Demon-slaying Dojigiri Sword On Display at Kasuga Shrine

Posted on: Sat, 02/08/2020 - 00:18 By: Tom Swiss
photo of sword

The Japanese city of Nara is one of my favorite places in the world. I've visited the grounds of the Kasuga Shrine several times. If I had money to burn I would certainly jump on a plane and go see this.

Demon-slaying Dojigiri, one of Japan’s Five Swords Under Heaven, now on display at Kasuga Shrine (SoraNews24)

Dojigiri is so old that it’s hard to say exactly how old it is, but some estimate its age at over 1,000 years. What we do know is that the sword was struck by famous swordsmith Yasutsuna, who lived in Hoki, a part of Japan in present-day Tottori Prefecture, during the Heian Period.If you’ve got a bit of knowledge about Japanese swords, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of them have names with “giri” or “kiri” in them. Both come from the word kiru, literally “cut,” which can also be used to mean “kill” or “slay.” In the case of Dojigiri, it’s said that the sword was used by Minamoto no Yorimitsu, a samurai warlord, to slay Shuten-doji, an oni (demon) who, along with his minions, terrorized the capital city of Kyoto.