The city of Setouchi in Okayama Prefecture, which once flourished as a major producer of swords, said Tuesday it will use crowdfunding as part of an attempt to raise a total of ¥500 million from in and outside the country to bring back "home" a renowned sword called Yamatorige.

The sword, whose name literally translates as mountain bird plumage, measures 79.5 centimeters in length and weighs 1.06 kilograms. The antique sword was made in the Kamakura Period (1185-1333) by a smith from the Ichimonji school in an area called Bizen-Osafune — what is now Setouchi — and was owned by Uesugi Kenshin, one of the country's most famous warlords.

"This sword has a special meaning for our region, for Okayama and the whole country, and we want to draw more interest in bladesmithing culture," Setouchi Mayor Akinari Takehisa told a news conference in Tokyo.