General Information

Exhibition Title Special Exhibition
Swords of Kyoto: Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture
Period September 29 - November 25, 2018
Venue Kyoto National Museum Heisei Chishinkan Wing
Transportation JR, Kintetsu Railway, Keihan Railway, Hankyu Railway, City Bus
Closed Mondays
*Closed Mondays, but open Mon. October 8 and closed Tue. October 9.
Special Exhibition Hours 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Entrance Until 5:30 p.m.)
Fridays, Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (Entrance Until 7:30 p.m.)
Special Exhibition Admission Adult 1,500 yen (1,300 yen)
Univ. Student 1,200 yen (1,000 yen)
High School Student 700 yen (500 yen)
Admission is free under middle school students.
*(Fees in parentheses for groups of twenty or more)
Organized by Kyoto National Museum, The Yomiuri Shimbun, NHK Kyoto, NHK PlanNet Kinki
With the support of Iwatani Corporation, KINDEN CORPORATION, SHIMIZU CORPORATION, DAIWA HOUSE INDUSTRY CO., LTD., Nozaki Insatsu Shigyo Co., LTD., Panasonic Corporation
With the special cooperation of The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords
With the cooperation of Nitroplus co.,ltd., Nippon Kodo Co., Ltd.

Images from the Exhibit

From the ancient times to the modern era, the former imperial capital of Kyoto has been home to some of Japan’s most talented swordsmiths, who have produced many famous blades. Though swords made in various regions are associated with "Yamashiro" (the former name of the province around Kyoto), those actually made in the capital have always had the highest status, prized by nobility and samurai alike. During the Edo period (1615–1868), swords were frequently exchanged among daimyo lords, and a sword from Kyoto was considered the ultimate gift.
This exhibition features nearly every National Treasure sword made in Yamashiro (Kyoto), together with outstanding tachi, katana, and other blades produced by associated master swordsmiths between the Heian (794 –1185) and Heisei (1989–present) periods. Also on view are a selection of important paintings, works of calligraphy, dolls, and other objects that help us understand the history of the Yamashiro smiths and their influence on Japan’s sword culture. These works and the stories surrounding them help clarify the role of swords in Japan, the value they were accorded by Kyoto's aristocracy, warrior class, and townspeople, and the influence they had on Kyoto culture.

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