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Four-tiger Sword against Malevolent Power

Joseon Dynasty

National Palace Museum of Korea

National Palace Museum of Korea

A sword was perceived to ward off evil and to prevent disasters. The Chinese character for tiger (寅) was also believed to repel nasty spirit. The sword made on the coinciding time (3-5 am), day, month, and year of tiger, when yang energy is at its strongest, is called a 'Four-tiger Sword', and it was believed to have apotropaic power. The Chinese characters “四寅劒”, meaning a four-tiger sword, are inscribed on one side of the hilt while the asterism of the Big Dipper is gold and silver inlaid on one side of the blade.

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Details

  • Title: Four-tiger Sword against Malevolent Power
  • Date Created: Joseon Dynasty
  • Rights: National palace museum of Korea
  • Medium: Changdeok

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