News Kyoto National Museum Holds Sword Exhibition in Collaboration with...

Kyoto National Museum Holds Sword Exhibition in Collaboration with Touken Ranbu

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Via Nijimen: In a press conference held on Monday, Kyoto National Museum (http://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/) announced the line-ups in the Japanese sword exhibition it will be hosting in autumn of this year. Titled “Special Exhibition: Swords of Kyoto – Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture” (特別展「京のかたな 匠のわざと雅のこころ」), museum spokesperson said this exhibition is the first ever large-scaled display of Japanese swords in the museum’s 121 years’ history since its founding in 1897.

“Special Exhibition: Swords of Kyoto – Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture”
© 2018 NHK Planet Kinki

The exhibition will run for an-almost two-month’s duration from 29 September to 25 November 2018. With assistance from The Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, it will be displaying 200 prized Japanese swords – including well-known National Heritage Treasures and Important Cultural Artefacts – from throughout the country’s history, featuring works from swordsmith clans dating back as early as the 11th Century.

“Special Exhibition: Swords of Kyoto – Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture”1
© 2018 NHK Planet Kinki

The press conference also mentioned a major collaboration with popular browser and mobile game “Touken Ranbu” by DMM Games and Nitroplus. Characters in the game are spirits of demigods inhibiting within historical Japanese swords, given corporal human physiques through the spiritual powers of the ‘Saniwa’ (i.e. the Sage) – a role assumed by the game-player.

As many as 23 out of the 200 Japanese swords going on display at the exhibition will be of the characters/swords that have appeared in the game:

Mikazuki Munechika
Ishikirimaru
Nakigitsune
Gotou Toushirou
Honebami Toushirou
Akita Toushirou
Maeda Toushirou
Hakata Toushirou
Shinano Toushirou
Namazuo Toushirou
Gokotai
Mouri Toushirou
Akashi Kuniyuki
Kenshin Kagemitsu
Jiroutachi
Doudanuki Masakuni
Heshikiri Hasebe
Sengo Muramasa
Mutsunokami Yoshiyuki
Yamabushi Kunihiro
Kasen Kanesada
Hizamaru
Souza Samonji

“Special Exhibition: Swords of Kyoto – Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture”2
© 2018 NHK Planet Kinki

Kyoto Museum will sell originally-designed tickets to commemorate this collaboration. The special ticket comes in a 2-piece set; customers may choose from two different character versions: Mikazuki Munechika, or Heshikiri Hasebe.

The commemorative tickets-set are limited at a total of only 1000 sets. Each set is priced at JPY 2,600 and will go on sales on 29 June 2018. Fans who are unable to get these may be thrilled to know that normal museum admission tickets for the exhibition (at JPY 1,500 for adults; JPY 1,200 for tertiary/university students; JPY 700 for high-school/below students) will commence sales on 30 July 2018.

“Special Exhibition: Swords of Kyoto – Master Craftsmanship from an Elegant Culture”3
© 2018 NHK Planet Kinki

If you are a fan of Touken Ranbu, or even a fan of Japanese history and cultural artefacts in general – and happen to be going to Kyoto during the period of late-September to late-November this year, why not use the opportunity to pop in to Kyoto National Museum and visit this exhibition? This may be your once-in-a-lifetime chance to view so many historical Japanese swords on display in one location!

Fans may find out more details of the “Swords of Kyoto” special exhibition from its special website katana2018.jp. You can also follow updates on its official Twitter account twitter.com/katana2018kyoto.

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