Current Exhibition (Dec 21st 2018 – May 26th 2019)

The History of the BIZEN-SWORD

Exhibition Overview

In this exhibition, we showcase our collection of 備前刀 ”BIZEN-TOU” (swords made in BIZEN province,) which has been not only a major sword brand but also a big key to understanding the history of Japanese swords. The blades of BIZEN-TOU have the common characteristics of their shining JIGANE (the pattern of the blade’s steel,) strikingly clear HAMON, and gentle reflections resembling spring haze.

“BIZEN” province is the ancient name of modern day Okayama prefecture, located in the western area of the main island of Japan. BIZEN province was the largest production area of Japanese swords in the 11th -16th centuries. Some of the factors leading to their outstanding developments in the sword making industry were that they had their own iron mines, they used a high quality iron manufacturing method known as “Tatara,” and they had good distribution bases in the SETO inland sea.

For the 500 years of the 11th -16th centuries, the various sword smiths and groups featured in this exhibition appeared and flourished in BIZEN province. Tragically, the 1591 flooding of the YOSHII River in BIZEN province brought ruin upon all of them. The BIZEN-TOU which have survived are engraved with the date of their creation, making them as important as historical records and helping us to trace the evolution of Japanese swords.

[Hours of Operation]
10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. (admission until 5:30 p.m.)
Closed on December 25,28,29,30,31, January 1,2,3,4,7,15,21,28, February 4,12,18,25,26,27,28, March 4,11,18,25, April 1,8,15,22, May 7,13,20

[Admission Fee]
General ¥1,000
High school students ¥500
Children under15 free
Groups(20 people or more) ¥800

Artworks of the Blessed New Year
 (Dec 21st 2018 – Feb 24th 2019)

Otake Chikuha "Prince Shoutoku"

[Hours of Operation]
10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. (admission until 5:30 p.m.)
Closed on December 25,28,29,30,31, January 1,2,3,4,7,15,21,28, February 4,12,18

[Admission Fee]
General ¥1,000
High school students ¥500
Children under15 free
Groups(20 people or more) ¥800