East Japan city acquires centuries-old famed sword with local connection for $2 mil.
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East Japan city acquires centuries-old famed sword with local connection for $2 mil.

ASHIKAGA, Tochigi — The government of this east Japan city announced on March 7 that an affiliate cultural foundation had acquired the centuries-old sword “Yamanbagiri Kunihiro,” now famous for its association with the online game “Touken Ranbu,” from a personal collector for 300 million yen (approx. $2 million).

    The Ashikaga citizens’ cultural foundation, an auxiliary organization of the city, entered into a purchase and sale contract with the former owner on Feb. 23. The payment procedures were completed on March 6 and the ownership of the sword, which has historical connections with the city, was transferred to the foundation as of the same day.

    The blade, a designated national important cultural property, has already been handed over to the foundation and is apparently being kept at a facility in the city.

    The sword is believed to have been forged by master craftsman Horikawa Kunihiro in 1590 on the orders of Ashikaga Castle lord Nagao Akinaga while Kunihiro was staying in the area. The sword gained popularity after it appeared in the online game “Touken Ranbu” as a character taking human form.

    In response to the former owner’s wishes to entrust the management of the blade to the city, it decided to purchase the masterpiece and raised part of the funds through crowdfunding. It managed to collect 125.86 million yen (roughly $850,000) well above the 100 million yen goal, through the online fundraising drive.

    Ashikaga Mayor Naohide Hayakawa commented, “We will endeavor to properly manage and maintain the sword in conjunction with the foundation. We will also carry on the former owner’s wishes, and will make a special exhibition slated from February next year, one that can meet the expectations of all who have supported us.”

    Source: The Mainichi