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 daibosatsuf (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 peoplefs 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


Information
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).
Map Map link
Address 4-25-10 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku Tokyo , Japan 151-0053
Phone 03-3379-1386
Fax 03-3379-1389

Grutt Pass is a value-priced ticket booklet which provides admission or discounts to the 71 facilities in Tokyo.
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* NBTHK Japan offers courtesy service of English translation from 'Token Bijutsu' bulletin to overseas members. Also we started another English translation service of "Nihon Koto Shi" (Hisotry of Koto) written by Dr. Junji (Kunzan) Honma, which we have been carrying in serial form since Token Bijutsu No.547 in 2002 and hope you to encourage foreign sword lovers to join our association. Members receive 'Token Bijutsu' (Japanese edition) every month and are able to see all of sword photos and oshigata of the translations in it.

* Please access to the web site of our overseas branches to apply for your overseas membership.