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About the Blade
Swordsmith
Rai Kunitoshi (来国俊)
Forge Date
1297 CE
Inscription
来国俊 永仁五年三月一日
Rai Kunitoshi 1st day of the third month of Einin five
Current Sword Length
100.35cm
Current Blade Hamon (Historical)
?
Sheath
?
Current Location
Original Missing / Crowd funding Remade Version done 17 June 2017
Public Viewing
18 June 2017 - 6 July 2017
History
  • Hotarumaru was owned by Korezumi Aso, the head of the Aso family from the early Nanbokucho period (1334~1392). After a battle where the sword was badly damaged from Korezumi's mowing movements, Korezumi rested at the foot of Mt. Aso, falling asleep out of exhaustion. He had a strange dream where a swarm of fireflies (hotaru) gathered onto his sword, making it glow. The next morning, much to his confusion, the sword appeared to be fully repaired. The sword, later named “Hotarumaru”, was kept in the Aso shrine as a family treasure.
  • Although it was one of the nation's valuable treasures, Hotarumaru went missing after World War II during a sword hunt by the occupying forces. There’s a rumor that the sword is being kept privately in Japan, but it’s most likely destroyed.
  • Crowd funding project started in November 2015, it required 5.5 million yen. The project ended up with around 45 million yen. In 2016, a crowdfunding campaign successfully funded the forging of Hotarumaru's replica using historical documentation of the original. The blade has been unveiled at Aso shrine on 18 June 2017. Photos of the forging process can be found on the project webpage.
Miscellaneous

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