The reconstructed Hotarumaru, a lost national treasure since the Allies confiscated swords after World War II, was revealed to the public and dedicated to the Aso Shrine in Kyushu on June 17. The event is notable not only because Hotarumaru is finally coming home to his centuries old resting place but because the reconstructed sword was funded thanks to crowdfunding and appealing to fans of the Tōken Ranbu video game and anime series.
The crowdfund campaign raised 45 million yen (US$436,376), far beyond its original 5.5 million yen (US$53,193) goal. Swordsmith Fusayuki Fukudome created the sword which is over 1 meter (or 3’3”) long. He said that the project will continue with reconstruction of the damaged shrine itself and its gates. A devastating earthquake destroyed Aso Shrine in April 2016. Visitors can purchase Nitro+ charity items to benefit the shrine’s restoration.
Tōken Ranbu’s Hotarumaru