Past Exhibitions

Shintō (“New-Type Swords”) of the Momoyama Period
March 31, 2015 - May 24, 2015

The long history of Japanese swords is broadly divided into "old swords" and "new swords," with the transition occurring during the Bunroku and Keichō eras (1593-1615). During this time period, powerful and spirited swords reflective of the noble and refined Momoyama Period (1573-1600) culture were prized. Many swordsmiths based their swords on the ideal forms of the Kamakura Period (1185-1333) and the Nanbokuchō (Northern and Southern Courts) era (1334-1392), which they incorporated into their own designs while reducing the long and hefty swords to a manageable length. Connoisseurs of Japanese swords refer to works of this era as Keichō "New Swords," and revere them as the very finest. Here we present swords by Umetada Myōju, the legendary father of the modern sword, alongside masterpieces of the Mishina and Horikawa schools which also embody Kyoto swordsmithing at its very pinnacle.

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