The beautifully designed metal replicas are modelled on real-life weapons that come with amazing historical stories.
Touken Ranbu, or Wild Dance of Swords, is an online game where players fight against evil by calling upon legendary swords, which turn into handsome young men. It’s become such a hit in Japan that it’s spawned an anime series, a lineup of cakes, and even some adorable kitten cosplay, and now the male cast of swords has been summoned to star in a unique range of sweets produced by Premium Bandai.
The six-piece collection features individual boxes based on different characters from the game. Inside each is a traditional jellied dessert called a yōkan, which is sold in a long block and sliced up before being eaten.
To help with the slicing, each sweet comes with a 14-centimetre (5.5-inch) long replica of the sword which gave birth to the character, featuring all the same details as the real-life blade on which it’s modelled, many of which are National Treasures in Japan.
Juzumaru Tsunetsugu – salt yōkan
In the game, Juzumaru Tsunetsugu is known as one of the “five great swords of Japan”. In real life, Juzumaru is a sword originally owned by the Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222-1282), the founder of Nichiren Buddhism. Designated as an Important Cultural Property, the blade now resides at Honkō-ji temple in Hyogo Prefecture, where it goes on display every November.
Kashuu Kiyomitsu – persimmon yōkan
In real life, this handsome sword was owned by Okita Sōji (1842 or 1844–1868), one of the best swordsmen in the Shinsengumi special police force in Kyoto, and captain of the first unit. Hard to handle, it’s believed that Okita abandoned the blade after its tip broke while fighting during the infamous Ikedaya Incident in 1864.
Yamatonokami Yasusada – yuzu Japanese citrus yōkan
Another one of Okita’s swords, this one was forged in the early Edo period (1603-1868) by a master swordsmith called Yamatonokami Yasusada. Whereas Okita gave up Kashuu after it was damaged, this sword stayed with him until his dying day. Fittingly, the anime embodiment of the sword can be seen dressed in the uniform of the Shinsengumi, as an homage to its beloved owner.
Heshikiri Hasebe – brown sugar yōkan
Once the favourite sword of Oda Nobunaga (1534–1582), a powerful 16th-century Japanese feudal lord, this “Forceful Cutter”, with its red lacquered hilt, is now a National Treasure housed at the Fukuoka City Museum in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Higekiri – red bean yōkan
One of the most famous swords in early samurai history, the Higekiri, or “Beard Cutter”, was owned by samurai and court official Minamoto no Mitsunaka (912-997), before being given to his general, a samurai called Watanabe no Tsuna (953-1025). According to legend, Tsuna once severed the arm of a demon that resided at Rashomon Gate in Kyoto.
Hizamaru – matcha powdered green tea yōkan
Hizamaru, the “Knee Cutter”, was made at the request of the Emperor of Japan, and was also owned by Minamoto no Mitsunaka. This sword was given to his son Yorimitsu, but its whereabouts now remains unclear.
The high-quality sword and yōkan set includes gorgeous metal replicas made in Tsubame, a city in Niigata Prefecture renowned for its metal tableware goods. The six-piece collection can be pre-ordered from the Premium Bandai website for 5,980 yen (US$58), which includes nationwide delivery from March 2017.
Source, images: @Press