You never know what’s in the attic
In 1939, the Shinto Kasuga Taisha shrine in Nara was undergoing renovations and, in a ceiling, was found a rare, 12th Century
katana tachi (thanks, Tom!) which had been dedicated to the shrine. Now, the vintage sword has been re-polished by a master and is going on display. And, it is a very interesting blade:
From Japan Forward
The accompanying Kuro-urushi- yamagane (black lacquered mountain iron) tachi mountings are thought to date from the fourteenth century. The sword is believed to have been dedicated to the shrine sometime during the Nanboku-cho (1336-1392) and early Muromachi (1336-1573) periods.
The blade is unsigned, but as it bears a close resemblance to the famous Doji-giri sword in the Tokyo National Museum by the Ko-Hoki mastersmith Yasutsuna, and it is thought that it could be his work as well. The Doji-giri is known historically as one of the Five Greatest Swords Under Heaven. Motoki Sakai of the Tokyo National Museum said that the sword discovered at Kasuga Taisha “is a very important example of work of the period in excellent condition.”