Vernon man collects rare Japanese Samurai sword. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

B.C. man’s rare Muramasa sword carries ‘cursed’ backstory

“It really belongs in a museum.”

Swords are objects that, throughout history, often combine fact and fiction to create legendary stories.

One Vernon collector said he stumbled upon one of these such swords at a garage sale of all places. The Muramasa, originating from Japan, is one of the most rare and legendary swords in the world.

As swords were so highly revered centuries ago, the swordsmith’s work became an immensely important task. Muramasa Sengo was a swordsmith who lived during the Muramachi period (between the 14th and 16th centuries A.D.). The blade’s high quality craftsmanship made the sword quite popular in Japan at the time but, it was over the two centuries that followed that made it so legendary.

During the reign of Togugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo period, that Muramasa’s blades fell out of favour. Eventually dubbed the “soul of the Samari”, it was thought to be cursed and the sword was eventually banned in Japan due to the belief was that the blades would ‘possess’ their wielders, turning them into insane and deadly warriors who craved bloodshed.

Numerous forgeries have been made over the years, making it quite difficult today for authentic Muramasa blades to be identified. If found and authenticated, these rare swords are typically priced at over a million dollars.

The Vernon man who currently owns a sword believed to be a true Muramasa, said it was a “garage find.”

He said he purchased the sword from the granddaughter of General Jonathan M. Wainwright, who had been rumoured to have gained possession of the sword after Tomoyuki Yamashita, a Japanese general of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, was forced to surrender it.

The woman the collector said he bought it from had not yet authenticated it at the time of purchase. He said he found it interesting and also wasn’t sure if it was authentic when he bought it. But, once in his possession, he sent it to a Japanese sword society for proof of authentication.

“The woman I bought it from was Wainwright’s granddaughter and she just happened to be selling a bunch of her grandfather’s stuff, and I just thought it was pretty cool. I feel like she probably thought it was a big deal but never went through the trouble of authenticating it. I did and it turned out to be a true Muramasa,” he said.

While the owner did not want to disclose how much he had paid for the blade, he said the cost was not the typical price tag you’d find at a rummage sale.

“It really belongs in a museum.”

Editor’s Note: Owner’s name has been kept anonymous for privacy purposes and safety due to the rarity of the sword in question.

Related: Enderby RCMP officers seize Samurai sword

Related: 19 years after B.C. woman’s murder in India, husband still haunted

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.



Follow me on Twitter @BrieChar
Email me brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on Facebook.

 

Vernon man collects rare Japanese Samurai sword. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Vernon man collects rare Japanese Samurai sword. (Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Just Posted

Sooke cannabis report does little to answer production questions

Council is trying to get ahead of the issue

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

Greater Victoria records drop in building permit values

Values are up for British Columbia and Canada thanks to Vancouver

Rules grounding high flight crews for 28 days likely to be challenged

Lawyer says policy could compromise charter rights and personal liberties

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read