Special Exhibition Swords of Kyoto: Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture

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Special Exhibition
Swords of Kyoto: Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture
September 29 - November 25, 2018
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.)

*Closed Mondays, but open Mon. October 8 and closed Tue. October 9.

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)



Kyoto National Museum
Access: 527 Chaya-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0931, Japan 
Tel: 075-541-1151
Hours: 9:30 ~ 17:00/Tuesday ~ Thursday and Weekend
9:30 ~ 20:00/Friday(entry up to 30 minutes before closing.)
Closed: Monday(Tuesday if the Monday is a national holiday)


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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