Important Cultural PropertyBronze mould of lance

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  • Excavated in Kami-izumi, Saga Prefecture
  • 1 piece
  • Middle Yayoi period/2nd-1st century BC
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • J-37005

A bronze dagger-axe is a weapon comprised of a long handle with a blade attached at a right angle. It was first created during the Yin period in China and its original form shifted to this unique shape in the Korean Peninsula. While at the beginning, Japan used to obtain this type of weapon from the Korean Peninsula, it soon began to produce them within the country. The molds that have been excavated are evidence of local production.
This mold is in perfect form and constitutes a valuable material that shows the model type and casting method of bronze dagger-axes. On the mold surface, a medium-thin bronze dagger-axe is engraved. There are two lines engraved at machi (the part that connects the blade with the handle) and traces showing that the outline of the body had been changed several times. Since the tips of the hi meet together and an ayasugimon (twill) pattern is applied to the entire surface, it is clear that this bronze dagger-axe belongs to the northern Kyushu type. A vertical line is engraved on its sides, which seems to be a joint of the molds. Used molds were often used as whetstones and since the entire surface of this mold shows signs of wear, it is highly likely that this mold was also used as one.