Collections to see – Japanese weapons in Japan

Surprisingly, despite a relatively large number of surviving examples, strong collecting community, well funded government institutions and tremendous wealth of publications, navigating the world of nihonto permanent and temporary exhibits can be rather difficult. The main issue is that in Japan collections are maintained/exhibited in a slightly different fashion compared to Louvre or MET, and also polishing and display level varies greatly, something that is not nearly as much an issue with non-Japanese swords.

So in this article we will quickly discuss the collections exhibited in various Japanese museums, and try to identifying strong points of each of them.

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Personal introduction

Thank you for visiting my site! My name is Kirill A. Rivkin, and I specialize in historical Asian weapons, with the emphasis on:
a. Caucasus, edged weapons and armor in XVI-XIXth century.
b. Medieval nomadic cultures – from Pontic-Caspian Steppe in the West to Japan in the East.
c. Middle East.

What you will find here is various short articles written by me over the years (in English, Russian and Japanese), reviews and purchase information regarding my books, as well as a number of photographs, both of weapons and other beautiful things.

You are welcome to contact me at any time at and I hope you’ll enjoy my work. You can also find on my facebook page various short updates and announcements.