New Year’s Shimabara Castle Sword Exhibition

The annual “New Year Shimabara Castle Sword Exhibition” will be held at Shimabara Castle. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Shimabara Castle, so the exhibition will be held to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the castle’s construction.

The Matsudaira family, who served as the lords of Shimabara with a domain of 70,000 koku for many years until the end of the Edo period. Their treasured swords, “Shinki” and “Shiniki,” designated as tangible cultural properties by Nagasaki Prefecture, will be showcased for a brief period once a year on the second floor of Shimabara Castle’s local history document floor. Additionally, a total of 10 swords, including those passed down in the Akaboshi family, the official swordsmiths of the Matsudaira family who donated them to Shimabara City, and swords associated with Shimabara, will be simultaneously exhibited.

God’s Aura

Made in the Kamakura period. It is said to have been made by Awataguchi Kunitsuna, a swordsmith who was once invited by Hojo Tokiyori, the regent of the shogunate. Designated as a tangible cultural property by Nagasaki Prefecture.

Shinki Tachi sword inscription

“Normally, the sword inscription is engraved on the stem of the sword, but the inscription on the Shinki is engraved on the opposite side of the sword. This is said to be because when the sword was shortened and reworked, it was folded back to preserve the inscription.”

God’s Breath

This sword is said to have been made by a master craftsman in Usa, Buzen Province, during the Daido period as a sword for the protection of Emperor Heijo’s son, but the shape makes it highly likely that, like Jinki, it was made in the Kamakura period.



Saturday, January 6 – Sunday, January 21, 2024


9:00 – 17:30 (last admission 17:00)


Shimabara Castle Keep, 2nd floor, Local Archives Floor
1-1183-1 Jonouchi, Shimabara City, Nagasaki Prefecture


Shimabara Castle Official Website