You may have read our previous report about how Japan’s top sword makers had been called upon to bring your favorite weapons from the hit anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion off the screen and into reality.
Well, the day has finally arrived as the Bizen Japanese Sword Museum has at long last opened their “Evangelion & Japanese Sword Exhibit” utilizing traditional sword making techniques to create swords of the future Evangelion universe.
The purpose of the exhibit is to use the overwhelming popularity of the Evangelion series, in particular their new feature film reboots and use it to shed light on the historical Japanese art of sword making.
The exhibit will run from 14 July until 17 September and features 18 works pulled from the Evangelion universe previously restricted to 2D anime and manga imagery. Applying traditional sword making skill to making weapons of a sci-fi imaginary future proved to be a daunting task for the swordsmiths, the largest challenge being the Lance of Longinus.
It took the crafts men several attempts relying heavily on trial and error before gaining the knowhow to forge a Lance of Longinus that would be authentic looking enough to please both fans of Evangelion and Japanese swords. However they feel confident in their finished works. Other works include progressive knives.
Although the marriage of giant fighting monster robots and the quaint dignified art of swordsmithing seem to be strange bedfellows, there were some signs that this merge was in the making.
A few years back with the release of a side series called Neon Genesis Evangelion: ANIMA an updated version of EVA-01 (Super Evangelion) is sporting two swords called Vizen and Magorox. Vizen is an homage to the region renowned for its great blades not to mention the place where this exhibit is in. Magoroxs refers to Seki-Magoroku a reputable maker of blades including sashimi knives in Japan.
As a result, notable knives and swords from Magoroku as well as the Osafune, Bizen are on display among the Evangelion figures and weapons.
The makers of these weapons have enjoyed the challenge and expressed interest in doing more if the demand is there. So be sure to drop on by the Bizen Japanese Sword Museum with some words of encouragement and who knows what they’ll come up with next.
General Admission: 700 yen (US$8.80)
High School/University Students: 500 yen (US$6.30)
Elementary/Middle School Students: 200 yen (US$2.50)
Museum:Bizen Osafune Japanese sword museum Bizen Osafune Token Village（English）