Famous Samurai Swords

This page is a partial list of the most famous Samurai swords, ordered by name of the owner. Obviously there were more than one sword available to every and each of the following personalities. Most belonged to several owners during their history and reached the level of "Kokuho", National Treasures.

When a picture is not available, there is an Oshigata, a professional drawing showing the details of the blade. Historical accuracy here is sometimes "flexible" due to the high esteem japanese have of these items. Nonetheless for most of them there is no reason for debating. When doubts arise in scholar environment, they are reported. Nicknames always refer to the sword, never to the smith.

  • Akechi Mitsuhide's sword : made by Bishu Osafune ju Chikakage (active in Gen-O, 1319) Picture
  • Ashikaga Yoshiteru's sword : made by Osafune Nagamitsu (active 1264-1319),Kokuho, National Treasure. Nicknamed Daihannya (Great Wisdom Personified) changed hands several times as booty, reward or valued present. Amongst it's owners there were Miyoshi Chokei, Miyoshi Yoshitsugu,Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Okudaira Nobumasa and then the Matsudaira clan. Oshigata
  • Go Mizuno O Tenno's sword : made by Ryumon Nobuyoshi - (active 1317) Kokuho, National Treasure Oshigata
  • Hosokawa Yusai's sword : made by Bungo no Kuni Yukihira (active 987) Kokuho, national Treasure Picture
  • Ii Naomasa's sword: made by Rai Kunimitsu (debated if Jirobe or Beijo, active from 1312 or 1350) Picture
  • Kuroda "Josui" Yoshitaka's sword: made by Hasebe Kunishige (active 1334) Kokuho, National Treasure. It was amongst Oda Nobunaga's favourite swords. Picture
  • Kusunoki Masashige's sword: made by Osafune Kagemitsu (active 1321) Nicknamed "Koryu", little dragon. Kokuho.

Picture: [1]

  • Meiji Tenno's (favourite) sword  : made by Ayanokoji Sadatoshi (active 1232) Kokuho, National Treasure

Picture: [2]

  • Minamoto (Gen San I) Yorimasa's sword : unknown maker, nicknamed "Shishi-O" roughly translated "Lion's King"

Mounting: [3]

  • Minamoto Yorimitsu's sword : made by Hoki Yasutsuna "Daido" (active 806 - questioned) nicknamed "Dojigiri Yasutsuna" "The Monster-Cutter". Kokuho, National Treasure

Picture: [4]

  • Minamoto Yoshimitsu (Shinra Saburo)'s sword : made by Ohara Sanemori (796-861

date debated)

Picture: [5]

Picture: [6]

  • Nabeshima Naoshige's sword : made by Etchu Go Yoshihiro school

Picture: [7]

Niwa Nagahide's sword : made by Chu Aoe school, signature lost by shorthening

Picture: [8]

Oda Nobunaga's sword, used by his son Oda Nobuo to fight Okada Sukesaburo at Nagakute battle : made by Ichimonji Yoshifusa (active 1219) Kokuho, National Treasure, nicknamed "Okadagiri".

Oshigata: [9]

Sakanoue no Tamuramaro's sword : unknown maker, very early work (before 811)

Picture: [10]

Sanada Gentarozaemon no Jo Nobutsuna's sword : made by Bitchu no Kuni (Junin) Moritsugu, dated En-Bun Roku Nen Ni-Gatsu, 1561 2nd Month

Picture: [11]

Shotoku Taishi's sword : very early work, date debated. Horimono (carvings) gave its nickname "Hei-Shi-Sho-Rin"

Picture: [12]

Takeda Shingen's (and then Katsuyori's sword : made by Go Yoshihiro (Born 1299 - Died 1325)

Oshigata: [13]

Mounting: [14][15][16][17]

Taira Shigemori's sword : unknown maker

Mounting: [18]

Takenaka "Hanbei" Shigeharu's sword  : made by Osafune Nagamitsu (active 1264-1319)

Picture: [19]

Tokugawa Ieshige and Ieharu's sword: made by Nobukuni (active 1334).This sword is an O-Tanto, a large dagger.

Oshigata: [20]

Uesugi Kenshin's sword : made by Rai (Niji) Kunitoshi (active 1278-1316)

Picture: [21]

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