Famous Samurai Swords
This page is a partial list of the most famous samurai swords, ordered by name of the owner. Most of those listed belonged to several owners during their history, and are today designated as National Treasures. In addition, note that while a given sword may be identified with a given historical figure, any given figure owned and used multiple swords over the course of their lives.
When a picture is not available, there is an oshigata, a professional drawing showing the details of the blade. Historical accuracy here is sometimes flexible due to the high esteem Japanese often hold for these items. Nicknames always refers to the sword, never to the smith.
- The Ashikaga clan sword, Ebina Kokaiji: made in Yamashiro province by Sanjô Kokaiji Munechika (Heian period). The sword is 29.7cm in length, and was later owned by the Toyotomi clan, and then recovered from Osaka castle by the Tokugawa shogunate. Extant today in the collection of the Tokugawa Art Museum.
- Ashikaga Yoshiteru's sword : made by Osafune Nagamitsu (active 1264-1319). National Treasure. Nicknamed Daihannya (Great Wisdom Personified); changed hands several times as booty, reward or valued present. Amongst its owners were Miyoshi Chokei, Miyoshi Yoshitsugu, Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Okudaira Nobumasa, and then the Matsudaira clan. Oshigata
- Ii Naomasa's sword: made by Rai Kunimitsu (debated if Jirôbe or Beijô, active from 1312 or 1350) Picture
- Kuroda Josui Yoshitaka's sword: made by Hasebe Kunishige (active 1334). National Treasure. This was amongst Oda Nobunaga's favorite swords. Picture
- Kusunoki Masashige's sword: made by Osafune Kagemitsu (active 1321). Nicknamed Koryû ("little dragon"). National Treasure. Picture
- Emperor Meiji's (favorite) sword : made by Ayanokoji Sadatoshi (active 1232). National Treasure. Picture
- Minamoto (Gen San I) Yorimasa's sword : unknown maker, nicknamed Shishiô, roughly translated "Lion's King." Mounting
- Minamoto no Yorimitsu's sword : made by Hoki Yasutsuna Daidô (active 806 - questioned) nicknamed Dôjigiri Yasutsuna ("Monster-Cutter Yasutsuna"). National Treasure. Picture
- Minamoto no Yoshimitsu's (Shinra Saburô's) sword: made by Ohara Sanemori (796-861; date debated) Picture
- Oda Nobunaga's sword, used by his son Oda Nobuo to fight Okada Sukesaburô at the battle of Nagakute. Made by Ichimonji Yoshifusa (active 1219). National Treasure. Nicknamed Okadagiri. Oshigata
- Sanada Gentarôzaemon no Jô Nobutsuna's sword : made by Bitchû no kuni (Junin)
Moritsugu, dated Enbun roku-nen ni-gatsu (1561 2nd Month). Picture
- Shôtoku Taishi's sword : very early work, date debated. Horimono (carvings) gave it its nickname, "Heishishorin." Picture
- Takeda Shingen's (and then Katsuyori's) sword : made by Go Yoshihiro (1299-1325). Oshigata; Mounting: 
- Tokugawa Ieshige and Ieharu's sword: made by Nobukuni (active 1334). This sword is an Ô-tantô, a large dagger. Oshigata
- The Toyotomi clan sword Ichigo Hitofuri, made by the Kamakura period smith Yoshimitsu. Recovered after the Osaka Campaigns by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
- The Toyotomi clan sword Nansen, made by the Kamakura period smith Ichimonji. Recovered after the Osaka Campaigns by Tokugawa Ieyasu.
- Morgan Pitelka. "Art, Agency, and Networks in the Career of Tokugawa Ieyasu." in A Companion to Asian Art and Architecture. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011, 460.