Swords that at once were a weapon of Japan are considered the works of art today, some hop in to designated the
national important cultural properties.
But that sword of recgnition also brings to a tension from opportunist.
NHK World Taro Nagaoka reports about the stolen sword that only recently re-surfaced.
The sword has a name "Bishu-Osahuneju-Mtosige".
It was made about 700 years ago and is an important cultural property.
The inscription says "Mikaeri", meaning "to turn back and look".
The sword was said to be so sharp, that you do not know that has cut you until you turned around and
People were able to see it in the safety of the exhibition in the city of Tsuruoka.
The sword proved to be a big attraction.
"The condition is terrific. It leaves me speechless."
"This is a real treasure for everyone in our city."
The sword was owned by a descendant of the feudal lord of this area.
But in 1986, someone stole it from the family storehouse.
The thieves were caught, but the sword was lost.
It had already been sold on the stolen goods market.
Tadahisa Sakai is a director of the museum that held a recent exhibition.
It was his father who owned the sword at the time of the theft.
He says his father was heartbroken.
The elder Sakai had wrtten many poems about the stolen treasure.
"Oh, stolen sword, do not turn rusty, I wait the day you come back to me."
His father passed away 11 years ago without seeing the sword again.
Last year, a wealthy collector in Osaka told Sakai someone was selling the object.
And Japanese law the time limit for gettng the property responsible for the theft.
And buying it from him was beyond the Sakai's ability .
"The price was close to a million dollars.
I had no way of coming up with the money like that.
The collector in Osaka came to a rescue.
He purchased the sword and affered to lend it without charge for exhibitions at Sakai's Museum.
"Finally I was able to tell my father that Mikaeri Motoshige had returned .
I can almost hear him say thank goodness ."