Japanese Swords: ‘Tatara,’ the Traditional Iron and Steel Culture of the San’in

  The traditional dance performance of Iwami Kagura tells the story of the discovery of steelmaking in Izumo, Japan, through the metaphor of the deity Susano-o quelling the eight-headed, eight-tailed serpent dragon Yamata no Orochi.   I was treated to a beguiling performance of this story when I visited the spiritual and mythical origins of […]

As Sign of Goodwill, President Putin Returns Swords to Japan

The sword presented by Russian President Putin to Prime Minister Abe was displayed at the Dai Token Ichi on November 2017.   During a summit meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, in September 2016, Russian President Vladamir Putin presented Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a Japanese sword. Abe also presented Putin with an antique samurai helmet. […]

Sword Fittings of the Mitsumura Collection on Exhibit November 3 to December 17

Matching pair of sword guards Design by Kongosai (Matsuo) Gassan (1815-1875). 19th C. Nezu Museum, formerly Mitsumura Collection.   From November 3rd until December 10th, 2017, Nezu Museum is holding an exhibition of some of the most exquisite swords and sword fittings in Japan. It features the collection of Toshimo Mitsumura, a Meiji period businessman and […]