|The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords
(Nihon Bijutsu Touken Hozon Kyokai)
The Japanese Sword Museum
The Shape of Prayer ~Sculptures on blade and sword fittings~
(Tuesday January 7 - Sunday May 11.2014)
The Shape of Prayer@~Sculptures on blades and sword fittings~
What is it that motivated people to engrave religious symbols on their swords or sword fittings?
Decorative engraving on sword blades existed as far back as the late Heian period (794-1185) when the Japanese sword developed its characteristic form. Initially, engraving of the blade was carried out for practical reasons, applying simple grooves to redue the weight, but as conflict became more common during the Kamakura, Nanboku-cho and Muromachi periods (12-16 centuries), people turned to Shinto gods or Buddha for protection and numerous blades dating from this time have been engraved with religious motifs.
The engravings range in design from depictions of gods or Buddhas, to Sanskrit characters symbolizing these, or the names of deities, such as eHachiman daibosatsuf (the Shinto-Buddhist god of war), written in Japanese. By far the greatest number of religious engravings are related to esoteric Buddhism, the most common being depictions of Fudo Myo-o (Skt. Acala), Kurikara (the dragon sword), Suken (a straight sword), goma-hashi (goma chopsticks), etc. In the Edo period (1603-1868) engravings retained their religious origins, but tended to become more decorative.
At the same time, the rapid development of decorative metalworking skills during the Edo period resulted in gods, Buddhas and other religious symbols also appearing on sword fittings, embodying peoplefs desire for peace.
This exhibition will present both engraved blades and sword fitting to illustrate the way in which people expressed their prayers directly through their swords.
Next Exhibition: Tuesday May 13 | Sunday June 8.2014 The 23rd Newly Designated Special important swords and fittings
|Hours||10:00-16:30 (Last Entry 16:00)|
|Closed||Mondays (excluding National Holidays)|
|Admission fee||Adults : 600JPY
Members/Students : 300JPY
Children under 15 : Free
|Access||8 minutes by foot from Sangubashi station of Odakyu-Line.
7 minutes by foot from Hatsudai station of Keio-Shin-Sen-Line (the Keio New Line).
|Address||4-25-10 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku Tokyo , Japan 151-0053|