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

Okanagan man’s rare Muramasa sword found at garage sale 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

Rockets’ Nolan Foote traded to New Jersey Devils

The Devils acquired Foote and a 2020 first-round pick from the Lightning in exchange for Blake Coleman

Smalltown DJs to bring sounds of Shambhala and Bass Coast to Sapphire Nightclub

The Electronic Dance Music duo is known for their bass-heavy beats

The Coldest Night of Year walk returns to Kelowna Feb. 22

The event raises money for charities serving hungry, homeless and hurting people in the community

Rockets lose 3-2 to Rebels in close game

The Rockets are back in action on Monday when they host the Calgary Hitmen at Prospera Place

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

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read