Tōken Ranbu Fans Raise US$726,500 for Sword Restoration Crowdfund
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The fans of DMM's Tōken Ranbu game and anime franchise closed out the Campfire crowdfund campaign to restore the Ishikirimaru sword after raising a whopping 79,797,388 yen (US$726,590), nearly eight times the initial goal.
The surplus money will go towards repairing, maintaining, and managing swords in the Ishigirisaki Shrine. Restoration of Ishikirimaru will take place from April 15 to May 15, 2020 followed by a dedication service on May 17, 2020.
The campaign swiftly met its goal of 10,000,000 yen (US$90,460), raising half the amount in just two hours when it launched March 26. The campaign offered reward items for supporters ranging from 2,500 yen (US$22.50) to 13,000 yen (US$118). Items included postcard sets, clear files, keychains, tape, drinking glasses, T-shirts, liquor, ema, art prints, happi coats, dedicated name plates, and arrows. A miko service was also offered but sold out quickly.
Ishikirimaru is considered a sacred blade and it is currently housed at the Ishikiri Tsurugiya Shinto shrine in Higashiosaka, Osaka. The crowdfund seeks to restore the sword and properly dedicate it within the main shrine's inner sanctum as part of the change over from the Heisei period. The sword was forged during the Heian period (794 to 1185 AD).
The shrine's legend states that the Ishikirimaru can cut through stone.
National treasure and swordsmith Kunihira Kawachi will be in charge of restoring the blade. Kawachi is the second son of 14th-generation swordsmith Kunisuke Kawachinokami. He is a member of the Ancient Sword Research Committee of the Kashihara Archaeological Institute and has restored many important ancient swords.
The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka dispalyed the Ishikirimaru Tōken Ranbu character to promote the project.
The Tōken Ranbu franchise has helped lead the way to restoring multiple heritage items and sites including the lost tanto and sword blades Yagen Tōshirō and Hotarumaru, and restore the Mikazuki Munechika blade.