Who made Murasama?

The Murasama is an incredibly powerful katana in the Metal Gear video game franchise. It is a weapon shrouded in mystery, and its creator has been lost to time. Unraveling the history of the Murasama sword leads us on an intriguing trail through Japanese legends, American conspiracies, and the lore of the Metal Gear universe. This article will examine the tangled roots of the Murasama’s origins and attempt to answer the elusive question: Who made Murasama?

The Murasama in Metal Gear Lore

The Murasama makes its first appearance chronologically in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. In this game set in 2018, the sword is shown to be an incredibly sharp high-frequency blade wielded by Jetstream Sam, a rival cyborg mercenary of the game’s protagonist Raiden.

Raiden eventually defeats Sam and claims the Murasama for himself. When wielding the blade, Raiden can cut through enemies and objects with immense precision. This makes the Murasama one of the most lethal weapons in the entire Metal Gear series.

Later in the series timeline, the Murasama reappears in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, set in 2014. This time it is shown to be in possession of Raiden’s mentor Solid Snake. Despite the four year gap between games, the Murasama has maintained its status as an unrivaled cutting tool.

Solid Snake can use the sword to disable machinery and take down enemies quickly and elegantly. Fans appreciated the connection between Raiden’s blade in Metal Gear Rising and Solid Snake’s Murasama in Guns of the Patriots.

So within the lore of the Metal Gear universe, the Murasama is an infamous and deadly sword passed between the franchise’s protagonists Raiden and Solid Snake during the late 2010s. But how did this weapon make its way into the hands of these legendary soldiers? To uncover that mystery, we must look deeper into its history.

The Japanese Legend

The Murasama gets its name from a legendary Japanese sword with a bloody history. It was said to be forged by master swordsmith Sengo Murasama around the late 16th century during Japan’s Muromachi period.

Sengo Murasama was renowned for his skill in forging katana blades. According to legend, he imbued the sword with a thirst for blood. Murasama blades were said to be ‘cursed’ and brought misfortune or death upon their owners.

One story claims an apprentice of Sengo Murasama decided to test the blade by placing it in a stream with the sharp edge facing upstream. Supposedly leaves that floated down the stream were sliced in two by the mere presence of the Murasama’s keen edge.

The original Murasama sword was passed between various samurai before becoming a family heirloom of the Tokugawa Shoguns. The shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu ultimately had the blade hidden away to quell its bloody legacy.

The tale of Sengo Murasama’s cursed blade endured over centuries and became part of Japanese pop culture. It represented the danger and allure of samurai swords. But is the legend historically accurate? And does it relate to the Murasama in Metal Gear?

Examining the Historical Evidence

While Sengo Murasama was a real swordsmith active during Japan’s Muromachi period, the legends surrounding him may be exaggerated or fabricated. Historical evidence of Murasama as a gifted swordsmith exists, but concrete records verifying fables about cursed blades are hazy.

Some key points challenging the legend:

  • No known extant blades can be reliably attributed to Murasama. Any originals are lost or unidentified.
  • Stories of the Murasama curse and its bloody legacy did not appear until the Edo period, hundreds of years after his forging career.
  • The connection between Murasama’s swords and the Tokugawa Shogunate is unverified.

Murasama’s existence is verified, but the folklore surrounding his swords was likely spun out over centuries by storytellers. Like many Japanese swordmaking legends, embellishments and myths have blurred the truth.

While Metal Gear draws inspiration from the Murasama mythos, there is no evidence linking the historical Murasama to the high-tech blade used by Raiden and Solid Snake. For that connection, we must look to conspiracy theories in the real world.

The American Legend

In the 1950s, rumours arose that an incredible Japanese sword had been acquired by wealthy American industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Professional appraisers identified it as one of the fabled Murasama blades, personalized for carving flesh.

During this era, Japanese martial arts and weapons like the katana were growing in interest but still mysterious to many Americans. The alleged discovery of a death-dealing Murasama sword in the U.S. sparked intrigue and fear. Had Carnegie obtained a dark artifact of Japanese power?

Speculation grew more intense when the sword disappeared from Carnegie’s estate following his death. Inheritors, collectors, and black market dealers fruitlessly hunted for the vanished blade. Wherever it went, the legendary Carnegie Murasama was never seen again.

In the context of the Cold War paranoia of the 1950s, the idea that a secret Japanese super sword could be in unknown hands was unnerving. Rumours grew that a shadowy U.S. organization had recovered the sword for military research.

Assessing the American Legend

While the Carnegie Murasama legend spread in the 20th century, there is no concrete evidence the man ever actually possessed a Murasama:

  • No catalogues of Carnegie’s vast weapon collections include a Murasama.
  • Carnegie had agents aggressively acquire artefacts for his collections, but no records show a Murasama acquisition.
  • No photos exist of Carnegie himself displaying or handling the supposed Murasama blade.

The Murasama legend aligns nicely with Carnegie’s reputation as a greedy industrial magnate. But in reality, it was likely just a rumour spun out of American curiosity and fear of Japanese exoticism. Carnegie never verified claims about obtaining a Murasama.

With its origins unclear, the story of the Carnegie Murasama persisted as an urban legend. Decades later, this myth would make its way into the lore of Metal Gear.

The Murasama in Metal Gear

The Metal Gear franchise borrows liberally from both history and conspiracy theories to craft its complex background lore. Many real weapons and military histories influence the games’ stories. With the Murasama, series creator Hideo Kojima cleverly combined Japanese legend with American urban myth to invent a unique weapon.

In Metal Gear, the Murasama is explained as an advanced experimental weapon being traced by the franchise’s shadowy Patriots organization. According to Metal Gear history, the Carnegie Murasama was actually recovered in the 1950s by secret branches of the U.S. government like the CIA.

These shady groups worked to unlock the mythical blade’s power and create future technologies based on its mystifying cutting power. By the early 2010s setting of Metal Gear Rising, modern science had finally caught up to and replicated the Murasama’s molecular edge.

This fictionalized history provides a high-tech origin story for the Murasama while also explaining its mythic reputation. It rationalizes the sword’s incredible sharpness through modern science and links it to actual Japanese legend via the Carnegie rumors.

The Murasama’s Meaning in Metal Gear

Beyond its literal use as a weapon, the Murasama symbolizes several themes in Metal Gear:

  • The dangerous allure of power and advanced technology
  • The balance of precision and restraint in wielding weapons
  • Collusion between government, military, and corporations
  • The history that weapons carry with them

Raiden’s adoption of the blade represents his own balancing of violent and noble impulses. Meanwhile, Solid Snake wielding the sword conveys the burden of military history.

This layering of meaning reinforces the Murasama’s importance. While originally inspired by legends, the Murasama develops a deep story of its own in Metal Gear. The sword ultimately transcends any real-world roots.


The Murasama in Metal Gear fuses elements of Japanese myth, American conspiracy, and military sci-fi to become a unique and symbolic weapon. Tracing its fictional history and meaning reveals the intricate crafting of Metal Gear’s game world.

While legends like Sengo Murasama and tales like the Carnegie Murasama provide its basis, the Murasama stands alone as a Metal Gear icon. It represents both the series’ reverence for history and willingness to tread into speculative sci-fi.

And the core question remains tantalizingly unresolved – who actually forged the first Murasama? Its origins remain obscured in shadows, much like the Secret Patriots organization that collects information about it. That lingering mystery only enhances the Murasama’s lore.

In the hands of Raiden and Solid Snake, the Murasama is more than a sword. It is the spirit of Metal Gear itself – an object shrouded in intrigue, open to endless imagination.

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