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June 16 2012

waka
10:19
The Treasure from Hie Shrine -  via A Japan Photo per Day -

Roumon Gate, Hie Jinja, Chiyoda, Tokyo

Traveling through Japan, you will certainly encounter the National Treasure (国宝 kokuhō) designation for Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, castles or even residences.

The list of the National Treasures of Japan was started in 1968, when the Agency for Cultural Affairs was established to protect the Japanese cultural heritage. Besides constructions, the list also includes thousands of art objects , archaeological or historical artifacts and even certain crafts. The list includes today a number of 110 Japanese swords, made throughout the entire history of Japan.

One of these swords, a tachi dating from the Kamakura period, made by Norimune, a famous swordsmith, is located at the Hie Shrine (in the photo). Tachi is a type of traditional Japanese swords used before the development of the famous katana. A little longer than katana (the tachi from Hie Shrine is 78.4 centimeters long), the tachi was worn suspended, with the cutting edge pointing down, unlike the katana which was worn at the belt, with the cutting edge up.

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