The Okuizumo Tatara and Sword Museum

The Okuizumo Tatara and Sword Museum(The Okuizumo Tatara and Sword Museum)

The Okuizumo Tatara and Sword Museum is located in Shimane Prefecture’s Okuizumo Town, and it provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the local culture of tatara steelmaking. From the Middle Ages to recent times, the Izumo Region was one of the largest producers of iron and steel in the entire country, and this museum has many displays that provide a general overview of that history, along with the process of tatara steelmaking.


Tatara steelmaking is a process that has been carried out since ancient times, and currently, the only location in the world that continues this process is the nearby Nittoho Tatara (operated by The Society for Preservation of Japanese Art Swords). Tatara steelmaking produces tamahagane, extremely high-quality steel that is used to make Japanese swords. The Okuizumo Tatara and Sword Museum provides clear and easy-to-understand displays and explanations about both tamahagane and the Japanese art swords that use this rare type of steel. 


On display inside the museum, you will find a full-scale tatara furnace replica. The display also includes a cross section that helps you truly grasp the scale and complexity of the furnace’s underground structure. Additionally, there are three types of fuigo models which illustrate the different types of bellows that were used to send air inside the furnace during production. Visitors can use these models to pump air and see how they actually worked.


Depending on the timing of your visit, there are opportunities to see Mr. Kobayashi, the museum’s swordsmith, perform Japanese swordmaking at the museum’s forge. Martial arts displays of swordsmanship, where actual swords are used to cut different materials, are also held, so you should check the museum’s schedule of events before you visit.

Basic Information

1380-1 Yokota, Okuizumo, Nita District, Shimane 699-1832

0854-52-2770

Access

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No nearby bus station