hosokawa clan, near the Shin-Edogawa Garden.-History:...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;" |Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or #
Unsigned * Handed down in the 1336early Nanboku-chō period, 14th century Tokyo Tokyo Maeda IkutokukaiMaeda Ikutokukai
Maeda Ikutokukai
The foundation is a public interest corporation established on February 26, 1926 for the management and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Maeda clan, rulers of the Kaga Domain. It is located in Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or #
Unsigned * With an inscription in gold inlay by : ; handed down in the Inaba clan
Inaba clan
The were a samurai kin group which rose to prominence during the Sengoku and Edo periods. In the Edo period, the Inaba were identified as one of the fudai or insider daimyō clans which were hereditary vassals or allies of the Tokugawa clan, in contrast with the tozama .-Clan branches:The fudai...

; curvature: 2 cm (0.78740157480315 in)
1336early Nanboku-chō period, 14th century 70.8 cm (27.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


Bitchū Province

The mainstream school of Bitchū Province
Bitchu Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces....

 was the Aoe school named after a place presently located in Kurashiki
Kurashiki, Okayama
is a historic city located to the west of Okayama Prefecture, Japan, sitting on the Takahashi River, on the coast of the Inland Sea.As of April 2010, the city has a population of 473,392. The total area is .-History:...

. It appeared at the end of the Heian period and thrived in the ensuing Kamakura period. The quality of Aoe swords was swiftly recognized, as 3 of the 12 smiths at Emperor Go-Toba's court were of this school. Five tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 blades of the early aoe school (ko-aoe, before the Ryakunin
Ryakunin
was a after Katei and before En'ō. This period spanned the years from November 1238 to April 1239. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1238 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 era, 1238/39) have been designated national treasures. The ko-aoe school consists of two families employing a similar style of swordmanship that did not deviate with time. The first family was represented by the founder YasutsuguThis Yasutsugu is not the one in the list of swords. and, among others, Sadatsugu, Tametsugu, Yasutsugu (the one in this list) and Moritoshi. The second family, named "Senoo", was founded by Noritake who was followed by Masatsune, and others. Ko-Aoe produced slender tachi with small kissaki and deep koshi-zori. A distinctive feature of this school is the jihada which is chirimen-hada and sumigane (dark and plain steel). The hamon is midare based on suguha with ashi and yō. The boshi is midare komi or suguha with a short kaeri, yakitsume.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

^ Curvature: 2.4 cm (0.94488188976378 in), breadth at butt: 2.9 cm (1.1 in) 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, first half of 13th century
77.1 cm (30.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

1224Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Gennin
Gennin
was a after Jōō and before Karoku. This period spanned the years from November 1224 to April 1225. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1224 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 era
Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...


{{For|the list of non-sword national treasure craft items|List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts: others)}}

The term "National Treasure
National treasures of Japan
National Treasures are the most precious of Japan's Tangible Cultural Properties, as determined and designated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs...

" has been used in Japan to denote cultural properties
Cultural Properties of Japan
As defined by the Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, the are tangible properties and intangible properties created or developed in JapanDespite the official definition, some Cultural Properties of Japan were created in China, Korea or other...

 since 1897,
although the definition and the criteria have changed since the introduction of the term. The swords and sword mountings in the list adhere to the current definition, and have been designated national treasures according to the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties that came into effect on June 9, 1951. The items are selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan)
The , also known as MEXT or Monkashō, is one of the ministries of the Japanese government.The Meiji government created the first Ministry of Education in 1871....

 based on their "especially high historical or artistic value". The list presents 110 swords and 12 sword mountings from ancient to feudal Japan, spanning from the late Kofun
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

 to the Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

. The objects are
housed in Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, museums or held privately. The Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

 houses the largest number of these national treasures, with 20 of the 122.

During the Yayoi period
Yayoi period
The is an Iron Age era in the history of Japan traditionally dated 300 BC to 300 AD. It is named after the neighbourhood of Tokyo where archaeologists first uncovered artifacts and features from that era. Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new...

 from about 300 BC to 300 AD, iron tools and weapons such as knives, axes, swords or spears, were introduced to Japan from Korea and China. Shortly after this event, Chinese, Korean, and eventually Japanese swordsmiths produced ironwork locally. Swords were forged to imitate Chinese blades: generally straight chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

 with faulty tempering
Tempering
Tempering is a heat treatment technique for metals, alloys and glass. In steels, tempering is done to "toughen" the metal by transforming brittle martensite or bainite into a combination of ferrite and cementite or sometimes Tempered martensite...

. Worn slung from the waist, they were likely used as stabbing and slashing weapons. Although functionally it would generally be more accurate to define them as hacking rather than slashing weapons. Swordmaking centers developed in Yamato
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

, San'in and Mutsu
Mutsu Province
was an old province of Japan in the area of Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate and Aomori prefecture and the municipalities of Kazuno and Kosaka in Akita Prefecture...

 where various types of blades such as tsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

, tōsu
Tosu
This has multiple meanings:* an alternate name for the Ersu language *Tosu, a city in Japan*Sagan Tosu, Tosu's professional football club...

 and tachiThese tachi of the ancient sword (jokotō) period should not be confused with later tachi of the old sword (kotō) period. The former, spelled 大刀, are Chinese style straight chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

, while the latter, spelled 太刀, are curved blades.
were produced. Flat double-edged (hira-zukuri) blades originated in the Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

, and around the mid-Kofun period swords evolved from thrusting to cutting weapons. Ancient swords were also religious objects according to the 8th century chronicles Nihon Shoki
Nihon Shoki
The , sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second oldest book of classical Japanese history. It is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, and has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical...

 and Kojiki
Kojiki
is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan, and the Kami...

. In fact, one of the Imperial Regalia of Japan
Imperial Regalia of Japan
The , also known as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, consist of the sword Kusanagi , the mirror Yata no Kagami , and the jewel Yasakani no Magatama...

 is a sword, and swords have been discovered in ancient tumuli or handed down as treasures of Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples. Few ancient blades (jokotō) exist because the iron has been corroded by humidity.

The transition from straight jokotō or chokutō to deliberately curved, and much more refined Japanese swords (nihontō), occurred gradually over a long period of time, although few extant swords from the transition period exist. Dating to the 8th century, Shōsōin swords and the Kogarasu Maru show a deliberately produced curve. Yasutsuna from Hōki Province
Hoki Province
was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the western part of Tottori Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hōki bordered on Inaba, Mimasaka, Bitchū, Bingo, and Izumo Provinces....

 forged curved swords that are considered to be of excellent quality. Stylistic change since then is minimal, and his works are considered the beginning of the old sword (kotō) period, which existed until 1596, and produced the best-known Japanese swordsmiths. According to sources Yasutsuna may have lived in the Daidō
Daido
was a after Enryaku and before Kōnin. This period spanned the years from May 806 through September 810. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* November 16, 806 : The new era name 'was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (806–809), around 900; or more likely, was a contemporary of Sanjō Munechika and active in the Eien
Eien
was a after Kanna and before Eiso. This period spanned the years from April 987 through August 988. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* January 2, 987 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (987, 988). The change in blade shape increased with the introduction of horses (after 941) into the battlefield, from which sweeping cutting strokes with curved swords were more effective than stabbing lunges required of foot soldiers. Imparting a deliberate curve is a technological challenge requiring the reversal of natural bending that occurred when the sword edge is hammered. The development of a ridge (shinogi) along the blade was essential for construction. Various military conflicts during the Heian period helped to perfect the techniques of swordmanship, and led to the establishment of swordsmiths around the country. They settled in locations close to administrative centers, where the demand for swords was high, and in areas with easy access to ore, charcoal and water. Originally smiths did not belong to any school or tradition. Around the mid to late-Heian period distinct styles of workmanship developed in certain regional centers. The best known of these schools or traditions are the gokaden (five traditions) with each producing a distinct style of workmanship and associated with the five provinces: Yamashiro
Yamashiro Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai. It overlaps the southern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture on Honshū. Aliases include , the rare , and . It is classified as an upper province in the Engishiki....

, Yamato
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

, Bizen
Bizen Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of Honshū, in what is today the southeastern part of Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bitchu and Bingo Provinces. Bizen borders Mimasaka, Harima, and Bitchū Provinces....

, Sagami
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

/Sōshū and Mino
Mino Province
, one of the old provinces of Japan, encompassed part of modern-day Gifu Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Mino Province bordered Echizen, Hida, Ise, Mikawa, Ōmi, Owari, and Shinano Provinces....

. These five schools produced about 80% of all kotō period swords. Each school consisted of several branches. In the late Heian period Emperor Go-Toba
Emperor Go-Toba
was the 82nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1183 through 1198....

, a sword lover, summoned swordsmiths from the Awataguchi school of Yamashiro, the Ichimonji school of Bizen and the Aoe school of Bitchū Province
Bitchu Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces....

 to forge swords at his palace. These smiths, known as goban kaji (honorable rotation smiths) are considered to have been the finest swordsmiths of their time.According to the Showa Mei Zukushi (1312–1317), one of the oldest extant lists of swordsmiths, the goban kaji were Norimune, Nobufusa, Muneyoshi, Sukemune, Yukikuni, Sukenari, Sukenobu or Sukechika from Bizen province; Sadatsugu, Tsunetsugu, Tsuguie from Bitchū province and Kuniyasu, Kunitomo from Yamashiro province. Go-Toba selected from the Awataguchi, Hisakuni and Ichimonji Nobufusa to collaborate on his own tempering. Early Kamakura period tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 had an elaborately finished tang
Tang (weaponry)
A tang or shank is the back portion of a tool where it extends into stock material or is connected to a handle as on a knife, sword, spear, arrowhead, chisel, screwdriver, etc...

 and an elegant dignified overall shape (sugata). Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 daggers from the same period showed a slight outward curvature.

Around the mid-Kamakura period, the warrior class reached its peak of prosperity. Consequently sword production was thriving in many parts of Japan. Following the Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions of Japan
The ' of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank...

 of 1274 and 1281, smiths aimed at producing stronger swords that would pierce the heavy armour of the invaders. To achieve this, tachi became wider, thicker with an overall grand appearance (sugata) and a straight temper line. With the Mongol threat dissipated at the end of the Kamakura period, this trend was partially reversed, as blades grew longer with a more dignified shape than those from the mid-Kamakura period. However the so called "unchangeable smiths", including Rai Kunitoshi, Rai Kunimitsu, Osafune Nagamitsu and Osafune Kagemitsu, continued to produce swords of the elegant style of the late Heian/early Kamakura period. These swords were particularly popular with Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

's aristocracy. The production of tantō daggers increased considerably towards the late Kamakura period. Master tantō makers include Awataguchi Yoshimitsu, Rai Kunitoshi, Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

, Osafune Kagemitsu, Etchū Norishige and Samonji. The naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

 appeared as a new weapon in the late Kamakura period. The confrontation between the Northern and Southern Court
Southern Court
The were a set of four emperors whose legitimate claims were usurped during the Nanboku-chō period spanning from 1336 through 1392. In spite of the legitimacy of its claims to the throne, the Southern Court was permanently replaced in 1392 by the illegitimate Northern Court.-Nanboku-chō overview:...

 resulted in a 60 year long power struggle between warrior lords known as the Nanboku-chō period and caused a tremendous demand for swords. The stylistic trends of the Kamakura period continued, and tachi were characterized by magnificent shape, growing in overall length and the length of the point (kissaki). They were generally wide and disproportionately thin. Similarly tantō grew in size to 30 centimetre and became known as ko-wakizashi
Wakizashi
The is one of the traditional Japanese swords worn by the samurai class in feudal Japan.-Description:...

 or sunnobi tantō (extended knives). But also tantō shorter than those of the Kamakura period were being forged. Enormous tachi called seoi-tachi (shouldering swords), nodachi
Nodachi
A nodachi is a large two-handed Japanese sword. Some have suggested that the meaning of "nodachi" is roughly the same as ōdachi meaning "large/great sword". A confusion between the terms has nearly synonymized "nodachi" with the very large "ōdachi"...

 (field swords) and ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....

 with blades 120 centimetre long were forged.Many of these were shortened into katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 during the Momoyama period.
The high demand for swords during feudal civil wars after 1467 (Sengoku period
Sengoku period
The or Warring States period in Japanese history was a time of social upheaval, political intrigue, and nearly constant military conflict that lasted roughly from the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The name "Sengoku" was adopted by Japanese historians in reference...

) resulted in mass production and low quality swords as swordsmiths no longer refined their own steel. There are no national treasure swords after this period.

Statistics

Prefecture
Prefectures of Japan
The prefectures of Japan are the country's 47 subnational jurisdictions: one "metropolis" , Tokyo; one "circuit" , Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures , Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures . In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as...

City National
Treasures
Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

8
Ehime
Ehime Prefecture
is a prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan. The capital is Matsuyama.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, Ehime prefecture was known as Iyo Province...

Imabari
Imabari, Ehime
is a city located in Ehime, Japan. It is the second largest city in Ehime prefecture.Following a recent merger, the city has an estimated population of 172,384 and density of 410.87 persons per km². The total area is .-Transportation:...

3
Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Dazaifu
Dazaifu, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Nearby cities include Ōnojō and Chikushino. Although mostly urban, it does have arable land used for paddy fields and market gardening....

1
Fukuoka
Fukuoka, Fukuoka
is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.Voted number 14 in a 2010 poll of the World's Most Livable Cities, Fukuoka is praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by...

2
Yanagawa
Yanagawa, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka, Japan.On March 21, 2005 the towns of Yamato and Mitsuhashi, both from Yamato District, were merged into Yanagawa.As of April 30, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 71,848, with a household number of 24,507, and the population density of 934.55 persons per km²...

1
Gifu
Gifu Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu.Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasendō...

Takayama
Takayama, Gifu
is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of July, 2011 the city has an estimated population of 92,369. The total area is .Takayama was settled as far back as the Jōmon period. Takayama is best known for its inhabitants' expertise in carpentry. It is believed carpenters from Takayama worked on the...

1
Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Hatsukaichi
Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
is a city of some 120,000 people located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. The name derives from a market traditionally held on the 20th of each month with hatsuka meaning "20th day" and ichi translating to "market"...

2
Private 5
Hyōgo
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

Nishinomiya
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

2
Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...

Kashima
Kashima, Ibaraki
is a port city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 66,249 and a population density of 708.02 persons per km². The total area is 93.57 km². Kashima was formerly a town in Kashima District and became a city after merging with the...

1
Tsuchiura
Tsuchiura, Ibaraki
is a city located in Ibaraki prefecture, in Japan. It is situated along the western shores of Lake Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan. Tokyo city lies about 60 km to the south, and Tsukuba science city borders Tsuchiura to the west.-Demographics:...

1
Ishikawa
Ishikawa Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is Kanazawa.- History :Ishikawa was formed from the merger of Kaga Province and the smaller Noto Province.- Geography :Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast...

Kanazawa
Kanazawa, Ishikawa
is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.-Geography, climate, and population:Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan, bordered by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. The city sits between the Sai and Asano rivers. Its total area is 467.77 km².Kanazawa's...

1
Kagoshima
Kagoshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Kagoshima.- Geography :Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwest tip of Kyushu and includes a chain of islands stretching further to the southwest for a few hundred kilometers...

Kagoshima
Kagoshima, Kagoshima
is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the Kyūshū island of Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin...

1
Kanagawa
Kanagawa Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Japan. The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.-History:The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period...

Kamakura
Kamakura, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about south-south-west of Tokyo. It used to be also called .Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency during the...

1
Kōchi
Kochi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.- History :Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi was known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chosokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi family during the Edo period.- Geography...

Hidaka
Hidaka, Kochi
is a village located in Takaoka District, Kōchi, Japan.As of 2003, the village has an estimated population of 5,917 and a density of 131.84 persons per km²...

1
Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto prefecture was known as Yamashiro....

Kyoto 2
Nara
Nara Prefecture
is a prefecture in the Kansai region on Honshū Island, Japan. The capital is the city of Nara.-History:The present-day Nara Prefecture was created in 1887, making it independent of Osaka Prefecture....

Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

6
Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

3
Private 1
Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...

Kawachinagano
Kawachinagano, Osaka
is a city located in Osaka, Japan.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 112,696 and the density of 1,030 persons per km². The total area is 109.61 km².The city was founded on April 1, 1954.-Claims to fame:...

1
Osaka 3
Private 9
Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...

Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

2
Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Numazu
Numazu, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 205,636 and a population density of 1,100 persons per km². The total area was 187.11 km².- Geography:...

1
Mishima
Mishima, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 112,078 and a population density of 1,800 persons per km². The total area is 62.13 km²...

1
Private 2
Shizuoka
Shizuoka, Shizuoka
is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture's second-largest city in terms of both population and area. It became one of Japan's 19 "designated cities" in 2005.-Geography:...

1
Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...

Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

4
Tokyo Private 12
Tokyo 39
Yamagata
Yamagata Prefecture
-Fruit:Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.- Demographics :...

Tsuruoka
Tsuruoka, Yamagata
is a city located in the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.Tsuruoka is the second largest city in Yamagata Prefecture after Yamagata City...

2
Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Yamaguchi, in the center of the prefecture. The largest city, however, is Shimonoseki.- History :...

Hōfu
Hofu, Yamaguchi
is a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan.-History:Hōfu means "the capital of Suō Province".The eastern part of Yamaguchi prefecture was formerly called Suō Province.The city was founded on August 25, 1936...

1
Iwakuni
Iwakuni, Yamaguchi
is a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan.On March 20, 2006, the old city of Iwakuni absorbed the towns of Kuga, Mikawa, Miwa, Nishiki, Shūtō and Yū, and the village of Hongō, all from Kuga District, to form the new, expanded city of Iwakuni.- History :...

1
Period National
Treasures
Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

1
Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

2
Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

19
Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

86
Nanboku-chō period 13
Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

1


{{-}}

Usage


The table's columns (except for Remarks and Design and material) are sortable pressing the arrows symbols. The following gives an overview of what is included in the table and how the sorting works. Not all tables have all of the following columns.
  • Type/Name: type of sword or sword mounting; blades mentioned in the kyōhō
    Kyoho
    was a after Shōtoku and before Gembun. This period spanned the years from July 1716 through April 1736. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:...

     era Kyōhō Meibutsuchō as masterpieces (meibutsu) are mentioned by name and marked in yellow
  • Signature: for signed swords, the signature and its reading; otherwise "unsigned"
  • Swordsmith: name of the swordsmith who forged the blade; if applicable it includes the name of the school; the ten students of Masamune
    Masamune
    , also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

     (juttetsu) are marked in green; the goban kaji, smiths summoned to the court of Emperor Go-Toba
    Emperor Go-Toba
    was the 82nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1183 through 1198....

     are marked in blue
  • Remarks: additional information such as notable owners or its curvature
  • Date: period and year; the column entries sort by year. If the entry can only be dated to a time-period, they sort by the start year of that period
  • Length: distance from the notch to the tip of the sword
  • Present location: "temple/museum/shrine-name town-name prefecture-name"; column entries sort as "prefecture-name town-name temple/museum/shrine-name"


The table of sword mountings differentiates between Sword type and Mounting type; includes a column on the employed Design and material; and lists the Overall length as the mounting in addition to the sword's length.

Key
# Meibutsu
* One of the ten students of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

^ One of the goban kaji

Ancient swords (jokotō)


Four ancient straight swords (chokutō) and one tsurugi handed down in possession of temples and shrines have been designated as National Treasure craft items.Other swords from that period have been designated as National Treasures as part of excavated sets of items in the category archaeological materials. A notable collection of 55 swords and other weapons from the 8th century have been preserved in the Shōsōin
Shosoin
The is the treasure house that belongs to Tōdai-ji, Nara The building is in the azekura log-cabin style, with a raised floor. It lies to the northwest of the Daibutsuden...

 collection. Being under the supervision of the Imperial Household Agency
Imperial Household Agency
The is a government agency of Japan in charge of the state matters concerning Japan's imperial family and also keeping the Privy Seal and the State Seal...

, neither these items nor the well known Kogarasu Maru
Kogarasu Maru
The Kogarasu Maru , or "Little Crow," is a unique Japanese tachi sword rumored to have been created by legendary Japanese smith Amakuni during 8th century CE.-Blade Classification and History:...

 are National Treasures.
Name
Remarks
Date
Type
Length
Present location
{{nihongo|Gilt bronze tachi
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

 with ring pommel|金銅荘環頭大刀拵|kondōsō kantō tachi goshirae}}
Double-edged blade, said to be the oldest Japanese object transmitted from generation to generation; offered to Kunitokotachi
Kunitokotachi
In Japanese mythology, is one of the two gods born from "something like a reed that arose from the soil" when the earth was chaotic. In the Nihon Shoki, he is named "Kuni-toko-tachi no mikoto" and is the first of the first three divinities born after heaven and earth were born out of chaos, and...

 by the Kusakabe clan and worshipped as shintai
Shintai
In Shinto, , or when the honorific prefix go- is used, are physical objects worshiped at or near Shinto shrines as repositories in which spirits or kami reside...

 of Omura Shrine
Omura Shrine
is a Shinto shrine in Hidaka, Takaoka District, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan.The shrine was founded in 587, but the present main building of the shrine dates to 1705. The Japanese cedar behind the main building is considered sacred and said to be 1000 years old. It has been designated by the village...

; 527 g (18.6 oz), hilt
Hilt
The hilt of a sword is its handle, consisting of a guard,grip and pommel. The guard may contain a crossguard or quillons. A ricasso may also be present, but this is rarely the case...

 length: 7.5 cm (3 in), scabbard
Scabbard
A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword, knife, or other large blade. Scabbards have been made of many materials over the millennia, including leather, wood, and metals such as brass or steel.-Types of scabbards:...

 length: 92.1 cm (36.3 in)
0500late Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

68.4 cm (26.9 in) Kochi Hidaka Omura ShrineOmura Shrine,Sometimes misspelled as Komura Shrine Hidaka
Hidaka, Kochi
is a village located in Takaoka District, Kōchi, Japan.As of 2003, the village has an estimated population of 5,917 and a density of 131.84 persons per km²...

, Kōchi
Kochi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.- History :Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi was known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chosokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi family during the Edo period.- Geography...

{{nihongo|Great Bear
Ursa Major
Ursa Major , also known as the Great Bear, is a constellation visible throughout the year in most of the northern hemisphere. It can best be seen in April...

 sword|七星剣|Shichiseiken}} or Seven Stars Sword
The sword contains a gold inlay of clouds and seven stars forming the Great Bear
Ursa Major
Ursa Major , also known as the Great Bear, is a constellation visible throughout the year in most of the northern hemisphere. It can best be seen in April...

 constellation. According to a document at Shitennō-ji
Shitenno-ji
is a Buddhist temple in Osaka, Japan.Prince Shōtoku is said to have constructed this temple in 593. It is the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan, although the temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries. Most of the present structures are from when the...

, this sword was owned by Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shotoku
, also known as or , was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who served under Empress Suiko. He was a son of Emperor Yōmei and his younger half-sister Princess Anahobe no Hashihito. His parents were relatives of the ruling Soga clan, and was involved in the defeat...

. Considered to be directly imported from the Asian continent
0600Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

, 7th century
chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

62.1 cm (24.4 in) Osaka Osaka ShintennojiShitennō-ji, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

{{nihongo Heishi Shōrin ken}} The sword contains an inscription in gold inlay: {{nihongo Heishi shōrin}} which according to one theory, represents 丙子 (bǐng-zǐ), which is a stem-branch of the Sexagenary cycle
Sexagenary cycle
The Chinese sexagenary cycle , also known as the Stems-and-Branches , is a cycle of sixty terms used for recording days or years. It appears, as a means of recording days, in the first Chinese written texts, the Shang dynasty oracle bones from the late second millennium BC. Its use to record years...

 and the author's name: {{nihongo|Shōrin|椒林}}. According to a document at Shitennō-ji
Shitenno-ji
is a Buddhist temple in Osaka, Japan.Prince Shōtoku is said to have constructed this temple in 593. It is the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan, although the temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries. Most of the present structures are from when the...

, this sword was owned by Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shotoku
, also known as or , was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who served under Empress Suiko. He was a son of Emperor Yōmei and his younger half-sister Princess Anahobe no Hashihito. His parents were relatives of the ruling Soga clan, and was involved in the defeat...

. Considered to be directly imported from the Asian continent
0538Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

65.8 cm (25.9 in) Osaka Osaka ShintennojiShitennō-ji, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

 (or {{nihongo
futsu-no mitama no tsurugi}}) and {{nihongo|black lacquer mounting|黒漆平文大刀拵|kuro urushi hyōmontachi goshirae}}A karabitsu (唐櫃) chest is attached to the nomination. Legendary sword used by Emperor Jimmu
Emperor Jimmu
was the first Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He is also known as Kamuyamato Iwarebiko and personally as Wakamikenu no Mikoto or Sano no Mikoto....

 to found the Japanese nation
0794early Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

223.5 cm (88 in) Ibaraki Kashima Kashima ShrineKashima Shrine
Kashima Shrine
Kashima Shrine is a shrine dedicated to the Shinto kami Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto , one of the patron deities of martial arts. Dojo of kenjutsu and kendo sometimes display a kakejiku emblazoned with Kashima Taishin...

, Kashima, Ibaraki
Kashima, Ibaraki
is a port city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 66,249 and a population density of 708.02 persons per km². The total area is 93.57 km². Kashima was formerly a town in Kashima District and became a city after merging with the...

, Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...

{{nihongo|Unsigned sword|剣 無銘|tsurugi mumei}}A {{nihongo|black lacquer mounting|黒漆宝剣拵|kuro urushi hōken koshirae}} is attached to the nomination. Handle in the shape of a Buddhist ritual implement, a pestle like weapon with three prongs (sanko); double-edged sword for ceremonial use only 0794early Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

tsurugiTsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

62.2 cm (24.5 in) Osaka Kawachinagano Kongoji{{nihongo|Kongō-ji|金剛寺}}, Kawachinagano
Kawachinagano, Osaka
is a city located in Osaka, Japan.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 112,696 and the density of 1,030 persons per km². The total area is 109.61 km².The city was founded on April 1, 1954.-Claims to fame:...

, Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...


Old swords (kotō)


105 swords from the kotō period (late 10th century to 1596) including tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 (61), tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 (26), katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 (11), ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....

 (3), naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

 (2), tsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

 (1) and kodachi
Kodachi
A , literally translating into "small or short tachi ", is a Japanese sword that is too long to be considered a dagger but too short to be a long sword...

 (1) have been designated as national treasures. They represent works of four of the five traditions: Yamato (5), Yamashiro (19), Sōshū (19), Bizen (45); and blades from Etchū Province
Etchu Province
was an old province in central Honshū, on the Sea of Japan side. It was sometimes called , with Echizen and Echigo Provinces. It bordered Echigo, Shinano, Hida, Kaga, and Noto provinces...

 (3), Bitchū Province
Bitchu Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces....

 (5), Hōki Province
Hoki Province
was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the western part of Tottori Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hōki bordered on Inaba, Mimasaka, Bitchū, Bingo, and Izumo Provinces....

 (2) and Saikaidō
Saikaido
, literally meaning "western sea circuit," is a Japanese term denoting both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through it. Saikaido was one of the main circuits of the Gokishichidō system, which was originally established during the Asuka Period.This name identified the...

 (7).

Yamato Province



The Yamato tradition is the oldest, originating as early as the 4th century with the introduction of ironworking techniques from the mainland. According to legend, the smith Amakuni
Amakuni
is the legendary swordsmith who created the first single-edged longsword with curvature along the edge in the Yamato Province around 700 AD. He was the head of a group of swordsmiths employed by the Emperor of Japan to make weapons for his warriors. His son, Amakura, was the successor to his work...

 forged the first single-edged long swords with curvature (tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

) around 700. Even though there is no authentication of this event or date, the earliest Japanese swords were probably forged in Yamato Province
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

. During the Nara period
Nara period
The of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Gemmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō . Except for 5 years , when the capital was briefly moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kammu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784...

, many good smiths were located around the capital in Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

. They moved to Kyoto when it became capital at the beginning of the Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, but about 1200 smiths gathered again in Nara when the various sects centered in Nara rose to power during the Kamakura period and needed weapons to arm their monks. Thus, the Yamato tradition is associated closely with the warrior monks
Sohei
were Buddhist warrior monks of feudal Japan. At certain points of history they held considerable power, obliging the imperial and military governments to collaborate....

 of Nara. Yamato tradition sugata is characterized by a deep torii-zori, high shinogi, and slightly extended kissaki. The jihada is mostly masame-hada, and the hamon is suguha, with rough nie. The bōshi is mainly ko-maru. Generally the style of Yamato blades is considered to be restrained, conservative and static. Five major schools or branches of the Yamato tradition are distinguished: Senjuin,Oldest of five Yamato schools, named after Senjuin temple Shikkake, Taima,Named after Taima-dera
Taima-dera
Taima-dera is a Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan built originally in 612 by the Imperial Prince Maroko, the brother of Prince Shotoku. The temple was moved to its present location in 681 by the grandson of Prince Maroko, and serves as the head temple, or honzan of the now-defunct Hosso sect...

TegaiNamed after Tengai-mon, a gate of Tōdai-ji
Todai-ji
, is a Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall , the largest wooden building in the world, houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese simply as Daibutsu . The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the ...

and Hōshō.Named after a family name, located at Takaichi
Takaichi District, Nara
Takaichi is a district located in Nara Prefecture, Japan.As of 2003, the district has an estimated population of 14,624 and a density of 293.36 persons per km². The total area is 49.85 km².-Towns and villages:*Asuka*Takatori...

Four of the five schools are represented by national treasure swords.
{{-}}
Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Kuniyuki}} {{nihongo|Taima Kuniyuki|当麻国行}} Sword by the founder of the Taima branch; handed down in the Abe clan; curvature: 1.5 cm (0.590551181102362 in) 1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō era (1288–1293)
69.7 cm (27.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords{{nihongo|The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords| 日本美術刀剣保存協会|Zaidanhōjin Nippon Bijutsu Tōkenhozonkyōkai}}, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Nobuyoshi}} {{nihongo|Senjuin Nobuyoshi|千手院延吉}} Formerly the property of Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Emperor Go-Mizunoo
was the 108th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Go-Mizunoo's reign spanned the years from 1611 through 1629.This 17th century sovereign was named after the 9th century Emperor Seiwa and , translates literally as "later;" and thus, he could be called the "Later...

, curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in)
1317Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Bunpō era (1317–1319)
73.5 cm (28.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords{{nihongo|The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords| 日本美術刀剣保存協会|Zaidanhōjin Nippon Bijutsu Tōkenhozonkyōkai}}, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Kanenaga}}
}
| Sword by the founder of the Tegai branch
| 1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō era (1288–1293)
| 71.2 cm (28 in)
| Tokyo Tokyo Seikado Bunko{{nihongo|Seikadō Bunko|静嘉堂文庫|}}, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


|-
| Ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....


|{{nihongo|year five of the Jōji era
Joji
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Kōan and before Ōan. This period spanned the years from September 1362 through February 1368. The emperor in Kyoto was...

 (1366), 43rd year of the sexaganary cycle (year of the fire horse), Senjuin Nagayoshi|貞治五年丙午千手院長吉|jōjigonen hinoeuma Senjuin Nagayoshi}}
| {{nihongo|Senjuin Nagayoshi|千手院長吉}}
| Curvature: 4.9 cm (1.9 in)
| 1366Nanboku-chō period, 1366
| 136 cm (53.5 in)
| Ehime Imabari Oyamazumi ShrineŌyamazumi Shrine
Ōyamazumi Shrine
is located on the island of Omishima in the Seto Inland Sea. The shrine is dedicated to the gods who protect sailors and soldiers. Because of this, many daimyo and other military leaders have made offerings at the shrine in hopes of military success, or in thanks for victory in battle.The...

, Imabari
Imabari, Ehime
is a city located in Ehime, Japan. It is the second largest city in Ehime prefecture.Following a recent merger, the city has an estimated population of 172,384 and density of 410.87 persons per km². The total area is .-Transportation:...

, Ehime
Ehime Prefecture
is a prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan. The capital is Matsuyama.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, Ehime prefecture was known as Iyo Province...


|-
|style="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo||桑山保昌|Kuwayama Hōshō}}#
| {{nihongo|Takaichi ? ... Sadayoshi|高市□住金吾藤貞吉|Takaichi ? jū kingo fuji Sadayoshi}}, {{nihongo||□亨〈二二〉年十月十八日|?kyō yonen jūgatsu jūhachinichi}}
| {{nihongo|Hōshō Sadayoshi|保昌貞吉}}
| {{center|—}}
| 1317Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Bunpō era (1317–1319)
| {{center|—}}
| Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate (Matsumoto Ko), Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...


|}

Yamashiro Province


The Yamashiro tradition was centered around the capital Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

 in Yamashiro Province
Yamashiro Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai. It overlaps the southern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture on Honshū. Aliases include , the rare , and . It is classified as an upper province in the Engishiki....

 where swords were in high demand. Sanjō Munechika (c. 987) was a forerunner of this tradition, and the earliest identified smith working in Kyoto. Various branches of the Yamashiro tradition are distinguished: Sanjō, Awataguchi, Rai, Ayanokoji, Nobukuni, Hasebe and Heian-jo.

Yamashiro tradition sugata is characterized by torii-zori, smaller mihaba, slightly bigger kasane, funbari, and small kissaki. The jihada is dense small-grained itame-hada and the hamon is suguha in nie, or small-grain nie.
Sanjō, Ayanokoji and Hasebe schools

The Sanjō branch, named after a street in Kyoto and founded by Sanjō Munechika around 1000, is the oldest school in Yamashiro Province. In the early Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

 it was the most advanced school of swordmanship in Japan. Sanjō Munechika's pieces, together with those of Yasutsuna from Hōki Province
Hoki Province
was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the western part of Tottori Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hōki bordered on Inaba, Mimasaka, Bitchū, Bingo, and Izumo Provinces....

, consist of some of the oldest curved Japanese swords and mark the start of the old sword (kotō) period. Sanjō school's sugata is characterized by a much narrower upper area compared to the bottom, small kissaki, torii-zori and deep koshi-zori. The jihada uses good quality steel with abundant ji-nie and chikei, small mokume-hada mixed with wavy, large hada. The hamon is bright and covered with thick nioi. It is based on suguha mixed with small chōji midare. Hataraki appear along the temper line.

The Ayanokoji school is named for a street in Kyoto where the smith Sadatoshi lived, and may possibly be a branch of the Sanjō school. Ayanokoji tachi are slender with small kissaki. The jihada uses soft jigane, small mokume-hada mixed with masame-hada, abundant ji-nie, yubashiri and chikei. The temper line is small chōji midare, nie with lots of activity.

A later branch of the Yamashiro tradition, was the Hasebe school which was active in the Nanboku-chō period and early Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

. It was founded by Hasebe Kunishige who originally came from Yamato Province. He travelled to Sagami Province where he became one of the ten great students of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

 (Masamune juttetsu), and eventually went to Kyoto to found the Hasebe school. The sugata is characterized by a wide mihaba, thin kasane and shallow sori. The jihada is fine itame-hada mixed with masame-hada, chikei and abundant ji-nie. The hamon is of irregular width, narrow and small-patterned at the bottom and wide and large-patterned at the top of the blade. There are many tobiyaki and hitatsura as well as rough nie.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or {{nihongo|Crescent Moon Munechika|三日月宗近|mikazuki munechika}}#
{{nihongo Sanjō}} {{nihongo|Sanjō Munechika|三条宗近}} One of the {{nihongo|Five Swords under Heaven|天下五剣}}; the name, "crescent moon" refers to the shape of the tempering pattern; owned by Kōdai-in, wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

 who bequeathed it to Tokugawa Hidetada
Tokugawa Hidetada
was the second shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, who ruled from 1605 until his abdication in 1623. He was the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.-Early life :...

, then handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

; curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in)
1000Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 10th–11th century
80 cm (31.5 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Sadatoshi}}
}
| Sword by the founder of the Ayanokoji school; handed down in the Abe clan
Abe clan
The was one of the oldest of the major Japanese clans ; and the clan retained its prominence during the Sengoku period and the Edo period. The clan's origin is said to be one of the original clans of the Yamato people; they truly gained prominence during the Heian period , and experienced a...

 from 1663 when Tokugawa Ietsuna
Tokugawa Ietsuna
was the fourth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan who was in office from 1651 to 1680. He was the eldest son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, thus making him the grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu.-Early Life :...

 gave it to Abe Masakuni, lord of Iwatsuki castle; strong curvature 3 cm (1.2 in)
| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
| 78.8 cm (31 in)
| Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


|-
|style="background:LemonChiffon;"| Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or {{nihongo|The Forceful Cutter|へし切|Heshi-kiri}}#
| Unsigned
|style="background:#d0f0c0;"| {{nihongo|Hasebe Kunishige|長谷部国重}}*
| Owned by the Kuroda family
Kuroda clan
The ' was a Japanese samurai clan which came to prominence during the Sengoku period.-Origins:The Kuroda clan claimed its origins in Tōtōmi Province.-Sengoku era:...

, with an inscription in gold inlay by {{nihongo|Honami Kotoku|本阿光徳}}: {{nihongo||"長谷部国重本阿"|Hasebe Kunishige Honami}}, curvature 0.9 cm (0.354330708661417 in)
| 1336Nanboku-chō period, 14th century
|64.8 cm (25.5 in)
| Fukuoka Fukuoka Fukuoka City Museum{{nihongo|Fukuoka City Museum|福岡市博物館|Fukuokashi Hakubutsukan}}, Fukuoka
Fukuoka, Fukuoka
is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.Voted number 14 in a 2010 poll of the World's Most Livable Cities, Fukuoka is praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by...

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....


|}
Awataguchi school


Located in the Awataguchi district of Kyoto, the Awataguchi school was active in the early and mid-Kamakura period. Leading members of the school were Kunitomo, whose tachi are similar to those of Sanjō Munechika, and Tōshirō Yoshimitsu, one of the most celebrated of all Japanese smiths. Yoshimitsu was the last of the significant smiths in the Awataguchi school, and the school was eventually replaced by the Rai school as the foremost school in Yamashiro Province.

Characteristic for this school are engraved gomabashi near the back ridge (mune), a long and slender tang
Tang (weaponry)
A tang or shank is the back portion of a tool where it extends into stock material or is connected to a handle as on a knife, sword, spear, arrowhead, chisel, screwdriver, etc...

 (nakago), and the use of two-character signatures. Awataguchi sugata is in the early Kamakura period similar to that of the Sanjō school; later in the mid-Kamakura period it became ikubi kissaki with a wide mihaba. Tantō were normal sized with slight uchi-zori. The jihada is nashiji-hada of finest quality, dense small grain mokume-hada mixed with chikei, yubashiri appear, thick nie all over the ji The hamon is narrow, suguha mixed with small chōji midare.
Type/NameName as listed in the Kyōhō Meibutsu-chō (享保名物帳)
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Atsushi Tōshirō}}# {{nihongo Yoshimitsu}} {{nihongo|Tōshirō Yoshimitsu|藤四郎吉光}} Name ("atsushi" meaning "thick") refers to the unusual thickness of the blade; handed down through shoguns of the Ashikaga clan
Ashikaga clan
The ' was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573.The Ashikaga were descended from a branch of the Minamoto clan, deriving originally from the town of Ashikaga in Shimotsuke province .For about a century the clan was...

 and in the possession of among others Toyotomi Hidetsugu
Toyotomi Hidetsugu
was a nephew and retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi who lived during the Sengoku period of the 16th century of Japan.A practitioner of the shudō tradition, Hidetsugu had a number of Wakashū...

, Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

 and Mōri Terumoto
Mori Terumoto
Mōri Terumoto , son of Mōri Takamoto and grandson and successor of the great warlord Mōri Motonari, fought against Toyotomi Hideyoshi but was eventually overcome, participated in the Kyūshū campaign on Hideyoshi's side and built Hiroshima Castle, thus essentially founding Hiroshima.Terumoto was a...

; presented to Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

 by the Mōri family
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
21.8 cm (8.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Gotō Tōshirō}}# {{nihongo Yoshimitsu}} {{nihongo|Tōshirō Yoshimitsu|藤四郎吉光}} Formerly in the possession of the Gotō house 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
27.6 cm (10.9 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo Yoshimitsu}} {{nihongo|Tōshirō Yoshimitsu|藤四郎吉光}} Formerly in the possession of the Tachibanaya family 1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

23.2 cm (9.1 in) Fukuoka Yanagawa Ohana MuseumOhana Museum, Yanagawa
Yanagawa, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka, Japan.On March 21, 2005 the towns of Yamato and Mitsuhashi, both from Yamato District, were merged into Yanagawa.As of April 30, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 71,848, with a household number of 24,507, and the population density of 934.55 persons per km²...

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Tsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

{{nihongo Yoshimitsu}} {{nihongo|Tōshirō Yoshimitsu|藤四郎吉光}} The blade was part of the dowry
Dowry
A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both...

 of the adopted daughter (Seitaiin) of Tokugawa Iemitsu
Tokugawa Iemitsu
Tokugawa Iemitsu was the third shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. He was the eldest son of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Iemitsu ruled from 1623 to 1651.-Early life :...

 on her wedding with Maeda Mitsutaka
Maeda Mitsutaka
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Kaga Domain.By way of his mother, he was shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu's nephew. As Iemitsu was heirless for some time, Mitsutaka was considered as a potential heir; had this happened, he would have become the fourth Tokugawa shogun....

; one year after Seitaiin's death, her son, Maeda Tsunanori
Maeda Tsunanori
was a Japanese daimyo of the early Edo period who ruled the Kaga Domain....

 offered the blade to the Shirayamahime Shrine praying for her happiness in the next life; width: 2.2 cm (0.866141732283465 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

34.8 cm (13.7 in) Ishikawa Hakusan Shirayamahime Shrinecustodian: Ishikawa Prefecture Art Museum, Kanazawa
Kanazawa, Ishikawa
is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.-Geography, climate, and population:Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan, bordered by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. The city sits between the Sai and Asano rivers. Its total area is 467.77 km².Kanazawa's...

 (owner: {{nihongo|Shirayamahime Shrine|白山比咩神社|Shirayamahime-jinja}}, Hakusan
Hakusan, Ishikawa
is a city located in Ishikawa, Japan.The city was founded on February 1, 2005 from the merger of the city of Mattō with seven towns and villages from Ishikawa District. As of April 1, 2008 population data, the city has an estimated population of 110,654 and a density of 147 persons per km²...

), Ishikawa
Ishikawa Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is Kanazawa.- History :Ishikawa was formed from the merger of Kaga Province and the smaller Noto Province.- Geography :Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Hisakuni}}
}
| Curvature: 3 cm (1.2 in), breadth at butt: 2.7 cm (1.1 in)
| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, first half of 13th century
| 80.4 cm (31.7 in)
| Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


|-
| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...


| {{nihongo||則国|Norikuni}}
| {{nihongo|Norikuni|則国}}
| Curvature 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in)
| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
| 74.7 cm (29.4 in)
| Kyoto Kyoto Kyoto National MuseumKyoto National Museum
Kyoto National Museum
The is one of the three formerly imperially-mandated art museums in Japan. The museum is located in Higashiyama Ward in Kyoto. The collections of the Kyoto National Museum focus on pre-modern Japanese and Asian art....

, Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...


|}
Rai school

The Rai school, active from the mid-Kamakura period through the Nanboku-chō period, succeeded the Awataguchi school as the foremost school in Yamashiro Province. It was founded in the 13th century either by Kuniyuki or his father Kuniyoshi from the Awataguchi school. The name, "Rai" refers to the fact that smiths of this school preceded their signatures with the character "来" ("rai"). Rai school works show some characteristics of the later Sōshū tradition, especially in the work of Kunitsugu.

Rai school sugata resembles that of the late Heian/early Kamakura period being both gentle and graceful, but grander and with a more vigorous workmanship. Starting with Kunimitsu, the kissaki becomes larger. The jihada is small-grain mokume-hada, dense with ji-nie, yubashiri and chikei. The quality of the jigane is slightly inferior to that of the Awataguchi school. The hamon shows medium suguha with chōji midare.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Kuniyuki}} {{nihongo|Rai Kuniyuki|来国行}} Blade by the founder of the Rai school; handed down in the Matsudaira clan
Matsudaira clan
The was a Japanese samurai clan that claimed descent from the Minamoto clan. It first originated in and took its name from Matsudaira village, in Mikawa Province . Over the course of its history, the clan produced many branches, most of which also centered around Mikawa Province...

 lords over the Akashi Domain
Akashi Domain
The was a feudal domain of Japan. It occupied Akashi District and surroundings in Harima Province. Fudai and Shimpan daimyo were assigned, and frequently reassigned, to Akashi. The domain had its administrative headquarters at Akashi Castle.Akashi was established in 1617 when Ikeda Mitsumasa was...

 in Harima Province
Harima Province
or Banshu was a province of Japan in the part of Honshū that is the southwestern part of present-day Hyōgo Prefecture. Harima bordered on Tajima, Tamba, Settsu, Bizen, and Mimasaka Provinces. Its capital was Himeji....

; curvature 3 cm (1.2 in)
1250mid-Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

76.5 cm (30.1 in) Tokyo Tokyo The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords{{nihongo|The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords| 日本美術刀剣保存協会|Zaidanhōjin Nippon Bijutsu Tōkenhozonkyōkai}}, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Rai Kunitoshi}} {{nihongo|Rai Kunitoshi|来国俊}} {{center|—}} 1280Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

{{center|—}} Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo Rai Kunitoshi}} {{nihongo|Rai Kunitoshi|来国俊}} Uchi-zori 1316Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1316
25.1 cm (9.9 in) Aichi Nagoya Atsuta ShrineAtsuta Shrine
Atsuta Shrine
is a Shinto shrine traditionally believed to have been established during the reign of Emperor Keikō located in Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture in Japan. The shrine is familiarly known as Atsuta-Sama or simply as Miya...

, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo Rai Kunitoshi}} {{nihongo|Rai Kunitoshi|来国俊}} {{center|—}} 1280Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

{{center|—}} Hyogo Nishinomiya Kurokawa Institute of Ancient Cultures{{nihongo|Kurokawa Institute of Ancient Cultures|黒川古文化研究所|Kurokawa Kobunka Kenkyūjo}}, Nishinomiya
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

, Hyōgo
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

Kodachi
Kodachi
A , literally translating into "small or short tachi ", is a Japanese sword that is too long to be considered a dagger but too short to be a long sword...

{{nihongo Rai Kunitoshi}} {{nihongo|Rai Kunitoshi|来国俊}} Curvature: 1.67 cm (0.65748031496063 in) 1280Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

54.4 cm (21.4 in) Tochigi Nikko Futarasan ShrineFutarasan Shrine
Futarasan Shrine
, also known as Nikkō Futarasan Shrine, is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. To distinguish it from the shrine in nearby Utsunomiya. It enshrines three deities: Ōkuninushi, Tagorihime, and Ajisukitakahikone....

, Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

, Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Rai Kunimitsu}} {{nihongo|Rai Kunimitsu|来国光}} Handed down in the Matsudaira clan
Matsudaira clan
The was a Japanese samurai clan that claimed descent from the Minamoto clan. It first originated in and took its name from Matsudaira village, in Mikawa Province . Over the course of its history, the clan produced many branches, most of which also centered around Mikawa Province...

, used by Matsudaira Tadaaki
Matsudaira Tadaaki
was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period through early Edo period. He was a retainer and relative of the Tokugawa clan, and became a daimyo in 1602.-Biography:...

 in the Siege of Osaka
Siege of Osaka
The was a series of battles undertaken by the Tokugawa shogunate against the Toyotomi clan, and ending in that clan's destruction. Divided into two stages , and lasting from 1614 to 1615, the siege put an end to the last major armed opposition to the shogunate's establishment...

; later owned by the Iwasaki family, founders of Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi
The Mitsubishi Group , Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese multinational conglomerate company that consists of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy...

, then by Yamagata Aritomo
Yamagata Aritomo
Field Marshal Prince , also known as Yamagata Kyōsuke, was a field marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army and twice Prime Minister of Japan. He is considered one of the architects of the military and political foundations of early modern Japan. Yamagata Aritomo can be seen as the father of Japanese...

 and by Emperor Meiji
Emperor Meiji
The or was the 122nd emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 3 February 1867 until his death...

1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century
80.7 cm (31.8 in) Fukuoka Dazaifu Kyushu National MuseumKyushu National Museum
Kyushu National Museum
The opened on October 16, 2005 in Dazaifu near Fukuoka -- the first new national museum in Japan in over 100 years, and the first to elevate the focus on history over art. The distinct modern impression created by the architectural facade is mirrored in the Museum's use of technological...

, Dazaifu
Dazaifu, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Nearby cities include Ōnojō and Chikushino. Although mostly urban, it does have arable land used for paddy fields and market gardening....

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Rai Kunimitsu}} {{nihongo|Rai Kunimitsu|来国光}} Presented to the crown prince, the later Emperor Taishō
Emperor Taishō
The was the 123rd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 30 July 1912, until his death in 1926.The Emperor’s personal name was . According to Japanese customs, the emperor has no name during his reign and is only called the Emperor...

, by Tokugawa Iesato
Tokugawa Iesato
Prince was the first head of the Tokugawa clan after the overthrow of the Tokugawa bakufu, and a figure in Japanese politics during the Meiji, Taishō and early Shōwa period Japan.-Early life:...

; particularly strong curvature 3.5 cm (1.4 in)
1327Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1327
79.1 cm (31.1 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Work of Rai Magotarō|来孫太郎作|Rai Magotarōsaku}} {{nihongo|Rai Magotarō|来孫太郎}} {{center|—}} 1292Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1292
77.3 cm (30.4 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Yūraku Rai Kunimitsu}}# {{nihongo Rai Kunimitsu}} {{nihongo|Rai Kunimitsu|来国光}} Oda Nagamasu
Oda Nagamasu
was a Japanese daimyo who lived from the late Sengoku period through the early Edo period. Also known as Urakusai , he was a brother of Oda Nobunaga. Nagamasu converted to Christianity in 1588 and took the baptismal name of John....

, also known as Urakusai (有楽斎) received this sword from Toyotomi Hideyori
Toyotomi Hideyori
was the son and designated successor of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the general who first united all of Japan. His mother, Yodo-dono, was the niece of Oda Nobunaga....

; later handed down in the Maeda clan
Maeda clan
The was a branch of the Sugawara clan who descended from Sugawara no Kiyotomo and Sugawara no Michizane in the eighth and ninth centuries. It was one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan and they were second only to the Tokugawa clan in rice production and fief size...

1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

27.6 cm (10.9 in) Shizuoka ??? PrivatePrivate, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo Rai Kunitsugu}} {{nihongo|Rai Kunitsugu|来国次}}* {{center|—}} 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century
32.7 cm (12.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


Sōshū or Sagami Province



The Sōshū (or Sagami) tradition owes its origin to the patronage of the Kamakura shogunate
Kamakura shogunate
The Kamakura shogunate was a military dictatorship in Japan headed by the shoguns from 1185 to 1333. It was based in Kamakura. The Kamakura period draws its name from the capital of the shogunate...

 set up by Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo
was the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199.-Early life and exile :Yoritomo was the third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, heir of the Minamoto clan, and his official wife, a daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori, who was a member of the...

 in 1185 in Kamakura
Kamakura, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about south-south-west of Tokyo. It used to be also called .Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency during the...

, Sagami Province
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

. Though the conditions for swordsmithing were not favourable, the intense military atmosphere and high demand for swords helped to establish the school. The tradition is believed to have originated in 1249, when Awataguchi Kunitsuna from the Yamashiro tradition forged a tachi for Hōjō Tokiyori
Hojo Tokiyori
Hōjō Tokiyori was the fifth shikken of the Kamakura shogunate in Japan. He was born to Hōjō Tokiuji and a daughter of Adachi Kagemori....

. Other recognized founders were Ichimonji Sukezane and Saburo Kunimune, both from the Bizen tradition.There were likely many other founders whose works do not exist anymore. The Sōshū tradition's popularity increased after the Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions of Japan
The ' of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank...

 (1274, 1281). It is characterized by tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 daggers that were produced in large quantities; but also tachi and katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 were forged. With the exception of wider and shorter so called "kitchen knives" (hōchō tantō), daggers were 24 centimetre long, uncurved or with a slight curve toward the cutting edge (uchi-zori).
During the early Sōshū tradition, from the late Kamakura period to the beginning of the Nanboku-chō period, the smiths' goal was to produce swords that exhibited splendor and toughness, incorporating some of the best features of the Bizen and Yamashiro traditions. The Midare Shintōgo by Awataguchi Kunitsuna's son, Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

, is considered to be the first true Sōshū tradition blade. Shintōgo Kunimitsu was the teacher of Yukimitsu and of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

 who is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. Together with Sadamune, whose work looks modest compared to Masamune's, these are the most representative smiths of the early Sōshū tradition. Sōshū tradition sugata is characterized by a shallow torii-zori, bigger mihaba, smaller kasane, medium or large kissaki. The jihada is mostly itame-hada with ji-nie and chikei and the hamon is gunome, midareba and hitatsura. Nie, sunagashi and kinsuji are often visible in the hamon.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Size
Present location
Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo Yukimitsu}} {{nihongo|Yukimitsu|行光}} Formerly owned by the Maeda clan
Maeda clan
The was a branch of the Sugawara clan who descended from Sugawara no Kiyotomo and Sugawara no Michizane in the eighth and ninth centuries. It was one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan and they were second only to the Tokugawa clan in rice production and fief size...

; blade exhibits intermediary style between straight tempering pattern used by Yukimitsu's teacher, Gokunimitsu, and curved-wave tempering pattern of his student, Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century
26.2 cm (10.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo Kunimitsu}} Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

{{center|—}} 1293Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Einin
Einin
was a after Shōō and before Shōan. This period spanned the years from August 1293 through April 1299. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* 1298 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Shōwa eras (1293–1317)
25.5 cm (10 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo Kunimitsu}} Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

{{center|—}} 1293Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Einin
Einin
was a after Shōō and before Shōan. This period spanned the years from August 1293 through April 1299. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* 1298 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Shōwa eras (1293–1317)
{{center|—}} Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Aizu Shintōgo}}# {{nihongo Kunimitsu}} Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

Formerly owned by Gamō Ujisato
Gamo Ujisato
was a Japanese daimyo of the Sengoku and Azuchi-Momoyama periods. The heir and son of Gamō Katahide, lord of Hino Castle in Ōmi Province, he later held Matsusaka and finally Aizuwakamatsu Castle in Mutsu Province...

. The name, "Aizu", refers to the Aizu
Aizu
is an area comprising the westernmost third of Fukushima Prefecture in Japan. The principal city of the area is Aizuwakamatsu.During the Edo period, Aizu was a feudal domain known as and part of Mutsu Province.-History:...

 area which he controlled.
1293Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, late 13th century
25.5 cm (10 in) Hiroshima ??? PrivatePrivate, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

With an inscription in gold inlay from 1609: {{nihongo|Owned by Jō Lord of Izumi|城和泉守所持|Jō Izumi no Kami shoji}} and {{nihongo Masamune Suriage Honami}} (authenticated by Honami Kōtoku as Masamune sword); formerly in possession of the Tsugaru clan
Tsugaru clan
The was a Japanese samurai clan originating in northern Japan, specifically Mutsu Province . A branch of the local Nanbu clan, the Tsugaru rose to power during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. It was on the winning side of the Battle of Sekigahara, and entered the Edo period as a family of lords ...

; curvature 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in)
1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
70.8 cm (27.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or {{nihongo
Kanze Masamune}}# Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

Formerly in the possession of the Kanze school, a Noh
Noh
, or - derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. Traditionally, a Noh "performance day" lasts all day and...

 school
1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō to Karyaku
Karyaku
, also romanized as Kareki, was a after Shōchū and before Gentoku. This period spanned the years from April 1326 through August 1329. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 eras (1288–1328)
64.4 cm (25.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or {{nihongo
Tarō-saku Masamune}}# Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

{{center|—}} 1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō to Karyaku
Karyaku
, also romanized as Kareki, was a after Shōchū and before Gentoku. This period spanned the years from April 1326 through August 1329. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 eras (1288–1328)
64.3 cm (25.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo Maeda IkutokukaiMaeda Ikutokukai
Maeda Ikutokukai
The foundation is a public interest corporation established on February 26, 1926 for the management and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Maeda clan, rulers of the Kaga Domain. It is located in Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"|Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or {{nihongo
Nakatsukasa Masamune}}# Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

With a gold inlay inscription: {{nihongo Masamune Honami Kaō}}; formerly held by Honda Tadakatsu
Honda Tadakatsu
, also called Honda Heihachirō , was a Japanese general of the late Sengoku through early Edo period, who served Tokugawa Ieyasu. Honda Tadakatsu was one of the Tokugawa Four Heavenly Kings along with Ii Naomasa, Sakakibara Yasumasa and Sakai Tadatsugu. - Biography :A native of Mikawa Province in...

 whose official rank was Nakatsukasa Daisuke; later handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

; curvature: 1.7 cm (0.669291338582677 in)
1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
67 cm (26.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Hyūga Masamune}}# Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

Formerly in the possession of Ishida Mitsunari
Ishida Mitsunari
Ishida Mitsunari was a samurai who led the Western army in the Battle of Sekigahara following the Azuchi-Momoyama period of the 17th century. Also known by his court title, Jibunoshō...

 who gave this sword to the husband of his younger sister; the sword was stolen during the Battle of Sekigahara
Battle of Sekigahara
The , popularly known as the , was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 which cleared the path to the Shogunate for Tokugawa Ieyasu...

 by Mizuno Katsushige
Mizuno Katsushige
was a daimyo during the late Sengoku Period of Feudal Japan.The son of Mizuno Tadashige, he had in his younger years served Sasa Narimasa, for whom he fought in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Kyushu Campaign in 1587, Kato Kiyomasa, Konishi Yukinaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu, for whom he fought in in the Siege of...

, governor of Hyūga Province
Hyuga Province
was an old province of Japan on the east coast of Kyūshū, corresponding to the modern Miyazaki Prefecture. It was sometimes called or . Hyūga bordered on Bungo, Higo, Ōsumi, and Satsuma Province.The ancient capital was near Saito.-Historical record:...

1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō to Karayku eras (1288–1328)
24.8 cm (9.8 in) Tokyo Tokyo Mitsui Memorial MuseumMitsui Memorial Museum
Mitsui Memorial Museum
The is an art museum in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district.-Collection:The museum's collection includes items used in the Japanese tea ceremony as well as Eastern antiques. The current exhibition is entitled Treasures of Tokugawa Ieyasu....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Kuki Masamune}}# Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

{{center|—}} 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
24.8 cm (9.8 in) Okayama Okayama Hayashibara Museum of ArtHayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art is a privately owned art museum in Okayama owned by the Hayashibara Group. The owner of the collection was Ichiro Hayashibara, and the museum was opened in 1964, to honor his final wishes to display his collection to the public prior to his death...

, Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

, Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo|"Kitchen knife" Masamune|庖丁正宗|Hōchō Masamune}}#
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

The name "Kitchen knife" refers to the unusually short and wide shape of the knife. In addition to this item, there are two other national treasure "kitchen knives" by Masamune. 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
24.1 cm (9.5 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Terasawa Sadamune}}# Unsigned Sadamune Name derives from the fact that this sword was a favorite of Terasawa Shima no Kami Hirotaka who passed it on to Tokugawa Hidetada
Tokugawa Hidetada
was the second shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty, who ruled from 1605 until his abdication in 1623. He was the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.-Early life :...

 and further to Tokugawa Yorinori, lord of the Kishu fief
1335Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, mid 14th century, around Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Kemmu
Kemmu
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Shōkei and before Ryakuō. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.This period spanned the...

 eras (1329–1338)
29.4 cm (11.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo|"Kitchen knife" Masamune|庖丁正宗|Hōchō Masamune}}#
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

The name "Kitchen knife" refers to the unusually short and wide shape of the knife. In addition to this item, there are two other national treasure "kitchen knives" by Masamune. 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, before Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1329)
21.8 cm (8.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Eisei Bunko MuseumEisei Bunko Museum
Eisei Bunko Museum
The is a museum in Bunkyo-ku district in Tokyo, Japan. Its collection includes historical documents and artifacts, and works of fine art. The museum is located what was formerly the grounds of the Hosokawa clan, near the Shin-Edogawa Garden.-History:...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo|"Kitchen knife" Masamune|庖丁正宗|Hōchō Masamune}}#
Unsigned Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

The name "Kitchen knife" refers to the unusually short and wide shape of the knife. In addition to this item, there are two other national treasure "kitchen knives" by Masamune. 1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō to Karayku eras (1288–1328)
21.7 cm (8.5 in) Osaka Osaka Kinshukai{{nihongo|Kinshūkai|錦秀会}}, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Tokuzen-in Sadamune}}# Unsigned Sadamune Maeda Gen'i, also known as Abbot Tokuzen-in (a temple name) received this dagger from Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

; later it was handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

 and the Saijō branch of the Matsudaira clan
Matsudaira clan
The was a Japanese samurai clan that claimed descent from the Minamoto clan. It first originated in and took its name from Matsudaira village, in Mikawa Province . Over the course of its history, the clan produced many branches, most of which also centered around Mikawa Province...

1329Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, around Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Kemmu
Kemmu
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Shōkei and before Ryakuō. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.This period spanned the...

 eras (1329–1338)
35.5 cm (14 in) Tokyo Tokyo Mitsui Memorial MuseumMitsui Memorial Museum
Mitsui Memorial Museum
The is an art museum in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district.-Collection:The museum's collection includes items used in the Japanese tea ceremony as well as Eastern antiques. The current exhibition is entitled Treasures of Tokugawa Ieyasu....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 or {{nihongo
Fushimi Sadamune}}# Unsigned Sadamune With a red lacquer stamp by a Honami sword appraiser 1329Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, around Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Kemmu
Kemmu
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Shōkei and before Ryakuō. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.This period spanned the...

 eras (1329–1338)
{{center|—}} Hyogo Nishinomiya Kurokawa Institute of Ancient Cultures{{nihongo|Kurokawa Institute of Ancient Cultures|黒川古文化研究所|Kurokawa Kobunka Kenkyūjo}}, Nishinomiya
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

, Hyōgo
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or {{nihongo|Tortoise shell Sadamune|亀甲貞宗|Kikkō Sadamune}}#
Unsigned Sadamune Name ("tortoise shell") refers to an engraving on the tang: a chrysanthemum within a hexagon, resembling a tortoise shell; curvature: 2.4 cm (0.94488188976378 in) 1329Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century, around Gentoku
Gentoku
was a Japanese era name after Karyaku and before Genkō. This period spanned the years from August 1329 through April 1331 in the Southern Court, but continued to be used in the Northern Court until 1332. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Kemmu
Kemmu
was a Japanese era name of the Northern Court during the Era of Northern and Southern Courts after Shōkei and before Ryakuō. Although Kemmu is understood by the Southern Court as having begun at the same time, the era was construed to have begun after Genkō and before Engen.This period spanned the...

 eras (1329–1338)
70.9 cm (27.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Sukezane}}
}
| Sword by the founder of the Kamakura Ichimonji school; curvature 1.8 cm (0.708661417322835 in)
| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Bun'ei era (1264–1275)
| 67 cm (26.4 in)
| Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


|-
| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...


| {{nihongo||助真|Sukezane}}
| {{nihongo|Kamakura Ichimonji Sukezane|鎌倉一文字助真|}}
| Sword by the founder of the Kamakura Ichimonji school; formerly held by Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...


| 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Bun'ei era (1264–1275)
| 71.2 cm (28 in)
| Tochigi Nikko Nikko ToshoguNikkō Tōshō-gū
Nikko Tosho-gu
is a Shinto shrine located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the "Shrines and Temples of Nikkō", a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Tōshō-gū is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Initially built in 1617, during the Edo period, while Ieyasu's son Hidetada...

, Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

, Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...


|}

Bizen Province


Bizen Province
Bizen Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of Honshū, in what is today the southeastern part of Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bitchu and Bingo Provinces. Bizen borders Mimasaka, Harima, and Bitchū Provinces....

 became an early center of iron production and swordmaking because of the proximity to the continent. Conditions for sword production were ideal: good iron sand; charcoal and water were readily available; and the San'yōdō
San'yodo
is a Japanese term denoting both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through it. The San'yōdō corresponds for the most part with the modern conception of the San'yō region,San'yō translates to "the sunlight-side of a mountain", while dō, depending on the context, can mean...

 road ran right through the province. Bizen has been the only province to produce swords continuously from the Heian to the Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

. In kotō times, a large number of skilled swordsmiths lived along the lower reaches of the Yoshii river around Osafune
Osafune, Okayama
was a town located in Oku District, Okayama, Japan.On November 1, 2004 Osafune was merged with the towns of Oku and Ushimado, all from Oku District, to form the new city of Setouchi....

 making it the largest center of sword production in Japan. Bizen province not only dominated in the numbers of blades produced but also in quality; and Bizen swords have long been celebrated for excellent swordmanship. The peak of the Bizen tradition, marked by a gorgeous and luxurious style, was reached in the mid-Kamakura period. Later, in the 13th century, the Ichimonji and Osafune schools, the mainstream schools of Bizen Province, maintained the Heian style of the Ko-Bizen, the oldest school in Bizen province. After the 13th century, swords became wider and the point (kissaki) longer, most likely as a response to the thick armour of the invading Mongols
Mongol invasions of Japan
The ' of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank...

. Mass production due to heavy demand for swords from the early 15th to the 16th century led to a lower quality of blades. The Bizen tradition is associated with a deep koshi-zori, a standard mihaba, bigger kasane with medium kissaki. The jihada is itame-hada often accompanied by utsuri. The hamon is chōji midare in nioi deki.
Ko-Bizen


The oldest branch of swordmaking in Bizen Province is the Ko-Bizen (old Bizen) school. It was founded by TomonariSometimes Masatsune is also credited with the founding. who lived around the early 12th century. The school flourished in the late Heian period (10th–12th century) and continued into the Kamakura period. Three great swordsmiths—Kanehira, Masatsune and Tomonari—are associated with the school. Ko-Bizen tachi are generally thin,With some exceptions such as the Ōkanehira by Kanehira have a strong koshi-zori and small kissaki. The grain is itame-hada or small itame-hada and the hamon is small midare made of nie in combination with chōji and gunome.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Made by Tomonari from Bizen Province|備前国友成造|Bizen no kuni Tomonari tsukuru}} {{nihongo|Tomonari|友成}} Curvature: 2.4 cm (0.94488188976378 in) 1000Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 11th century
80.3 cm (31.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Work of Tomonari|友成作|Tomonari saku}} {{nihongo|Tomonari|友成}}The Tomonari who forged the swords signed Tomonari saku and Bizen no kuni Tomonari tsukuru are two different smiths Handed down trhough Taira no Munemori
Taira no Munemori
was heir to Taira no Kiyomori, and one of the Taira clan's chief commanders in the Genpei War.As his father Taira no Kiyomori lay on his deathbed, Kiyomori declared, among his last wishes, that all affairs of the clan be placed in Munemori's hands...

; curvature: 3 cm (1.2 in)
1100Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 12th century
79.3 cm (31.2 in) Hiroshima Hatsukaichi Itsukushima ShrineItsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine
Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan...

, Hatsukaichi
Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
is a city of some 120,000 people located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. The name derives from a market traditionally held on the 20th of each month with hatsuka meaning "20th day" and ichi translating to "market"...

, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or {{nihongo|"Great Kanehira"|大包平|Ōkanehira}}#
{{nihongo|Work of Kanehira from Bizen Province"|備前国包平作|Bizen no kuni Kanehira tsuku}} {{nihongo|Kanehira|包平}} Name ("Ōkanehira") refers to the extraordinary size of the blade; unusual signature for Kanehira who usually used a two character signature; owned by Ikeda Terumasa
Ikeda Terumasa
was a Japanese daimyo of the early Edo period. His court title was Musashi no Kami.Terumasa fought in many of the battles of the late Azuchi-Momoyama Period, and due to his service at the Battle of Sekigahara, received a fief at Himeji....

 and passed down in the Ikeda clan
Ikeda clan
The was a Japanese clan that claimed descent from the Seiwa Genji. In the Edo period, several of the clan's branches were daimyo families, most notably of the Tottori Domain, and Okayama Domain. Takamasa Ikeda, present head of the Okayama Ikeda house is a husband of Atsuko Ikeda, fourth daughter...

; curvature 3.5 cm (1.4 in)
1100Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 12th century
89.2 cm (35.1 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Masatsune}} {{nihongo|Masatsune|正恒}} Tokugawa Munechika
Tokugawa Munechika
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain....

 received the sword in 1745 from Tokugawa Yoshimune
Tokugawa Yoshimune
was the eighth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, ruling from 1716 until his abdication in 1745. He was the son of Tokugawa Mitsusada, the grandson of Tokugawa Yorinobu, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu.-Lineage:...

1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
72 cm (28.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Masatsune}} {{nihongo|Masatsune|正恒}} {{center|—}} 1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
74.2 cm (29.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo Agency for Cultural AffairsAgency for Cultural Affairs
Agency for Cultural Affairs
The is a special body of the Japanese Ministry of Education . It was set up in 1968 to promote Japanese arts and culture. As of April 2007, it is led by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Tamotsu Aoki....

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Masatsune}} {{nihongo|Masatsune|正恒}} The sword passed from Tokugawa Yoshimune
Tokugawa Yoshimune
was the eighth shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, ruling from 1716 until his abdication in 1745. He was the son of Tokugawa Mitsusada, the grandson of Tokugawa Yorinobu, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu.-Lineage:...

 on his retirement in 1745 to Tokugawa Munekatsu
Tokugawa Munekatsu
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Takasu Domain and then the Owari Domain. As lord of Takasu he used the name ....

 and later on to Tokugawa Munechika
Tokugawa Munechika
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain....

; curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in), breadth at butt: 2.9 cm (1.1 in)
1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
71.8 cm (28.3 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Masatsune}} {{nihongo|Masatsune|正恒}} {{center|—}} 1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
77.6 cm (30.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate (Aoyama Kikuchi), Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Masatsune}} {{nihongo|Masatsune|正恒}} {{center|—}} 1156Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, mid-12th century, around Hōgen
Hogen (era)
was a after Kyūju and before Heiji. This period spanned the years from April 1156 through April 1159. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* January 24, 1156 : The new era name was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (1156–1159)
{{center|—}} Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Sanetsune}} {{nihongo|Sanetsune|真恒}} Curvature: 3.9 cm (1.5 in) 1077Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, late 11th century, around Jōryaku
Joryaku
was a Japanese era name after Jōhō and before Eihō. This period spanned the years from November 1077 through February 1081. The reigning emperor was .-Change of Era:...

 are (1077–1081)
89.4 cm (35.2 in) Shizuoka Shizuoka Kunozan ToshoguKunōzan Tōshō-gū
Kunozan Tosho-gu
The is a Shintō shrine in Suruga-ku in the city of Shizuoka in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is the original burial place of the first Shōgun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and is thus the oldest of the Tōshō-gū shrines in the country. The main festival of the shrine is held annually...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka, Shizuoka
is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture's second-largest city in terms of both population and area. It became one of Japan's 19 "designated cities" in 2005.-Geography:...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

A {{nihongo|thread-wrapped slung-sword mounting|糸巻太刀拵|ito maki no tachi koshirae}} with gold nashiji lacquer and scattered hollyhock insignia from the 17th century Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

 is attached to the nomination. The mounting is made of wood, lacquer, shakudō
Shakudo
Shakudō is a billon of gold and copper , mostly designed for its dark blue-purple patina. It was historically used in Japan to decorate katana fittings such as tsuba and kozuka...

, gold, and silk. Its overall length is 112.1 cm (44.1 in).
{{nihongo|Work of Nobufusa|信房作|Nobufusa-saku}} {{nihongo|Nobufusa|信房}} Curvature: 2.3 cm (0.905511811023622 in) 1100Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, 12th century
76.1 cm (30 in) Yamagata Tsuruoka Chido Museum{{nihongo|Chidō Museum|致道博物館|Chidō Hakubutsukan}}, Tsuruoka
Tsuruoka, Yamagata
is a city located in the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.Tsuruoka is the second largest city in Yamagata Prefecture after Yamagata City...

, Yamagata
Yamagata Prefecture
-Fruit:Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.- Demographics :...


Ichimonji school

The Ichimonji school was founded by Norimune in the late Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

. Together with the Osafune it was one of the main branches of the Bizen tradition and continued through the Kamakura period with a peak of prosperity before the mid-Kamakura period. The name {{nihongo|Ichimonji|一文字||lit. character "one"}} refers to the signature (mei) on swords of this school. Many smiths signed blades with only a horizontal line (read as "ichi", translated as "one"); however signatures exist that contain only the smith's name, or "ichi" plus the smith's name, and unsigned blades exist as well. From the early Ichimonji school (Ko-Ichimonji), the "ichi" signature looks like a diagonal line and might have been a mark instead of a character. From the mid-Kamakura period however, "ichi" is definitely the character and not a mark. Some Ichimonji smiths lived in Fukuoka village, Osafune
Osafune, Okayama
was a town located in Oku District, Okayama, Japan.On November 1, 2004 Osafune was merged with the towns of Oku and Ushimado, all from Oku District, to form the new city of Setouchi....

 and others in Yoshioka village. They are known as Fukuoka-Ichimonji and Yoshioka-Ichimonji respectively, and were typically active in the early to mid-Kamakura period (Fukuoka-Ichimonji) and the late-Kamakura period (Yoshioka-Ichimonji) respectively.

The workmanship of early Ichimonji smiths such as Norimune resembles that of the Ko-Bizen school: tachi have a narrow mihaba, deep koshi-zori, funbari and an elegant sugata with small kissaki. The hamon is small midare or small midare with small chōji midare in small nie.

Around the middle Kamakura period tachi have a wide mihaba and grand sugata with medium kissaki such as ikubi kissaki. The hamon is large chōji midare or juka chōji in nioi deki and irregular width. Particularly the hamon of tachi with just the "ichi" signature is wide chōji. The hamon of this period's Ichimonji school is one of the most gorgeous amongst kotō smiths and comparable to Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

 and his students' works. The most characteristic works for mid-Kamakura period Ichimonji school were produced by Yoshifusa, Sukezane and Norifusa. Yoshifusa, who left the largest number of blades, and Norifusa might each in fact have been several smiths using the same name.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo ichi}} {{nihongo|Tomonari|友成}} {{center|—}} 1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

{{center|—}} Shizuoka Numazu Makiri Corporation{{nihongo|Makiri Corporation|株式会社マキリ|Kabushikigaisha Makiri}}, Numazu
Numazu, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 205,636 and a population density of 1,100 persons per km². The total area was 187.11 km².- Geography:...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or {{nihongo
Nikkō Ichimonji}}# Unsigned {{nihongo|Fukuoka Ichimonji|福岡一文字}} Part of the Kuroda family
Kuroda clan
The ' was a Japanese samurai clan which came to prominence during the Sengoku period.-Origins:The Kuroda clan claimed its origins in Tōtōmi Province.-Sengoku era:...

 collection, handed down in the Hōjō clan
Hojo clan
See the late Hōjō clan for the Hōjō clan of the Sengoku Period.The in the history of Japan was a family who controlled the hereditary title of shikken of the Kamakura Shogunate. In practice, the family had actual governmental power, many times dictatorial, rather than Kamakura shoguns, or the...

; curvature: 2.4 cm (0.94488188976378 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
67.8 cm (26.7 in) Fukuoka Fukuoka Fukuoka City MuseumFukuoka City Museum, Fukuoka
Fukuoka, Fukuoka
is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.Voted number 14 in a 2010 poll of the World's Most Livable Cities, Fukuoka is praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by...

, Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

Unsigned {{nihongo|Fukuoka Ichimonji|福岡一文字}} Temper pattern resembles the feather of a pheasant: {{nihongo Yamatorige}} 1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

79 cm (31.1 in) Okayama ??? PrivatePrivate, Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Norimune}} {{nihongo|Norimune|則宗}}^ Curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in) 1185early Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Genryaku
Genryaku
was a after Juei and before Bunji. This period spanned the years from April 1184 through August 1185. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* 1184 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Jōgen eras (1184–1211)
78.4 cm (30.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo Hie ShrineHie Shrine
Hie Shrine
The is a Shinto shrine in Nagatachō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. Its June 15 Sannō Matsuri is one of the three great Japanese festivals of Edo...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Yoshifusa}} {{nihongo|Yoshifusa|吉房}} Sword of Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His opus was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi...

 whose son, Oda Nobukatsu
Oda Nobukatsu
was a Japanese samurai of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was the second son of Oda Nobunaga. He survived the decline of the Oda clan from political prominence, becoming a daimyo in the early Edo period.-Kitabatake clan:...

, used it to slay Okada Sukesaburō in the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute
Battle of Komaki and Nagakute
The consisted of two battles in 1584 between the forces of Hashiba Hideyoshi and the forces of Oda Nobukatsu and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hideyoshi and Ieyasu had both served Oda Nobunaga and had not previously come into conflict; this would in fact be their only period of enmity...


Also known as {{nihongo|Okada slayer|岡田切|Okada-giri}}, curvature: 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
69.1 cm (27.2 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Yoshifusa}} {{nihongo|Yoshifusa|吉房}} Formerly in the possession of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

, later bestowed on Takekoshi Masanobu, a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

; subsequently owned by Takekoshi's descendants
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
70.6 cm (27.8 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Yoshifusa}} {{nihongo|Yoshifusa|吉房}} {{center|—}} 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
{{center|—}} Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 
{{nihongo Yoshifusa}} {{nihongo|Fukuoka Yoshifusa|福岡吉房}} In the possession of many people such as the Kishū-Tokugawa family; handed down in the Taira clan
Taira clan
The was a major Japanese clan of samurai in historical Japan.In reference to Japanese history, along with Minamoto, Taira was a hereditary clan name bestowed by the emperors of the Heian Period to certain ex-members of the imperial family when they became subjects...

; curvature: 2.65 cm (1 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
71.2 cm (28 in) Okayama Okayama Hayashibara Museum of ArtHayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art is a privately owned art museum in Okayama owned by the Hayashibara Group. The owner of the collection was Ichiro Hayashibara, and the museum was opened in 1964, to honor his final wishes to display his collection to the public prior to his death...

, Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

, Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Yoshifusa}} {{nihongo|Fukuoka Yoshifusa|福岡吉房}} Handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
73.9 cm (29.1 in) Hiroshima ??? PrivatePrivate, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Yoshihira}} {{nihongo|Fukuoka Yoshihira|福岡吉平}} {{center|—}} 1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Ninji
Ninji
, also called Jinji, was a after En'ō and before Kangen. This period spanned the years from August 1240 to January 1243. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:...

 to Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 eras (1240–1256)
{{center|—}} Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Sukekane}} {{nihongo|Fukuoka Sukekane|福岡助包}} Handed down in the Tottori
Tottori Domain
The ' was a Japanese domain of the Edo period, located in Inaba and Hōki Provinces . It was ruled by different branches of the Ikeda clan.-List of lords:*Ikeda clan, 1600-1617 #Nagayoshi#Nagayuki...

 branch of the Ikeda clan
Ikeda clan
The was a Japanese clan that claimed descent from the Seiwa Genji. In the Edo period, several of the clan's branches were daimyo families, most notably of the Tottori Domain, and Okayama Domain. Takamasa Ikeda, present head of the Okayama Ikeda house is a husband of Atsuko Ikeda, fourth daughter...

1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

77.7 cm (30.6 in) Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Norifusa}} {{nihongo|Fukuoka Norifusa|福岡則房}} Handed down in the Tokugawa clan
Tokugawa clan
The was a powerful daimyo family of Japan. They nominally descended from Emperor Seiwa and were a branch of the Minamoto clan by the Nitta clan. However, the early history of this clan remains a mystery.-History:...

; curvature: 3.2 cm (1.3 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
77.3 cm (30.4 in) Hiroshima ??? PrivatePrivate, Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

Unsigned {{nihongo|Fukuoka Norifusa|福岡則房}} {{center|—}} 1185Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

{{center|—}} Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Sakon Shōgen Sukemitsu living in Yoshioka in Bizen Province|備前国吉岡住左近将監紀助光|Bizen no kuni Yoshioka jū Sakon Shōgen ki Sukemitsu}} , {{nihongo|O Great God of Arms, I beseech your aid against my enemy!|南无 八幡大菩薩|Namu Hachiman Daibosatsu}} {{nihongo|Yoshioka Sukemitsu|吉岡助光}} Curvature: 3.9 cm (1.5 in) 1322-03Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, March 1322
82.4 cm (32.4 in) Osaka Osaka ??? PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

{{nihongo|Ichi Sakon Shōgen Sukemitsu living in Yoshioka in Bizen Province|一備州吉岡住左近将監紀助光|ichi Bishū Yoshioka-jū Sakon Shōgen ki no Sukemitsu}} {{nihongo|Yoshioka Sukemitsu|吉岡助光}} Handed down in the Kaga
Kaga Domain
The was a powerful feudal domain in Kaga, Noto and Etchū Provinces of Japan during the Edo period. The domain was founded by Maeda Toshiie and headed by the Maeda clan. Its income rating, over 1,000,000 koku, was the highest in the nation after the Tokugawa shogunate itself...

 branch of the Maeda clan
Maeda clan
The was a branch of the Sugawara clan who descended from Sugawara no Kiyotomo and Sugawara no Michizane in the eighth and ninth centuries. It was one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan and they were second only to the Tokugawa clan in rice production and fief size...

1320Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1320
56.7 cm (22.3 in) Osaka Osaka ??? PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...


Osafune school

Founded by Mitsutada in the mid-Kamakura period in Osafune
Osafune, Okayama
was a town located in Oku District, Okayama, Japan.On November 1, 2004 Osafune was merged with the towns of Oku and Ushimado, all from Oku District, to form the new city of Setouchi....

, the Osafune school continued through to the end of the Muromachi period. It was for a long time the most prosperous of the Bizen schools and a great number of master swordsmiths belonged to it. Nagamitsu (also called Junkei Nagamitsu), the son of Mitsutada, was the second generation, and Kagemitsu the third generation.

Osafune sugata is characteristic for the period and similar to that of the Ichimonji school: a wide mihaba and ikubi kissaki. After the 13th century the curve moved from koshi-zori to torii-zori. Other stylistic features depend on the swordsmith. In the hamon, Mitsutada adopted the Ichimonji style of large chōji midare mixed with juka chōji and a unique kawazuko chōji; Nagamitsu produced also chōji midare hower with a different pattern and mixed with considerable gunome midare. Starting with Kagemitsu the hamon became suguha and gunome midare. Kagemitsu is also credited with the invention of kataochi gunome. Mitsutada's bōshi is midare komi with short kaeri or yakitsume. Nagamitsu and Kagemitsu use a sansaku bōshi. Kagemitsu is also known as one of the finest engravers particularly through his masterpiece Koryū Kagemitsu.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Kagemitsu living in Osafune in Bizen Province|備前国長船住景光|Bizen no kuni Osafune-jū Kagemitsu}} {{nihongo|Kagemitsu|景光}} Sword of Kusunoki Masashige
Kusunoki Masashige
was a 14th century samurai who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in his attempt to wrest rulership of Japan away from the Kamakura shogunate and is remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty.-Tactician:...

, also called {{nihongo|Little Dragon Kagemitsu|小龍景光|Koryū Kagemitsu}} after a relief on the face of the blade, curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in)
1322-05Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, May 1322
80.6 cm (31.7 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

Unsigned {{nihongo|Mitsutada|光忠}} Also called {{nihongo 生駒光忠|Ikoma Mitsutada}} after the former owner, Ikoma Chikamasa
Ikoma Chikamasa
Ikoma Chikamasa was a daimyo during the Azuchi-Momoyama period of the 16th century to the Edo period of the 17th century of Japan. He was appointed to one of three chu-rō by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. His father was Ikoma Chikashige....

; with a kaō
Kao
Kao may refer to:* Kao, a Japanese term for face., a stylized signature or a mark used in place of a signature in China and Japan* Kao , a crater on the Moon.* Kaō , a Japanese era name* Kao , a film by Michiyo Okusu...

 and a gold inlay inscription: {{nihongo
Mitsutada}}, made by the connoisseur {{nihongo|Honami Kōtoku|本阿弥光徳}} 1238Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Ryakunin
Ryakunin
was a after Katei and before En'ō. This period spanned the years from November 1238 to April 1239. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1238 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Kangen
Kangen
was a after Ninji and before Hoji. This period spanned the years from February 1243 to February 1247. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:; 1243: The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (1238–1247)
{{center|—}} Tokyo Tokyo Eisei Bunko MuseumEisei Bunko Museum
Eisei Bunko Museum
The is a museum in Bunkyo-ku district in Tokyo, Japan. Its collection includes historical documents and artifacts, and works of fine art. The museum is located what was formerly the grounds of the Hosokawa clan, near the Shin-Edogawa Garden.-History:...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Mitsutada}} {{nihongo|Mitsutada|光忠}} Tokugawa Tsunanari
Tokugawa Tsunanari
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain....

 received this sword from Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
was the fifth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. He was the younger brother of Tokugawa Ietsuna, thus making him the son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu....

 in 1698; curvature: 2.3 cm (0.905511811023622 in)
1238Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Ryakunin
Ryakunin
was a after Katei and before En'ō. This period spanned the years from November 1238 to April 1239. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1238 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Kangen
Kangen
was a after Ninji and before Hoji. This period spanned the years from February 1243 to February 1247. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:; 1243: The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (1238–1247)
72.4 cm (28.5 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

{{nihongo Mitsutada}} {{nihongo|Mitsutada|光忠}} Inscription in gold inlay 1238Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Ryakunin
Ryakunin
was a after Katei and before En'ō. This period spanned the years from November 1238 to April 1239. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1238 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 to Kangen
Kangen
was a after Ninji and before Hoji. This period spanned the years from February 1243 to February 1247. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:; 1243: The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (1238–1247)
{{center|—}} Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or {{nihongo
Daihannya Nagamitsu}}# {{nihongo Nagamitsu}} {{nihongo|Junkei Nagamitsu|長光}} The name ("Daihannya") refers to the Daihannya sutra. The value of the sword during the Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

, 600 kan, was associated with the sutra's 600 volumes; said to have belonged to the Ashikaga clan
Ashikaga clan
The ' was a prominent Japanese samurai clan which established the Muromachi shogunate and ruled Japan from roughly 1336 to 1573.The Ashikaga were descended from a branch of the Minamoto clan, deriving originally from the town of Ashikaga in Shimotsuke province .For about a century the clan was...

, later in the possession of Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His opus was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi...

 who gave it to Tokugawa Ieyasu
Tokugawa Ieyasu
 was the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan , which ruled from the Battle of Sekigahara  in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shogun in 1603, abdicated from office in 1605, but...

 at the Battle of Anegawa
Battle of Anegawa
The 1570 came as a reaction to Oda Nobunaga's sieges of the castles of Odani and Yokoyama, which belonged to the Azai and Asakura clans. It was also referred to as the Battle of Nomura by the Oda and Azai clans and the Battle of Mitamura by the Asakura clan.As warriors sallied forth from the...

, who then gave it to Okudaira Nobumasa at the Battle of Nagashino
Battle of Nagashino
The ' took place in 1575 near Nagashino Castle on the plain of Shitaragahara in the Mikawa province of Japan. Forces under Takeda Katsuyori had besieged the castle since the 17th of June; Okudaira Sadamasa , a Tokugawa vassal, commanded the defending force...

; curvature: 2.9 cm (1.1 in)
1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
73.6 cm (29 in) Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 or {{nihongo
Tōtōmi
Totomi Province
was a province of Japan in the area of Japan that is today western Shizuoka Prefecture. Tōtōmi bordered on Mikawa, Suruga and Shinano Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was .-History:...

 Nagamitsu}}#
{{nihongo Nagamitsu}} {{nihongo|Junkei Nagamitsu|長光}} Stolen by Akechi Mitsuhide
Akechi Mitsuhide
, nicknamed Jūbei or called from his clan name and title, was a samurai who lived during the Sengoku period of Feudal Japan.Mitsuhide was a general under daimyo Oda Nobunaga, although he became infamous for his betrayal in 1582, which led to Nobunaga's death at Honno-ji...

 from Azuchi Castle
Azuchi Castle
' was one of the primary castles of Oda Nobunaga. It was built from 1576 to 1579, on the shores of Lake Biwa, in Ōmi Province. Nobunaga intentionally built it close enough to Kyoto that he could watch over and guard the approaches to the capital, but, being outside the city, his fortress would be...

; later in the possession of Maeda Toshinaga
Maeda Toshinaga
' was a Japanese daimyo who was the second head of the Kaga Domain. He was the eldest son of Maeda Toshiie and married one of Oda Nobunaga's daughters, Ei-hime....

, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
was the fifth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. He was the younger brother of Tokugawa Ietsuna, thus making him the son of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the great-grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu....

 and in 1709 it passed from Tokugawa Ienobu
Tokugawa Ienobu
was the sixth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. He was the eldest son of Tokugawa Tsunashige, thus making him the nephew of Tokugawa Ietsuna and Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the grandson of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the great-grandson of Tokugawa Hidetada, and the great-great grandson of Tokugawa...

 to Tokugawa Yoshimichi
Tokugawa Yoshimichi
was a Japanese daimyo of the Edo period, who ruled the Owari Domain....

1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
72.4 cm (28.5 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Nagamitsu}} {{nihongo|Junkei Nagamitsu|長光}} {{center|—}} 1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
{{center|—}} Tokyo Tokyo Tokyo National MuseumTokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Made by Sakon Shōgen Nagamitsu living in Osafune in Bizen province|備前国長船住左近将監長光造|Bizen no kuni Osafune no jū Sakon Shōgen Nagamitsu-zō}} {{nihongo|Junkei Nagamitsu|長光}} Curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in) 1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
78.7 cm (31 in) Okayama Okayama Hayashibara Museum of ArtHayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art
Hayashibara Museum of Art is a privately owned art museum in Okayama owned by the Hayashibara Group. The owner of the collection was Ichiro Hayashibara, and the museum was opened in 1964, to honor his final wishes to display his collection to the public prior to his death...

, Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

, Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Three Avatars of Kumano|熊野三所権現長光|Kumano Sansho Gongen Nagamitsu}} {{nihongo|Junkei Nagamitsu|長光}} Curvature: 2.9 cm (1.1 in), also called: "Sword of the three temples" 1249Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century, around Kenchō
Kencho
was a after Hōji and before Kōgen. This period spanned the years from March 1249 to October 1256. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:...

 to Shōō eras (1249–1293)
78 cm (30.7 in) Shizuoka ??? PrivatePrivate, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Sahyōe-no-jō (lit. left palace guard) Kagemitsu living in Osafune in Bizen Province|備前国長船住左兵衛尉景光|Bizen no kuni Osafune no jū Sahyōe no jō Kagemitsu}} {{nihongo|Kagemitsu|景光}} {{center|—}} 1329-07Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, July, 1329
82.4 cm (32.4 in) Saitama Saitama Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore{{nihongo|Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore|埼玉県立歴史と民俗の博物館|Saitamakenritsu Rekishi to Minzoku no Hakubutsukan}}, Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

, Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...

Naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

{{nihongo|Made by Nagamitsu living in Osafune in Bizen Province|備前国長船住人長光造|Bizen no kuni Osafune-jū Nagamitsu tsukuru}} {{nihongo|Nagamitsu|長光}} Length of tang: 63.5 cm (25 in) 1300Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century
44.2 cm (17.4 in) Shizuoka Mishima Sano Art Museum{{nihongo|Sano Art Museum|佐野美術館|Sano Bijutsukan}}, Mishima
Mishima, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 112,078 and a population density of 1,800 persons per km². The total area is 62.13 km²...

, Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

A black-lacquered {{nihongo|short sword mounting|小サ刀拵|chiisagatana koshirae}} for a tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 with a tsuba (sword guard) is attached to the nomination. It dates to the 16th century Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

 and is made of wood, lacquer, rayskin, leather, shakudō
Shakudo
Shakudō is a billon of gold and copper , mostly designed for its dark blue-purple patina. It was historically used in Japan to decorate katana fittings such as tsuba and kozuka...

, gold, silver and silk. Its overall length is 46.2 cm (18.2 in).
{{nihongo|Kagemitsu living in Osafune in Kibi Province
Kibi Province
was a ancient province or region of Japan, in the same area as Okayama Prefecture and eastern Hiroshima Prefecture. It was sometimes called .It was divided into Bizen , Bitchū , and Bingo Provinces in the late 7th century, and Mimasaka Province was separated from Bizen Province in the 8th century...

|備州長船住景光|Bishū Osafune-jū Kagemitsu}}
{{nihongo|Kagemitsu|景光}} Formerly in the possession of Uesugi Kenshin
Uesugi Kenshin
was a daimyo who ruled Echigo province in the Sengoku period of Japan.He was one of the most powerful lords of the Sengoku period. While chiefly remembered for his prowess on the battlefield, Kenshin is also regarded as an extremely skillful administrator who fostered the growth of local industries...

; with an engraving: {{nihongo
Chichibu Daibosatsu}} on the blade; slight curvature 1323Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1323
28.3 cm (11.1 in) Saitama Saitama Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore{{nihongo|Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore|埼玉県立歴史と民俗の博物館|Saitamakenritsu Rekishi to Minzoku no Hakubutsukan}}, Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

, Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

A {{nihongo|thread-wrapped slung-sword mounting|糸巻太刀拵|ito maki no tachi koshirae}} with gold nashiji lacquer from the late 16th century Momoyama period is attached to the nomination. The mounting is made of wood, lacquer, shakudō
Shakudo
Shakudō is a billon of gold and copper , mostly designed for its dark blue-purple patina. It was historically used in Japan to decorate katana fittings such as tsuba and kozuka...

, gold, and silk. Its overall length is 109 cm (42.9 in).
{{nihongo Kagemitsu}} {{nihongo|Kagemitsu|景光}} Presented to {{nihongo|Tadatsugu|忠次}} by Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga
was the initiator of the unification of Japan under the shogunate in the late 16th century, which ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. He was also a major daimyo during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. His opus was continued, completed and finalized by his successors Toyotomi...

 for good service in the Battle of Nagashino
Battle of Nagashino
The ' took place in 1575 near Nagashino Castle on the plain of Shitaragahara in the Mikawa province of Japan. Forces under Takeda Katsuyori had besieged the castle since the 17th of June; Okudaira Sadamasa , a Tokugawa vassal, commanded the defending force...

; curvature: 2.9 cm (1.1 in)
1333Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 14th century towards 1333
77.3 cm (30.4 in) Yamagata Tsuruoka Chido Museum{{nihongo|Chidō Museum|致道博物館|Chidō Hakubutsukan}}, Tsuruoka
Tsuruoka, Yamagata
is a city located in the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.Tsuruoka is the second largest city in Yamagata Prefecture after Yamagata City...

, Yamagata
Yamagata Prefecture
-Fruit:Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.- Demographics :...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo|Chikakage living in Osafune in Bizen Province|備前国長船住近景|Bizen no kuni Osafune-jū Chikakage}} {{nihongo|Chikakage|近景}} Curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in) 1329Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 1329
80.5 cm (31.7 in) Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo|Nagashige living in Osafune in Kibi Province
Kibi Province
was a ancient province or region of Japan, in the same area as Okayama Prefecture and eastern Hiroshima Prefecture. It was sometimes called .It was divided into Bizen , Bitchū , and Bingo Provinces in the late 7th century, and Mimasaka Province was separated from Bizen Province in the 8th century...

|備州長船住長重|Bishū Osafune-jū Nagashiga}}
{{nihongo|Nagashige|長重}} Slight curvature towards the cutting edge (uchi-zori) 1334Nanboku-chō period, 1334 26.06 cm (10.3 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....

{{nihongo|Tomomitsu living in Osafune in Kibi Province
Kibi Province
was a ancient province or region of Japan, in the same area as Okayama Prefecture and eastern Hiroshima Prefecture. It was sometimes called .It was divided into Bizen , Bitchū , and Bingo Provinces in the late 7th century, and Mimasaka Province was separated from Bizen Province in the 8th century...

|備州長船倫光|Bishū Osafune Tomomitsu}}
{{nihongo|Tomomitsu|倫光}} Handed down in the Bizen Osafune Kanemitsu branch; curvature: 5.8 cm (2.3 in) 1366-02Nanboku-chō period, February, 1366 126 cm (49.6 in) Tochigi Nikko Futarasan ShrineFutarasan Shrine
Futarasan Shrine
, also known as Nikkō Futarasan Shrine, is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. To distinguish it from the shrine in nearby Utsunomiya. It enshrines three deities: Ōkuninushi, Tagorihime, and Ajisukitakahikone....

, Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

, Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...


Saburo Kunimune school

Like the Osafune school, the Saburo Kunimune school was located in Osafune
Osafune, Okayama
was a town located in Oku District, Okayama, Japan.On November 1, 2004 Osafune was merged with the towns of Oku and Ushimado, all from Oku District, to form the new city of Setouchi....

, however the swordsmiths are from a different lineage than those of Mitsutada and his school. The name, "saburo", refers to the fact that Kunimune, the founder of the school, was the third son of Kunizane. Kunimune later moved to Sagami Province
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

 to found the Sōshū tradition together with Ichimonji Sukezane. There were two generations of Kunimune, and their work is very difficult to distinguish. This school's workmanship is similar to that of other smiths of the time but with a slightly coarse jihada and with hajimi.
Type
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Kunimune}} {{nihongo|Kunimune|国宗}}^ Curvature: 3.3 cm (1.3 in), breadth at butt: 3.3 cm (1.3 in), breadth near kissaki: 2.15 cm (0.846456692913386 in) 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
81.7 cm (32.2 in) Tochigi Nikko Nikko ToshoguNikkō Tōshō-gū
Nikko Tosho-gu
is a Shinto shrine located in Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the "Shrines and Temples of Nikkō", a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Tōshō-gū is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Initially built in 1617, during the Edo period, while Ieyasu's son Hidetada...

, Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

, Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Kunimune}} {{nihongo|Kunimune|国宗}}^ Lost in the chaos following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 but re-discovered by chance in 1963 and returned to Terukuni shrine a year later by the American Mr. Compton; curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in), breadth at butt: 3.3 cm (1.3 in), breadth near kissaki: 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in)
1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
81.3 cm (32 in) Kagoshima Kagoshima Terukuni Shrine{{nihongo|Terukuni Shrine|照国神社|Terukuni-jinja}}, Kagoshima
Kagoshima, Kagoshima
is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the Kyūshū island of Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin...

, Kagoshima
Kagoshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Kagoshima.- Geography :Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwest tip of Kyushu and includes a chain of islands stretching further to the southwest for a few hundred kilometers...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Kunimune}} {{nihongo|Kunimune|国宗}}^ {{center|—}} 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
72.6 cm (28.6 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate,{{nihongo|Komatsu Yasuhiro Industries|小松安弘興産|Komatsu Yasuhiro Kōsan}}, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Kunimune}} {{nihongo|Kunimune|国宗}}^ Since 1739 handed down in the Owari branch; curvature: 2.7 cm (1.1 in), breadth at butt: 3.2 cm (1.3 in), breadth near kissaki: 2.1 cm (0.826771653543307 in) 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, 13th century
80.1 cm (31.5 in) Aichi Nagoya Tokugawa Art MuseumTokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

, Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...


Etchū Province


Two of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

's ten excellent students (juttetsu), Norishige and Gō Yoshihiro, lived in Etchū Province
Etchu Province
was an old province in central Honshū, on the Sea of Japan side. It was sometimes called , with Echizen and Echigo Provinces. It bordered Echigo, Shinano, Hida, Kaga, and Noto provinces...

 at the end of the Kamakura period. While none of Gō Yoshihiro's works is signed, there are extant signed tantō and tachi by Norishigi. One tantō by Norishige and two katana by Gō Yoshihiro have been designated as national treasures. Generally Norishige's sugata is characteristic of the time: tantō are with not-rounded fukura and uchi-zori, thick kasane and steep slopes of iori-mune. The jihada is matsukawa-hada with thick ji-nie, lots of chikei along the o-hada. The jigane is not equal to that of Masamune or Gō Yoshihiro. Norishige hamon is relatively wide and made up of bright and larger nie based in notare mixed with suguha chōji midare or with gunome midare. Gō Yoshihiro produced various sugata with either small kissaki and narrow mihaba or with wider mihaba and larger kissaki. His jihada is identical to that of the Awataguchi school in Yamashiro Province
Yamashiro Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai. It overlaps the southern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture on Honshū. Aliases include , the rare , and . It is classified as an upper province in the Engishiki....

: soft jigane, small mokume-hada mixed with wavy ō-hada. Thick ji-nie becomes yubashiri with chikei. The hamon has an ichimai or ichimonji bōshi with ashi and abundant nie. The kaeri is short or yakitsume.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

{{nihongo Norishige}} {{nihongo|Norishige|則重}}* Also called {{nihongo|Japan's best Norishige|日本一則重|Nihonichi Norishige}} 1308late Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Enkyō to Karyaku
Karyaku
, also romanized as Kareki, was a after Shōchū and before Gentoku. This period spanned the years from April 1326 through August 1329. The reigning Emperor was .-Change of era:...

 era (1308–1329)
24.6 cm (9.7 in) Tokyo Tokyo Eisei Bunko MuseumEisei Bunko Museum
Eisei Bunko Museum
The is a museum in Bunkyo-ku district in Tokyo, Japan. Its collection includes historical documents and artifacts, and works of fine art. The museum is located what was formerly the grounds of the Hosokawa clan, near the Shin-Edogawa Garden.-History:...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;" |Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or {{nihongo
Tomita Gō}}# Unsigned {{nihongo|Gō Yoshihiro|郷義弘, 江義弘}}* Handed down in the {{nihongo|Toda clan|富田氏|Toda-shi}} 1336early Nanboku-chō period, 14th century {{center|—}} Tokyo Tokyo Maeda IkutokukaiMaeda Ikutokukai
Maeda Ikutokukai
The foundation is a public interest corporation established on February 26, 1926 for the management and preservation of the cultural heritage of the Maeda clan, rulers of the Kaga Domain. It is located in Komaba, Meguro, Tokyo...

, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

tyle="background:LemonChiffon;"| Katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 or {{nihongo
Inaba Gō}}# Unsigned {{nihongo|Gō Yoshihiro|郷義弘, 江義弘}}* With an inscription in gold inlay by {{nihongo|Honami Kotoku|本阿光徳}}: {{nihongo|December 1585 Honami Kotoku|天正十三 十二月 日 江 本阿弥磨上之(花押) 所持 稲葉勘右衛門尉|tenshō jūsan jūnigatsu-hi Gō-Honami majō-kore shoji Inaba kaneumon no jō}}; handed down in the Inaba clan
Inaba clan
The were a samurai kin group which rose to prominence during the Sengoku and Edo periods. In the Edo period, the Inaba were identified as one of the fudai or insider daimyō clans which were hereditary vassals or allies of the Tokugawa clan, in contrast with the tozama .-Clan branches:The fudai...

; curvature: 2 cm (0.78740157480315 in)
1336early Nanboku-chō period, 14th century 70.8 cm (27.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...


Bitchū Province

The mainstream school of Bitchū Province
Bitchu Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces....

 was the Aoe school named after a place presently located in Kurashiki
Kurashiki, Okayama
is a historic city located to the west of Okayama Prefecture, Japan, sitting on the Takahashi River, on the coast of the Inland Sea.As of April 2010, the city has a population of 473,392. The total area is .-History:...

. It appeared at the end of the Heian period and thrived in the ensuing Kamakura period. The quality of Aoe swords was swiftly recognized, as 3 of the 12 smiths at Emperor Go-Toba's court were of this school. Five tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 blades of the early aoe school (ko-aoe, before the Ryakunin
Ryakunin
was a after Katei and before En'ō. This period spanned the years from November 1238 to April 1239. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1238 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 era, 1238/39) have been designated national treasures. The ko-aoe school consists of two families employing a similar style of swordmanship that did not deviate with time. The first family was represented by the founder YasutsuguThis Yasutsugu is not the one in the list of swords. and, among others, Sadatsugu, Tametsugu, Yasutsugu (the one in this list) and Moritoshi. The second family, named "Senoo", was founded by Noritake who was followed by Masatsune, and others. Ko-Aoe produced slender tachi with small kissaki and deep koshi-zori. A distinctive feature of this school is the jihada which is chirimen-hada and sumigane (dark and plain steel). The hamon is midare based on suguha with ashi and yō. The boshi is midare komi or suguha with a short kaeri, yakitsume.
Type/Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Sadatsugu}} {{nihongo|Sadatsugu|貞次}}^ Curvature: 2.4 cm (0.94488188976378 in), breadth at butt: 2.9 cm (1.1 in) 1200Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, first half of 13th century
77.1 cm (30.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo PrivatePrivate, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Moritoshi}} {{nihongo|Moritoshi|守利}} {{center|—}} 1224Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Gennin
Gennin
was a after Jōō and before Karoku. This period spanned the years from November 1224 to April 1225. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* 1224 : The era name was changed to mark an event or a number of events...

 era
{{center|—}} Osaka Osaka PrivatePrivate, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...


{{For|the list of non-sword national treasure craft items|List of National Treasures of Japan (crafts: others)}}

The term "National Treasure
National treasures of Japan
National Treasures are the most precious of Japan's Tangible Cultural Properties, as determined and designated by the Agency for Cultural Affairs...

" has been used in Japan to denote cultural properties
Cultural Properties of Japan
As defined by the Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, the are tangible properties and intangible properties created or developed in JapanDespite the official definition, some Cultural Properties of Japan were created in China, Korea or other...

 since 1897,
although the definition and the criteria have changed since the introduction of the term. The swords and sword mountings in the list adhere to the current definition, and have been designated national treasures according to the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties that came into effect on June 9, 1951. The items are selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan)
The , also known as MEXT or Monkashō, is one of the ministries of the Japanese government.The Meiji government created the first Ministry of Education in 1871....

 based on their "especially high historical or artistic value". The list presents 110 swords and 12 sword mountings from ancient to feudal Japan, spanning from the late Kofun
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

 to the Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

. The objects are
housed in Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, museums or held privately. The Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Established 1872, the , or TNM, is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan. The museum holds over 110,000 objects, which includes 87 Japanese National Treasure...

 houses the largest number of these national treasures, with 20 of the 122.

During the Yayoi period
Yayoi period
The is an Iron Age era in the history of Japan traditionally dated 300 BC to 300 AD. It is named after the neighbourhood of Tokyo where archaeologists first uncovered artifacts and features from that era. Distinguishing characteristics of the Yayoi period include the appearance of new...

 from about 300 BC to 300 AD, iron tools and weapons such as knives, axes, swords or spears, were introduced to Japan from Korea and China. Shortly after this event, Chinese, Korean, and eventually Japanese swordsmiths produced ironwork locally. Swords were forged to imitate Chinese blades: generally straight chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

 with faulty tempering
Tempering
Tempering is a heat treatment technique for metals, alloys and glass. In steels, tempering is done to "toughen" the metal by transforming brittle martensite or bainite into a combination of ferrite and cementite or sometimes Tempered martensite...

. Worn slung from the waist, they were likely used as stabbing and slashing weapons. Although functionally it would generally be more accurate to define them as hacking rather than slashing weapons. Swordmaking centers developed in Yamato
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

, San'in and Mutsu
Mutsu Province
was an old province of Japan in the area of Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate and Aomori prefecture and the municipalities of Kazuno and Kosaka in Akita Prefecture...

 where various types of blades such as tsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

, tōsu
Tosu
This has multiple meanings:* an alternate name for the Ersu language *Tosu, a city in Japan*Sagan Tosu, Tosu's professional football club...

 and tachiThese tachi of the ancient sword (jokotō) period should not be confused with later tachi of the old sword (kotō) period. The former, spelled 大刀, are Chinese style straight chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

, while the latter, spelled 太刀, are curved blades.
were produced. Flat double-edged (hira-zukuri) blades originated in the Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

, and around the mid-Kofun period swords evolved from thrusting to cutting weapons. Ancient swords were also religious objects according to the 8th century chronicles Nihon Shoki
Nihon Shoki
The , sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second oldest book of classical Japanese history. It is more elaborate and detailed than the Kojiki, the oldest, and has proven to be an important tool for historians and archaeologists as it includes the most complete extant historical...

 and Kojiki
Kojiki
is the oldest extant chronicle in Japan, dating from the early 8th century and composed by Ō no Yasumaro at the request of Empress Gemmei. The Kojiki is a collection of myths concerning the origin of the four home islands of Japan, and the Kami...

. In fact, one of the Imperial Regalia of Japan
Imperial Regalia of Japan
The , also known as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, consist of the sword Kusanagi , the mirror Yata no Kagami , and the jewel Yasakani no Magatama...

 is a sword, and swords have been discovered in ancient tumuli or handed down as treasures of Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples. Few ancient blades (jokotō) exist because the iron has been corroded by humidity.

The transition from straight jokotō or chokutō to deliberately curved, and much more refined Japanese swords (nihontō), occurred gradually over a long period of time, although few extant swords from the transition period exist. Dating to the 8th century, Shōsōin swords and the Kogarasu Maru show a deliberately produced curve. Yasutsuna from Hōki Province
Hoki Province
was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the western part of Tottori Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hōki bordered on Inaba, Mimasaka, Bitchū, Bingo, and Izumo Provinces....

 forged curved swords that are considered to be of excellent quality. Stylistic change since then is minimal, and his works are considered the beginning of the old sword (kotō) period, which existed until 1596, and produced the best-known Japanese swordsmiths. According to sources Yasutsuna may have lived in the Daidō
Daido
was a after Enryaku and before Kōnin. This period spanned the years from May 806 through September 810. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:* November 16, 806 : The new era name 'was created to mark an event or series of events...

 era (806–809), around 900; or more likely, was a contemporary of Sanjō Munechika and active in the Eien
Eien
was a after Kanna and before Eiso. This period spanned the years from April 987 through August 988. The reigning emperor was .-Change of era:* January 2, 987 : The new era name was created to mark an event or a number of events...

 era (987, 988). The change in blade shape increased with the introduction of horses (after 941) into the battlefield, from which sweeping cutting strokes with curved swords were more effective than stabbing lunges required of foot soldiers. Imparting a deliberate curve is a technological challenge requiring the reversal of natural bending that occurred when the sword edge is hammered. The development of a ridge (shinogi) along the blade was essential for construction. Various military conflicts during the Heian period helped to perfect the techniques of swordmanship, and led to the establishment of swordsmiths around the country. They settled in locations close to administrative centers, where the demand for swords was high, and in areas with easy access to ore, charcoal and water. Originally smiths did not belong to any school or tradition. Around the mid to late-Heian period distinct styles of workmanship developed in certain regional centers. The best known of these schools or traditions are the gokaden (five traditions) with each producing a distinct style of workmanship and associated with the five provinces: Yamashiro
Yamashiro Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai. It overlaps the southern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture on Honshū. Aliases include , the rare , and . It is classified as an upper province in the Engishiki....

, Yamato
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

, Bizen
Bizen Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of Honshū, in what is today the southeastern part of Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bitchu and Bingo Provinces. Bizen borders Mimasaka, Harima, and Bitchū Provinces....

, Sagami
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

/Sōshū and Mino
Mino Province
, one of the old provinces of Japan, encompassed part of modern-day Gifu Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Mino Province bordered Echizen, Hida, Ise, Mikawa, Ōmi, Owari, and Shinano Provinces....

. These five schools produced about 80% of all kotō period swords. Each school consisted of several branches. In the late Heian period Emperor Go-Toba
Emperor Go-Toba
was the 82nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1183 through 1198....

, a sword lover, summoned swordsmiths from the Awataguchi school of Yamashiro, the Ichimonji school of Bizen and the Aoe school of Bitchū Province
Bitchu Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces....

 to forge swords at his palace. These smiths, known as goban kaji (honorable rotation smiths) are considered to have been the finest swordsmiths of their time.According to the Showa Mei Zukushi (1312–1317), one of the oldest extant lists of swordsmiths, the goban kaji were Norimune, Nobufusa, Muneyoshi, Sukemune, Yukikuni, Sukenari, Sukenobu or Sukechika from Bizen province; Sadatsugu, Tsunetsugu, Tsuguie from Bitchū province and Kuniyasu, Kunitomo from Yamashiro province. Go-Toba selected from the Awataguchi, Hisakuni and Ichimonji Nobufusa to collaborate on his own tempering. Early Kamakura period tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 had an elaborately finished tang
Tang (weaponry)
A tang or shank is the back portion of a tool where it extends into stock material or is connected to a handle as on a knife, sword, spear, arrowhead, chisel, screwdriver, etc...

 and an elegant dignified overall shape (sugata). Tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 daggers from the same period showed a slight outward curvature.

Around the mid-Kamakura period, the warrior class reached its peak of prosperity. Consequently sword production was thriving in many parts of Japan. Following the Mongol invasions
Mongol invasions of Japan
The ' of 1274 and 1281 were major military efforts undertaken by Kublai Khan to conquer the Japanese islands after the submission of Goryeo to vassaldom. Despite their ultimate failure, the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance, because they set a limit on Mongol expansion, and rank...

 of 1274 and 1281, smiths aimed at producing stronger swords that would pierce the heavy armour of the invaders. To achieve this, tachi became wider, thicker with an overall grand appearance (sugata) and a straight temper line. With the Mongol threat dissipated at the end of the Kamakura period, this trend was partially reversed, as blades grew longer with a more dignified shape than those from the mid-Kamakura period. However the so called "unchangeable smiths", including Rai Kunitoshi, Rai Kunimitsu, Osafune Nagamitsu and Osafune Kagemitsu, continued to produce swords of the elegant style of the late Heian/early Kamakura period. These swords were particularly popular with Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

's aristocracy. The production of tantō daggers increased considerably towards the late Kamakura period. Master tantō makers include Awataguchi Yoshimitsu, Rai Kunitoshi, Shintōgo Kunimitsu
Shintogo Kunimitsu
was a Japanese swordsmith active during the Einin, Shōwa and Enkyō periods, generally acknowledged to be the teacher of master swordsmith Masamune. This is due to various similarities in style and workmanship that indicate that Masamune was almost certainly his student.He had several sons, who...

, Osafune Kagemitsu, Etchū Norishige and Samonji. The naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

 appeared as a new weapon in the late Kamakura period. The confrontation between the Northern and Southern Court
Southern Court
The were a set of four emperors whose legitimate claims were usurped during the Nanboku-chō period spanning from 1336 through 1392. In spite of the legitimacy of its claims to the throne, the Southern Court was permanently replaced in 1392 by the illegitimate Northern Court.-Nanboku-chō overview:...

 resulted in a 60 year long power struggle between warrior lords known as the Nanboku-chō period and caused a tremendous demand for swords. The stylistic trends of the Kamakura period continued, and tachi were characterized by magnificent shape, growing in overall length and the length of the point (kissaki). They were generally wide and disproportionately thin. Similarly tantō grew in size to 30 centimetre and became known as ko-wakizashi
Wakizashi
The is one of the traditional Japanese swords worn by the samurai class in feudal Japan.-Description:...

 or sunnobi tantō (extended knives). But also tantō shorter than those of the Kamakura period were being forged. Enormous tachi called seoi-tachi (shouldering swords), nodachi
Nodachi
A nodachi is a large two-handed Japanese sword. Some have suggested that the meaning of "nodachi" is roughly the same as ōdachi meaning "large/great sword". A confusion between the terms has nearly synonymized "nodachi" with the very large "ōdachi"...

 (field swords) and ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....

 with blades 120 centimetre long were forged.Many of these were shortened into katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 during the Momoyama period.
The high demand for swords during feudal civil wars after 1467 (Sengoku period
Sengoku period
The or Warring States period in Japanese history was a time of social upheaval, political intrigue, and nearly constant military conflict that lasted roughly from the middle of the 15th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The name "Sengoku" was adopted by Japanese historians in reference...

) resulted in mass production and low quality swords as swordsmiths no longer refined their own steel. There are no national treasure swords after this period.

Statistics

Prefecture
Prefectures of Japan
The prefectures of Japan are the country's 47 subnational jurisdictions: one "metropolis" , Tokyo; one "circuit" , Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures , Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures . In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as...

City National
Treasures
Aichi
Aichi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region. The region of Aichi is also known as the Tōkai region. The capital is Nagoya. It is the focus of the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area.- History :...

Nagoya
Nagoya, Aichi
is the third-largest incorporated city and the fourth most populous urban area in Japan.Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshu, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Moji...

8
Ehime
Ehime Prefecture
is a prefecture in northwestern Shikoku, Japan. The capital is Matsuyama.-History:Until the Meiji Restoration, Ehime prefecture was known as Iyo Province...

Imabari
Imabari, Ehime
is a city located in Ehime, Japan. It is the second largest city in Ehime prefecture.Following a recent merger, the city has an estimated population of 172,384 and density of 410.87 persons per km². The total area is .-Transportation:...

3
Fukuoka
Fukuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyūshū Island. The capital is the city of Fukuoka.- History :Fukuoka Prefecture includes the former provinces of Chikugo, Chikuzen, and Buzen....

Dazaifu
Dazaifu, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. Nearby cities include Ōnojō and Chikushino. Although mostly urban, it does have arable land used for paddy fields and market gardening....

1
Fukuoka
Fukuoka, Fukuoka
is the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture and is situated on the northern shore of the island of Kyushu in Japan.Voted number 14 in a 2010 poll of the World's Most Livable Cities, Fukuoka is praised for its green spaces in a metropolitan setting. It is the most populous city in Kyushu, followed by...

2
Yanagawa
Yanagawa, Fukuoka
is a city located in Fukuoka, Japan.On March 21, 2005 the towns of Yamato and Mitsuhashi, both from Yamato District, were merged into Yanagawa.As of April 30, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 71,848, with a household number of 24,507, and the population density of 934.55 persons per km²...

1
Gifu
Gifu Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Chūbu region of central Japan. Its capital is the city of Gifu.Located in the center of Japan, it has long played an important part as the crossroads of Japan, connecting the east to the west through such routes as the Nakasendō...

Takayama
Takayama, Gifu
is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of July, 2011 the city has an estimated population of 92,369. The total area is .Takayama was settled as far back as the Jōmon period. Takayama is best known for its inhabitants' expertise in carpentry. It is believed carpenters from Takayama worked on the...

1
Hiroshima
Hiroshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Hiroshima.- History :The area around Hiroshima was formerly divided into Bingo Province and Aki Province. This location has been a center of trade and culture since the beginning of Japan's recorded...

Hatsukaichi
Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima
is a city of some 120,000 people located in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. The name derives from a market traditionally held on the 20th of each month with hatsuka meaning "20th day" and ichi translating to "market"...

2
Private 5
Hyōgo
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

Nishinomiya
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

2
Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...

Kashima
Kashima, Ibaraki
is a port city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 66,249 and a population density of 708.02 persons per km². The total area is 93.57 km². Kashima was formerly a town in Kashima District and became a city after merging with the...

1
Tsuchiura
Tsuchiura, Ibaraki
is a city located in Ibaraki prefecture, in Japan. It is situated along the western shores of Lake Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan. Tokyo city lies about 60 km to the south, and Tsukuba science city borders Tsuchiura to the west.-Demographics:...

1
Ishikawa
Ishikawa Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshū island. The capital is Kanazawa.- History :Ishikawa was formed from the merger of Kaga Province and the smaller Noto Province.- Geography :Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast...

Kanazawa
Kanazawa, Ishikawa
is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.-Geography, climate, and population:Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan, bordered by the Japan Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. The city sits between the Sai and Asano rivers. Its total area is 467.77 km².Kanazawa's...

1
Kagoshima
Kagoshima Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu. The capital is the city of Kagoshima.- Geography :Kagoshima Prefecture is located at the southwest tip of Kyushu and includes a chain of islands stretching further to the southwest for a few hundred kilometers...

Kagoshima
Kagoshima, Kagoshima
is the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture at the southwestern tip of the Kyūshū island of Japan, and the largest city in the prefecture by some margin...

1
Kanagawa
Kanagawa Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the southern Kantō region of Japan. The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.-History:The prefecture has some archaeological sites going back to the Jōmon period...

Kamakura
Kamakura, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about south-south-west of Tokyo. It used to be also called .Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency during the...

1
Kōchi
Kochi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.- History :Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi was known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chosokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi family during the Edo period.- Geography...

Hidaka
Hidaka, Kochi
is a village located in Takaoka District, Kōchi, Japan.As of 2003, the village has an estimated population of 5,917 and a density of 131.84 persons per km²...

1
Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Kyoto.- History :Until the Meiji Restoration, the area of Kyoto prefecture was known as Yamashiro....

Kyoto 2
Nara
Nara Prefecture
is a prefecture in the Kansai region on Honshū Island, Japan. The capital is the city of Nara.-History:The present-day Nara Prefecture was created in 1887, making it independent of Osaka Prefecture....

Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

6
Okayama
Okayama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Okayama.- History :During the Meiji Restoration, the area of Okayama Prefecture was known as Bitchū Province, Bizen Province and Mimasaka Province.- Geography :...

Okayama
Okayama, Okayama
is the capital city of Okayama Prefecture in the Chūgoku region of Japan.The city was founded on June 1, 1889. As of August 2010, the city has an estimated population of 705,224 and a population density of 893 persons per km². The total area is 789.88 km²....

3
Private 1
Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...

Kawachinagano
Kawachinagano, Osaka
is a city located in Osaka, Japan.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 112,696 and the density of 1,030 persons per km². The total area is 109.61 km².The city was founded on April 1, 1954.-Claims to fame:...

1
Osaka 3
Private 9
Saitama
Saitama Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kantō region of the island of Honshu. The capital is the city of Saitama.This prefecture is part of the Greater Tokyo Area, and most of Saitama's cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo, to which a large amount of residents commute each day.- History...

Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

2
Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

Numazu
Numazu, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 205,636 and a population density of 1,100 persons per km². The total area was 187.11 km².- Geography:...

1
Mishima
Mishima, Shizuoka
is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2009, the city has an estimated population of 112,078 and a population density of 1,800 persons per km². The total area is 62.13 km²...

1
Private 2
Shizuoka
Shizuoka, Shizuoka
is the capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, and the prefecture's second-largest city in terms of both population and area. It became one of Japan's 19 "designated cities" in 2005.-Geography:...

1
Tochigi
Tochigi Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kantō region on the island of Honshū, Japan. The capital is the city of Utsunomiya.Nikkō, whose ancient Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples UNESCO has recognized by naming them a World Heritage Site, is in this prefecture...

Nikkō
Nikko, Tochigi
is a city in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Approximately 140 km north of Tokyo and 35 km west of Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi Prefecture, it is a popular destination for Japanese and international tourists...

4
Tokyo Private 12
Tokyo 39
Yamagata
Yamagata Prefecture
-Fruit:Yamagata Prefecture is the largest producer of cherries and pears in Japan. A large quantity of other kinds of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, melons, persimmons and watermelons are also produced.- Demographics :...

Tsuruoka
Tsuruoka, Yamagata
is a city located in the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.Tsuruoka is the second largest city in Yamagata Prefecture after Yamagata City...

2
Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island. The capital is the city of Yamaguchi, in the center of the prefecture. The largest city, however, is Shimonoseki.- History :...

Hōfu
Hofu, Yamaguchi
is a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan.-History:Hōfu means "the capital of Suō Province".The eastern part of Yamaguchi prefecture was formerly called Suō Province.The city was founded on August 25, 1936...

1
Iwakuni
Iwakuni, Yamaguchi
is a city located in Yamaguchi, Japan.On March 20, 2006, the old city of Iwakuni absorbed the towns of Kuga, Mikawa, Miwa, Nishiki, Shūtō and Yū, and the village of Hongō, all from Kuga District, to form the new, expanded city of Iwakuni.- History :...

1
Period National
Treasures
Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

1
Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

2
Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

19
Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

86
Nanboku-chō period 13
Muromachi period
Muromachi period
The is a division of Japanese history running from approximately 1336 to 1573. The period marks the governance of the Muromachi or Ashikaga shogunate, which was officially established in 1338 by the first Muromachi shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, two years after the brief Kemmu restoration of imperial...

1


{{-}}

Usage


The table's columns (except for Remarks and Design and material) are sortable pressing the arrows symbols. The following gives an overview of what is included in the table and how the sorting works. Not all tables have all of the following columns.
  • Type/Name: type of sword or sword mounting; blades mentioned in the kyōhō
    Kyoho
    was a after Shōtoku and before Gembun. This period spanned the years from July 1716 through April 1736. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:...

     era Kyōhō Meibutsuchō as masterpieces (meibutsu) are mentioned by name and marked in yellow
  • Signature: for signed swords, the signature and its reading; otherwise "unsigned"
  • Swordsmith: name of the swordsmith who forged the blade; if applicable it includes the name of the school; the ten students of Masamune
    Masamune
    , also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

     (juttetsu) are marked in green; the goban kaji, smiths summoned to the court of Emperor Go-Toba
    Emperor Go-Toba
    was the 82nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1183 through 1198....

     are marked in blue
  • Remarks: additional information such as notable owners or its curvature
  • Date: period and year; the column entries sort by year. If the entry can only be dated to a time-period, they sort by the start year of that period
  • Length: distance from the notch to the tip of the sword
  • Present location: "temple/museum/shrine-name town-name prefecture-name"; column entries sort as "prefecture-name town-name temple/museum/shrine-name"


The table of sword mountings differentiates between Sword type and Mounting type; includes a column on the employed Design and material; and lists the Overall length as the mounting in addition to the sword's length.

Key
# Meibutsu
* One of the ten students of Masamune
Masamune
, also known as , is widely recognized as Japan's greatest swordsmith. As no exact dates are known for Masamune's life, he has reached an almost legendary status. It is generally agreed that he made most of his swords in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, 1288–1328. He created swords, known as...

^ One of the goban kaji

Ancient swords (jokotō)


Four ancient straight swords (chokutō) and one tsurugi handed down in possession of temples and shrines have been designated as National Treasure craft items.Other swords from that period have been designated as National Treasures as part of excavated sets of items in the category archaeological materials. A notable collection of 55 swords and other weapons from the 8th century have been preserved in the Shōsōin
Shosoin
The is the treasure house that belongs to Tōdai-ji, Nara The building is in the azekura log-cabin style, with a raised floor. It lies to the northwest of the Daibutsuden...

 collection. Being under the supervision of the Imperial Household Agency
Imperial Household Agency
The is a government agency of Japan in charge of the state matters concerning Japan's imperial family and also keeping the Privy Seal and the State Seal...

, neither these items nor the well known Kogarasu Maru
Kogarasu Maru
The Kogarasu Maru , or "Little Crow," is a unique Japanese tachi sword rumored to have been created by legendary Japanese smith Amakuni during 8th century CE.-Blade Classification and History:...

 are National Treasures.
Name
Remarks
Date
Type
Length
Present location
{{nihongo|Gilt bronze tachi
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

 with ring pommel|金銅荘環頭大刀拵|kondōsō kantō tachi goshirae}}
Double-edged blade, said to be the oldest Japanese object transmitted from generation to generation; offered to Kunitokotachi
Kunitokotachi
In Japanese mythology, is one of the two gods born from "something like a reed that arose from the soil" when the earth was chaotic. In the Nihon Shoki, he is named "Kuni-toko-tachi no mikoto" and is the first of the first three divinities born after heaven and earth were born out of chaos, and...

 by the Kusakabe clan and worshipped as shintai
Shintai
In Shinto, , or when the honorific prefix go- is used, are physical objects worshiped at or near Shinto shrines as repositories in which spirits or kami reside...

 of Omura Shrine
Omura Shrine
is a Shinto shrine in Hidaka, Takaoka District, Kōchi Prefecture, Japan.The shrine was founded in 587, but the present main building of the shrine dates to 1705. The Japanese cedar behind the main building is considered sacred and said to be 1000 years old. It has been designated by the village...

; 527 g (18.6 oz), hilt
Hilt
The hilt of a sword is its handle, consisting of a guard,grip and pommel. The guard may contain a crossguard or quillons. A ricasso may also be present, but this is rarely the case...

 length: 7.5 cm (3 in), scabbard
Scabbard
A scabbard is a sheath for holding a sword, knife, or other large blade. Scabbards have been made of many materials over the millennia, including leather, wood, and metals such as brass or steel.-Types of scabbards:...

 length: 92.1 cm (36.3 in)
0500late Kofun period
Kofun period
The is an era in the history of Japan from around 250 to 538. It follows the Yayoi period. The word kofun is Japanese for the type of burial mounds dating from this era. The Kofun and the subsequent Asuka periods are sometimes referred to collectively as the Yamato period...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

68.4 cm (26.9 in) Kochi Hidaka Omura ShrineOmura Shrine,Sometimes misspelled as Komura Shrine Hidaka
Hidaka, Kochi
is a village located in Takaoka District, Kōchi, Japan.As of 2003, the village has an estimated population of 5,917 and a density of 131.84 persons per km²...

, Kōchi
Kochi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located on the south coast of Shikoku. The capital is the city of Kōchi.- History :Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kōchi was known as Tosa Province and was controlled by the Chosokabe clan in the Sengoku period and the Yamauchi family during the Edo period.- Geography...

{{nihongo|Great Bear
Ursa Major
Ursa Major , also known as the Great Bear, is a constellation visible throughout the year in most of the northern hemisphere. It can best be seen in April...

 sword|七星剣|Shichiseiken}} or Seven Stars Sword
The sword contains a gold inlay of clouds and seven stars forming the Great Bear
Ursa Major
Ursa Major , also known as the Great Bear, is a constellation visible throughout the year in most of the northern hemisphere. It can best be seen in April...

 constellation. According to a document at Shitennō-ji
Shitenno-ji
is a Buddhist temple in Osaka, Japan.Prince Shōtoku is said to have constructed this temple in 593. It is the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan, although the temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries. Most of the present structures are from when the...

, this sword was owned by Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shotoku
, also known as or , was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who served under Empress Suiko. He was a son of Emperor Yōmei and his younger half-sister Princess Anahobe no Hashihito. His parents were relatives of the ruling Soga clan, and was involved in the defeat...

. Considered to be directly imported from the Asian continent
0600Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

, 7th century
chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

62.1 cm (24.4 in) Osaka Osaka ShintennojiShitennō-ji, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

{{nihongo Heishi Shōrin ken}} The sword contains an inscription in gold inlay: {{nihongo Heishi shōrin}} which according to one theory, represents 丙子 (bǐng-zǐ), which is a stem-branch of the Sexagenary cycle
Sexagenary cycle
The Chinese sexagenary cycle , also known as the Stems-and-Branches , is a cycle of sixty terms used for recording days or years. It appears, as a means of recording days, in the first Chinese written texts, the Shang dynasty oracle bones from the late second millennium BC. Its use to record years...

 and the author's name: {{nihongo|Shōrin|椒林}}. According to a document at Shitennō-ji
Shitenno-ji
is a Buddhist temple in Osaka, Japan.Prince Shōtoku is said to have constructed this temple in 593. It is the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan, although the temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries. Most of the present structures are from when the...

, this sword was owned by Prince Shōtoku
Prince Shotoku
, also known as or , was a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period in Japan who served under Empress Suiko. He was a son of Emperor Yōmei and his younger half-sister Princess Anahobe no Hashihito. His parents were relatives of the ruling Soga clan, and was involved in the defeat...

. Considered to be directly imported from the Asian continent
0538Asuka period
Asuka period
The , was a period in the history of Japan lasting from 538 to 710 , although its beginning could be said to overlap with the preceding Kofun period...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

65.8 cm (25.9 in) Osaka Osaka ShintennojiShitennō-ji, Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

Chokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

 (or {{nihongo
futsu-no mitama no tsurugi}}) and {{nihongo|black lacquer mounting|黒漆平文大刀拵|kuro urushi hyōmontachi goshirae}}A karabitsu (唐櫃) chest is attached to the nomination. Legendary sword used by Emperor Jimmu
Emperor Jimmu
was the first Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. He is also known as Kamuyamato Iwarebiko and personally as Wakamikenu no Mikoto or Sano no Mikoto....

 to found the Japanese nation
0794early Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

chokutōChokutō
Chokuto
The is a type of Japanese sword that dates back to pre-Heian times. Chokutō were made in later periods, but usually as temple offering swords. Chokutō were straight and single-edged hacking swords. That chokutō's design was originally imported to Japan from China, though seemingly most often...

223.5 cm (88 in) Ibaraki Kashima Kashima ShrineKashima Shrine
Kashima Shrine
Kashima Shrine is a shrine dedicated to the Shinto kami Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto , one of the patron deities of martial arts. Dojo of kenjutsu and kendo sometimes display a kakejiku emblazoned with Kashima Taishin...

, Kashima, Ibaraki
Kashima, Ibaraki
is a port city located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 66,249 and a population density of 708.02 persons per km². The total area is 93.57 km². Kashima was formerly a town in Kashima District and became a city after merging with the...

, Ibaraki
Ibaraki Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan, located in the Kantō region on the main island of Honshu. The capital is Mito.-History:Ibaraki Prefecture was previously known as Hitachi Province...

{{nihongo|Unsigned sword|剣 無銘|tsurugi mumei}}A {{nihongo|black lacquer mounting|黒漆宝剣拵|kuro urushi hōken koshirae}} is attached to the nomination. Handle in the shape of a Buddhist ritual implement, a pestle like weapon with three prongs (sanko); double-edged sword for ceremonial use only 0794early Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

tsurugiTsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

62.2 cm (24.5 in) Osaka Kawachinagano Kongoji{{nihongo|Kongō-ji|金剛寺}}, Kawachinagano
Kawachinagano, Osaka
is a city located in Osaka, Japan.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 112,696 and the density of 1,030 persons per km². The total area is 109.61 km².The city was founded on April 1, 1954.-Claims to fame:...

, Osaka
Osaka Prefecture
is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshū, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto area.- History :...


Old swords (kotō)


105 swords from the kotō period (late 10th century to 1596) including tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

 (61), tantō
Tanto
A is one of the traditional Japanese swords that were worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan. The tantō dates to the Heian period, when it was mainly used as a weapon but evolved in design over the years to become more ornate...

 (26), katana
Katana
A Japanese sword, or , is one of the traditional bladed weapons of Japan. There are several types of Japanese swords, according to size, field of application and method of manufacture.-Description:...

 (11), ōdachi
Odachi
An , was a type of long Japanese sword. The term nodachi, or "field sword", which refers to a different type of sword, is often mistakenly used in place of ōdachi. It is historically known as ōtachi....

 (3), naginata
Naginata
The naginata is one of several varieties of traditionally made Japanese blades in the form of a pole weapon. Naginata were originally used by the samurai class in feudal Japan, and naginata were also used by ashigaru and sōhei .-Description:A naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved...

 (2), tsurugi
Tsurugi
"Tsurugi" is a Japanese word used to refer to any type of broadsword, or those akin to the Chinese . The word is used in the West to refer to a specific type of Japanese straight, double-edged sword no longer in common use.-Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi:...

 (1) and kodachi
Kodachi
A , literally translating into "small or short tachi ", is a Japanese sword that is too long to be considered a dagger but too short to be a long sword...

 (1) have been designated as national treasures. They represent works of four of the five traditions: Yamato (5), Yamashiro (19), Sōshū (19), Bizen (45); and blades from Etchū Province
Etchu Province
was an old province in central Honshū, on the Sea of Japan side. It was sometimes called , with Echizen and Echigo Provinces. It bordered Echigo, Shinano, Hida, Kaga, and Noto provinces...

 (3), Bitchū Province
Bitchu Province
was a province of Japan on the Inland Sea side of western Honshū, in what is today western Okayama Prefecture. It was sometimes called , with Bizen and Bingo Provinces. Bitchu bordered Hōki, Mimasaka, Bizen, and Bingo Provinces....

 (5), Hōki Province
Hoki Province
was an old province of Japan in the area that is today the western part of Tottori Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hōki bordered on Inaba, Mimasaka, Bitchū, Bingo, and Izumo Provinces....

 (2) and Saikaidō
Saikaido
, literally meaning "western sea circuit," is a Japanese term denoting both an ancient division of the country and the main road running through it. Saikaido was one of the main circuits of the Gokishichidō system, which was originally established during the Asuka Period.This name identified the...

 (7).

Yamato Province



The Yamato tradition is the oldest, originating as early as the 4th century with the introduction of ironworking techniques from the mainland. According to legend, the smith Amakuni
Amakuni
is the legendary swordsmith who created the first single-edged longsword with curvature along the edge in the Yamato Province around 700 AD. He was the head of a group of swordsmiths employed by the Emperor of Japan to make weapons for his warriors. His son, Amakura, was the successor to his work...

 forged the first single-edged long swords with curvature (tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

) around 700. Even though there is no authentication of this event or date, the earliest Japanese swords were probably forged in Yamato Province
Yamato Province
was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū. It was also called . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in...

. During the Nara period
Nara period
The of the history of Japan covers the years from AD 710 to 794. Empress Gemmei established the capital of Heijō-kyō . Except for 5 years , when the capital was briefly moved again, it remained the capital of Japanese civilization until Emperor Kammu established a new capital, Nagaoka-kyō, in 784...

, many good smiths were located around the capital in Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

. They moved to Kyoto when it became capital at the beginning of the Heian period
Heian period
The is the last division of classical Japanese history, running from 794 to 1185. The period is named after the capital city of Heian-kyō, or modern Kyōto. It is the period in Japanese history when Buddhism, Taoism and other Chinese influences were at their height...

, but about 1200 smiths gathered again in Nara when the various sects centered in Nara rose to power during the Kamakura period and needed weapons to arm their monks. Thus, the Yamato tradition is associated closely with the warrior monks
Sohei
were Buddhist warrior monks of feudal Japan. At certain points of history they held considerable power, obliging the imperial and military governments to collaborate....

 of Nara. Yamato tradition sugata is characterized by a deep torii-zori, high shinogi, and slightly extended kissaki. The jihada is mostly masame-hada, and the hamon is suguha, with rough nie. The bōshi is mainly ko-maru. Generally the style of Yamato blades is considered to be restrained, conservative and static. Five major schools or branches of the Yamato tradition are distinguished: Senjuin,Oldest of five Yamato schools, named after Senjuin temple Shikkake, Taima,Named after Taima-dera
Taima-dera
Taima-dera is a Buddhist temple in Nara, Japan built originally in 612 by the Imperial Prince Maroko, the brother of Prince Shotoku. The temple was moved to its present location in 681 by the grandson of Prince Maroko, and serves as the head temple, or honzan of the now-defunct Hosso sect...

TegaiNamed after Tengai-mon, a gate of Tōdai-ji
Todai-ji
, is a Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall , the largest wooden building in the world, houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese simply as Daibutsu . The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the ...

and Hōshō.Named after a family name, located at Takaichi
Takaichi District, Nara
Takaichi is a district located in Nara Prefecture, Japan.As of 2003, the district has an estimated population of 14,624 and a density of 293.36 persons per km². The total area is 49.85 km².-Towns and villages:*Asuka*Takatori...

Four of the five schools are represented by national treasure swords.
{{-}}
Name
Signature
Swordsmith
Remarks
Date
Length
Present location
Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Kuniyuki}} {{nihongo|Taima Kuniyuki|当麻国行}} Sword by the founder of the Taima branch; handed down in the Abe clan; curvature: 1.5 cm (0.590551181102362 in) 1288Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Shōō era (1288–1293)
69.7 cm (27.4 in) Tokyo Tokyo The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords{{nihongo|The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords| 日本美術刀剣保存協会|Zaidanhōjin Nippon Bijutsu Tōkenhozonkyōkai}}, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description:With a few exceptions katana and tachi can be distinguished from each other if signed, by the location of the signature on the tang...

{{nihongo Nobuyoshi}} {{nihongo|Senjuin Nobuyoshi|千手院延吉}} Formerly the property of Emperor Go-Mizunoo
Emperor Go-Mizunoo
was the 108th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.Go-Mizunoo's reign spanned the years from 1611 through 1629.This 17th century sovereign was named after the 9th century Emperor Seiwa and , translates literally as "later;" and thus, he could be called the "Later...

, curvature: 2.8 cm (1.1 in)
1317Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

, around Bunpō era (1317–1319)
73.5 cm (28.9 in) Tokyo Tokyo The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords{{nihongo|The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords| 日本美術刀剣保存協会|Zaidanhōjin Nippon Bijutsu Tōkenhozonkyōkai}}, Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Tachi
Tachi
The is one type of traditional Japanese sword worn by the samurai class of feudal Japan.-History and description: