Past Exhibitions

Hideyoshi's Favorite Swordsmiths: Yoshimitsu, Masamune, and Yoshihiro
October 15, 2014 - November 16, 2014

Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537–1598), the unifier of Japan, was also a collector of famous swords. Among these, he was particularly partial to blades forged by the Kamakura period (1185–1333) smiths Yoshimitsu of Kyoto, Masamune of Kamakura, and Yoshihiro of Etchū—who collectively became known as the “Three Masters under Heaven” (tenka sansaku). This exhibition features swords by these Three Masters, including a katana (long sword) blade known as Shimazu Masamune, which was handed down through history within the Konoe family and was recently donated to the Kyoto National Museum by Mr. Okuda Befumon. This sword is listed in the early eighteenth century catalogue of Japan's most famous swords Kyōho meibutsu chō but had been thought lost since the early part of the modern era. As part of this exhibition, it debuts to the public for the first time in a century.

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