Dojigiri (童子切)

Dojigiri is a Japanese sword designated as a national treasure of Japan. It is also called Dojigiri Yasutsuna. It is one of five celebrated swords in the country, and said to be the most superb one along with the Great Kanehira sword. Presently it is in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum. Its blade length (lineal length from top of the tip to the end of the back) is 79.9cm and it is curved by 2.7cm.


It is believed to be a work of Yasutsuna, a sword craftsman of the Heian period. It is said that MINAMOTO no Yorimitsu who is a direct descendant of the Seiwa-Genji (Minamoto clan) cut off with this sword the head of Shuten Doji, a devil who lived in Mt. Oe in Tanba Province. The name of Dojigiri comes from this legend. In addition to this, various anecdotes related to the sword have been known. Later, it was inherited from Ashikaga Shogun Family to Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, Ieyasu TOKUNAGA, Hidetada TOKUGAWA, Tadanao MATSUDAIRA (husband of a daughter of Hidetada), and then from Takada Domain of Matsudaira Family in Echizen Province to Tsuyama Domain. Matsudaira Family of Tsuyama Domain passed down the three noted swords of Dojigiri, Inabago and ISHIDA Masamune as family treasures.

Speaking of the sharpness of the sword, a legend says that when a master of trial cutting called Chodayu MACHIDA in the Edo period brought down Dojigiri Yasutsuna onto the dead bodies of six criminals stacked one on top of another, it not only cut through the six bodies, but its blade reached the ground.

In 1946, the sword was sold from Matsudaira Family of Tsuyama Domain to a sword merchant, and after twists and turns it passed into the state's possession and now is in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum.

Furthermore, together with the sword blade there remain the scabbard and hilt of jintachi style (the style of sword designed specially for use on the battle field); a Kinnashiji-painted scabbard and a Itomaki (string-wound) hilt, however these fittings were produced in the Edo period and are different from the original when the sword was made.

It is unclear what the fittings looked like when the sword was made.

[Original Japanese]