Antique sword showcases traditional technique

A Japanese sword featuring a cherry-blossom pattern on its blade is currently on display at the Japan Sword Gallery in Toranomon, in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.
The blade sports a cherry blossom design, as well as a running water motif modeled on the Yoshino River. Made in 1821, the sword is a unique and beautiful example of craftsman Minryushi Toshizane’s skillful techniques.
Toshizane, born in 1777, became an apprentice of his father Hamabe Jukaku, who worked for Tottori clan of Inaba province. Toshizane began using Minryushi in 1801 as his artist name.
The sword comes with a blue-shell lacquered saya scabbard and a tsuba guard made by Inshuju Naomitsu in the 19th century. The piece was almost certainly cherished by the upper-class Tottori samurai.
The Japan Sword Gallery, which also displays and sells other swords as well as kabuto helmets, armor and other samurai goods, is located about five minutes from Toranomon Station’s Exit 2. The gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for Saturdays when it closes at 5 p.m. It is closed on Sundays and holidays.

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