The 10 Most Expensive Samurai Sword in the World

The 10 Most Expensive Samurai Swords in the World

Samurai swords, also known as katanas, are among the most coveted and valuable collectibles in the world. These swords are not only weapons but also works of art and symbols of Japanese culture and history. Samurai swords have been made for centuries by skilled swordsmiths who followed strict traditions and techniques. Some of the oldest and rarest samurai swords date back to the feudal era of Japan when they were used by the legendary warriors and lords who shaped the country’s destiny.

The value of a samurai sword depends on many factors, such as its age, condition, quality, maker, history, and rarity. Some samurai swords are considered national treasures and are kept in museums or government institutions. Others are owned by private collectors who are willing to pay millions of dollars for them. Here are 10 of the most expensive samurai swords ever sold or appraised.

Etchu Norishige Sword – Priceless

This sword is one of the most mysterious and priceless samurai swords in the world. It was made by Etchu Norishige, one of the most famous swordsmiths of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). The sword was a gift from a samurai lord to a shrine over two thousand years ago. It was designated as a national treasure of Japan, but it went missing for several decades. It resurfaced in an auction in Australia, where it was bought by an unsuspecting bidder for less than $4,000. The sword was later confirmed to be the original Etchu Norishige sword, and its value is estimated to be priceless.

NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon Antique Japanese Sword Katana Signed by Gassan Sadayoshi – $32,545.02

This sword is a modern masterpiece from the Gassan school, which is known for its distinctive style and quality. The sword was made by Gassan Sadayoshi, a 19th-century swordsmith who revived the ancient tradition of making swords with a wavy pattern on the blade, called ayasugi-hada. The sword has a certificate of authenticity from the Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (NBTHK), the Japanese Society for the Preservation of the Japanese Art Sword. The sword was sold on eBay in 2015 for $32,545.02, making it one of the most expensive samurai swords ever sold online.

13th Century Yamato Katana in Mounts – $23,750

This sword is another example of a Kamakura period katana, which is highly sought after by collectors. It was made by a swordsmith from the Taima school, which was based in the Yamato province. The sword has a slim blade and a gold inlay of the maker’s name. It was sold by Christie’s in 2007 for $23,750, exceeding its estimated value of $15,000 to $20,000.

Rare Sosho School Katana – $69,162

This sword is a rare and exquisite piece from the Sosho school, which was active in the Muromachi period (1336-1573). The sword is believed to be the work of Hasebe Kunishige, a student of the legendary swordsmith Masamune, who is widely regarded as the greatest swordsmith of all time. The sword has a curved blade and a gold inlay of the maker’s signature. It was sold by Christie’s in 2012 for $69,162, surpassing its estimated value of $40,000 to $60,000.

Oda Mansion – $3,400,000

This sword is a historical and legendary weapon that was once owned by Oda Nobunaga, the same warlord who used the Muramasa sword from the Washizaka Shrine. The sword was made by Osafune Nagamitsu, a 14th-century swordsmith who is considered to be one of the best swordsmiths of the Muromachi period. The sword has a powerful and imposing blade, and it is decorated with a dragon motif. The sword is valued at $3,400,000, and it is currently displayed at the Oda Mansion, a museum dedicated to Nobunaga and his legacy.

Kamakura Katana – $418,000

This sword is one of the most expensive samurai swords ever sold at an auction. It was made in the 13th century, during the Kamakura period, which is considered the golden age of samurai culture. The sword has a long and straight blade, which is typical of the katanas of that era. The sword was part of the collection of Dr. Walter Ames Compton, an American doctor who amassed over 1,000 samurai swords in the 1930s. His collection was sold in 1992, and the Kamakura katana alone fetched $418,000, making it the most expensive katana in the world.

Taniguchi House – $4,900,000

This sword is a rare and precious heirloom that belongs to the Taniguchi family, a noble clan that traces its lineage to the Minamoto clan, one of the most prominent samurai clans in Japanese history. The sword was made by Awataguchi Yoshimitsu, a 13th-century swordsmith who is regarded as one of the best swordsmiths of the Kamakura period. The sword has a beautiful and elegant blade, and it is adorned with a gold and silver hilt. The sword is valued at $4,900,000, but it is not for sale, as it is a family treasure.

Washizaka Shrine – $6,500,000

This sword is a unique and sacred relic that belongs to the Washizaka Shrine, a Shinto shrine in Tokyo. The sword was made by Muramasa, a 16th-century swordsmith who is famous for his sharp and cursed blades. The sword is said to have been used by Oda Nobunaga, one of the most powerful and influential warlords in Japanese history. The sword is also said to have been cursed by Muramasa himself, who hated the Tokugawa clan, the rivals of Nobunaga. The sword is valued at $6,500,000, but it is not for sale, as it is a religious object.

Kiyosumi Aqueduct – $8,000,000

This sword is not a single blade, but a set of 12 swords that were made by different swordsmiths from the Edo period (1603-1868). The swords were commissioned by the Tokugawa shogunate, the feudal government of Japan, to commemorate the completion of the Kiyosumi Aqueduct, a major water supply project in Tokyo. The swords were given to the 12 daimyo, or feudal lords, who contributed to the construction of the aqueduct. The swords are considered to be masterpieces of craftsmanship and design, and they are valued at $8,000,000.

16th-century Samurai Tachi Sword – $100,000,000

This sword is the most expensive samurai sword in the world, and it is also the oldest and most mysterious. The sword is a tachi, a type of sword that is longer and more curved than a katana. The sword was made in the 16th century, during the Sengoku period, a time of civil war and chaos in Japan. The sword has a magnificent and intricate blade, and it is inscribed with a mysterious code that has not been deciphered yet. The sword is valued at $100,000,000, and it is owned by an anonymous collector who keeps it in a secret location.