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About the Blade
Swordsmith
?
Forge Date
1151 CE
Inscription
None
Current Sword Length
77.3cm
Current Blade Hamon (Historical)
Suguha (Straight)
Sheath
Current Location
Tokyo National Museum
Public Viewing
Pending (Past exhibitions: October 14 - December 23, 2015)
Blade Appearance
History
  • According to the Heike Monogatari, Shishiou was a sword given to Minamoto no Yorimasa after he slayed a demon called a nue that cursed Emperor Konoe. As a form of gratitude, Shishiou was forged as an ootachi and was about to be given to him as a prize. But since he’s an old man, Shishiou’s length was cut down to the size of a tachi and was made lighter so that he could use it. Fortunately thanks to Shishiou’s size, his master cannot use him to commit seppuku.
  • This sword somehow ended up in the possession of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who later handed it over to Toki Yoritsugu, a 'bannerman' in the direct service of the Tokugawa bakufu.
  • Designated to be an Important Cultural Property at June 22th, 1971.
  • A speculation came up that he was made by a swordsmith from Yamato province. Other speculates that he might be crafted by Sadahide of Bungo or Sanenari of Bizen.
Miscellaneous
  • According to the official tweet, he is a kind fellow with a strong sense of justice. He's conscious of his own height.
  • The enormous fur that he carried on his shoulder is a Nue, a being that causes misfortune and unhappiness to those around it. It’s a symbolism of the time his master slayed the Nue that was clouding around the Emperor’s castle.

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