The Gassan school of sword makers started in Yamagata 800 years ago, making swords for monks who practiced Shugendo, for protection from wild animals as they hiked up Mount Gassan. They moved to Osaka in the 1820s and then to Sakurai in Nara. The current master, Sadatoshi Gassan creates Gassan’s distinctive “ayasugi” pattern on the steel, giving the blades a fine texture, like woodgrain. Gassan blades are collected by Japan's Emperor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Even with five apprentices, each sword takes up to a year to make. It is possible to visit the workshop and museum, though it is only open to the public on Saturdays from March to November (closed in August).
- Venue Details & Access Info
228-8 Chihara, Sakurai
From JR Miwa Station:
- 15 minutes on foot from the station.
- 月山記念館 Gassan Sword Workshop & Museum
- address 桜井市大字茅原228-8 228-8 Chihara, Sakurai
- Opening Time & Admissions
Spring through Autumn:
10:00 - 16:00
Closed on Saturdays between March and November, and everyday throughout August
Available Foreign Languages
No foreign language spoken (Japanese only)
- Contact Details