It’s a modern-day sheath made in honour of the samurai known as the “Crimson Demon of War”.

A group of craftsmen in Wakayama Prefecture have come together for a very special project that combines woodwork, calligraphy, lacquerware, leather work, and tatami techniques. And it’s all to create a wonderfully unique product: a smartphone case in honour of one of Japan’s best-known samurai warriors, Sanada Yukimura.


Born with the name Sanada Nobushige, the samurai was first referred to as Yukimura in a military novel from the Edo period (1603-1868) and it’s a name which has stuck ever since. He’s also known as the “Once-in-a-Hundred-Years Hero” and the “Crimson Demon of War”, the latter referring to his distinctive suit of armour.


As the leading general on the defending side of the Siege of Osaka, Yukimura’s legend is well-known throughout Japan. This year, the nation will be given a reminder of his life and achievements when he’s put in the spotlight as the leading character in the 2016 NHK year-long TV drama Sanada Maru. In conjunction with the series’ broadcast, the team creating the smartphone covers will be offering bundles of specially licensed products as part of a limited number of supporter packages on the crowdfunding site Mukuake.


Since the project opened on the site on January 12, the group achieved its target goal of 500,000 yen (US$4,258) in less than four hours. With 38 days remaining, the total stands at 1,004,000 yen, with 69 supporters backing the project.

▼ The team bringing out the covers designed them with a traditional scabbard in mind. Now they’ve adjusted the dimensions to create a sheath for a modern-day smartphone.



Only the best quality materials have been used in the production of these limited edition items, including suede from Wakayama Prefecture, which is renowned for its high-grade leather products. A variety of craftsmen brought their years of experience to the project, creating a stunning package which includes a beautifully carved wooden box and tatami woven straw mat insert.





▼ A set of six Kan’ei Tsuho, copper coins which were once used for currency, are also included in the set. The six coins make up the symbol of the Sanada clan.



▼ The cardboard packaging for the wooden box also shows great attention to detail.



▼ Limited to 666 items, the covers are available in these gorgeous four-piece packs for 27,000 yen each.


▼ A skilled calligrapher lends his hand to the project.





Deluxe editions featuring a lacquered box, serial number, and calligraphy are available for 60,000 yen.


The rokumonsen (six coin) motif is beautifully embossed on the red suede smartphone covers. This is the emblem of the Sanada clan, as seen on Yukimura’s distinctive helmet.




All purchases come with a free entry ticket to the Kudoyama Sanada Museum, which is due to open on March 13 and will feature exhibits related to Yukimura and the taiga drama he stars in.


Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 8.51.09 AM

To see the attention to detail and the amount of work that goes into making each of the beautiful smartphone sheaths, take a look at the video below. Watching traditional craftsmen at work is always a wonderfully relaxing experience!

Source: @Press
Images: Makuake