Muramasa The Cursed Blade

There are countless stories of the Muramasas’ wielders going mad or being murdered. The swords were believed to be cursed, and were banned by imperial edict. However, originally it was believed its evil power was pointed to one clan only – Tokugawa. It has been told that once drawn, a Muramasa blade has to draw blood before it can be returned to its scabbard, even to the point of forcing its wielder to wound himself or commit suicide. Thus, it is thought of as a demonic cursed blade that creates bloodlust in those who wield it.

According to legend, Tokugawa Ieyasu had lost many friends and relatives to Muramasa blades and had cut himself badly with one, so he forbade his samurai to wield blades made by Muramasa. The edict was made by Ieyasu, who condemned the swords after they killed nearly all of his family. His grandfather had fallen to a Muramasa, and both Ieyasu and his father had been wounded by the swordsmith’s blades. Finally, both his wife and his adopted son were later executed by the supposedly cursed swords.

Muramasa from the Tokyo National Museum

Ieyasu himself had cut his hand twice with “Muramasa” blades. The first wound was by a short sword when he was a child, and the second was by a spearhead in 1600. At the second time he hurt himself with a “Muramasa” blade, he was said to have told “Muramasa curses the Tokugawa family.”


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