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Sanbon-no-Kikuchi Yari in Shira-saya
This is a yari owned by a samurai, one Ito Muneharu who served the Lord of Higo Kikuchi Takashige in the nanboku-chō era (1336-1396) Ito took part in the famous battle of Hikone during the Kenmu War in 1336. He was given this yari by his master Kikuchi Takeshige Lord of the kikuchi-ke. The blade is made by the Enju smith and is one to the original Sanbon-no-kikuchi-yari.
After the battle at Hikone warfare tactics changed with the spear dominating the battlefield, armour manufacturing also change as armour made from kozane would no longer protect the warrior from a spear thrust.
During the Meiji period, his descendant Ito Tsunauji gifted the blade to the famous Meiji Government official Iwakura Tomomi. The earlier struggle of power between the Imperial family and the Shogun was repeated with the return to power of Emperor Meiji after the abolishment of the samurai classes in 1868
After Tomoni’s death, the blade made its way to the St Louis World Fair in 1906 and was gifted by a member of the Meiji government to a woman from a samurai family who acted as a translator.
During the Heisei period, the spear changed hands and made it way to the UK in the early 1990’s
Now you can own a national treasure!