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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

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

Just Posted

North Cowichan to place a sign to deter panhandling at major intersection

Follows decision by City of Duncan to also place signs

North Cowichan considers five new positions in its budget for 2020

Proposed tax increase for the year would jump from 4.03% to 4.68%

Writers’ book stall opening at new Chemainus Indoor Market

Great opportunity for authors to showcase their work

Chemainus woman sets a new standard for 106-year-olds

Active lifestyle includes a trip to Scotland in the works for May

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Murder of sex worker exposes Canada’s hypocrisy on prostitution: advocate

A 2014 law made purchasing sex or benefiting from the selling of sex illegal

Wet’suwet’en return to northern B.C. forest road pipeline workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

BC Ferries gets injunction against demonstrations in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

The preemptive injunction is a ‘last resort in the interest of public safety,’ spokesperson says

Over a dozen birds found mysteriously dead on rural B.C road

Ministry of Agriculture notified of the strange occurrence on No. 4 Road in Abbotsford

B.C. men arrested after theft of heavy equipment leads to highway blockade

One man surrendered to police while the other was taken into custody the next morning, RCMP say

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

PHOTOS: Trans Mountain hosts mock oil spill response practice in Kamloops

Practice comes after an excavator accidentally struck the pipeline near Jacko Lake in mid-February

Most Read