Japan’s Largest Iron Sword Shown in Nara after Cleaning

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The nation’s largest iron sword is shown to the press at the Nara prefectural Archaeological Institute of Kashihara in Nara Prefecture on Tuesday.

NARA — The nation’s largest iron sword, measuring 2.37 meters in length and excavated from the Tomio Maruyama Tumulus in Nara, has been displayed to the press for the first time.

The sword was found to have traces of a wooden scabbard, lacquered ornaments and red cinnabar pigment.

The Nara prefectural Archaeological Institute of Kashihara, located in the city of Kashihara, and the Nara City Board of Education announced Tuesday that they intend to display the iron sword to the public in the future.

Located in Nara, the tomb is the nation’s largest circular burial mound from the late 4th century. In January, they announced that the iron sword had been found along with a shield-shaped bronze mirror, the first such find in the nation.

The sword is 2.37 meters long and 6 centimeters wide, with a serpentine blade. It is much larger than the 1.15-meter iron sword found in Hiroshima’s Nakaoda tomb No. 2, the largest iron sword found previously.

Although the bronze mirror was unveiled when it was discovered in January, the iron sword had not been shown because it required conservation work.

It was unveiled Tuesday as the conservation work on one side of the sword had been completed after rust and soil were removed.