Wataru Hara-san just shared this Yomiuri Online article (link here) on FB and I thought I have to process this for my readers. In 1939, nine swords were discovered under the ceiling of the Kasuga-taisha treasure house during repair measures. Three of them were mounted as plain period kokushitsu no tachi (黒漆太刀). I don’t have any pictures of these swords but their koshirae probably looks something like shown below.
Now the blades were all rusted, of course, but in course of last year’s shikinen-zôtai (式年造替), the rebuilding of the sanctuary that only takes place every 20 years, it was decided to have three of them polished, I guess the three most promising ones. The shikinen-zôtai was finished in November this year by the way. So the three blades were given to ningen-kokuhô polisher Hon’ami Kôshû (本阿弥光洲) and they obviously turned out great as the Yomiuri Online article is speaking of “kokuhô and jûyô-bunkazai level swords.” Two of the sword are mumei but attributed to Ko-Bizen and one is signed Kuniyoshi (国吉). It is a work of Enju Kuniyoshi. Not sure if there are more pics behind the Yomiuri Online premium paywall so I also have just the one seen in the link but as Hara-san pointed out on FB, the prominent ha-machi suggests that this blade is in an extraordinarily healthy condition! It measures impressive 106.8 cm in total. Will let you know if I read more about this blades in the future.
Now this just sounds too amazing to be true! Hidden swords in the roof, just makes the mind wonder.