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Sumi-kiri, the cutting of the charcoal by japanese swordsmith apprentices, as poorly performed by me. In this video, one strike out of ten is ok, while all others made me frown… size wrong.. size wrong.. swing wrong.. size wrong.. strength wrong.. size wrong.. wrong angle.. and so on.

It is said it takes three years to learn this properly. I think they’re being optimistic.

Sumi-kiri – Charcoal cutting


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There are several ways to wrap a tool handle, usually with plain rope. I’m presenting one here, used on the teko, the bar used for tanren.

Tool handle wrap


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This is a tour of my smithy here in Shimizu, Japan. The smithy has over a century of recorded history as the workplace of a village blacksmith. Only the forge itself has been refitted for sword making.

Katana-kaji – Forge


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This is a tour of my smithy here in Shimizu, Japan. The… Continue reading