• Sumihira MANABE demonstration at Rencontres d'Aubrac

    Sumihira MANABE demonstration at Rencontres d'Aubrac

  • Iron smelting pellet maker

    Iron smelting pellet maker

    A small scale high-furnace is operated at Les Forges de Montréal. It is supplied with charcoal and iron ore. In order to improve the furnace's efficiency, the ore is prepared into pellets. This ingenious tool facilitates the making of those pellets.

  • Teko-zuke


    The teko is the tool — a plain bar — that is used to hold the steel block to be forged. The said block is welded onto one end of the teko. This video shows Manabe Sumihira performing such a forge weld.

  • Nepalese village blacksmith

    Nepalese village blacksmith

    In early April 2011 I had the opportunity to visit a traditional village blacksmith while in the Fikkhal area, Eastern Nepal. In both India and Nepal craftsmen are still considered as the lowest cast and I could see this man lives simply. He was extremely peaceful and very pleasant to be around. He produces mostly…

  • Making aku – Fabrication d'aku

    Making aku – Fabrication d'aku

    Aku, or charred straw, is used as a coating when forging traditional steels at very high temperatures in the processes of japanese swordsmithing. The charred straw is both a light source of carbon for the steel, as well as an anti-oxidizing coating when it liquifies near welding temperature.

  • Sumi-kiri – Charcoal cutting

    Sumi-kiri – Charcoal cutting

    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…

  • Tool handle wrap

    Tool handle wrap

    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.

  • Katana-kaji – Forge

    Katana-kaji – Forge

    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.

  • Japanese style miniature forge – Mini-hodo

    Japanese style miniature forge – Mini-hodo

    The forge used by swordsmiths in Japan is inconvenient for delicate work because it is deep and remote from the smith (it's made for long things) Some smiths therefore design a miniature forge they can put away and take out as they need. I checked several designs and built this one on wheels, with its…

  • Mei-kiri — mei = signature; kiru = to cut

    Mei-kiri — mei = signature; kiru = to cut

    Mei-kiri — mei = signature; kiru = to cut Mei-kiri is the action of “cutting” or engraving a signature onto a finished japanese sword tang. The same expression is also used in other trades.

  • Terres d'échanges Japan Trailer

    Terres d'échanges Japan Trailer

    An interesting project elaborated by director Mélanie Dion. Each week presents a Québécois living in a foreign country, and a National from that country living in Québec, their lives, exchanges, experience.

  • Manabe Sumihira Zuku-Oshi Tatara

    Manabe Sumihira Zuku-Oshi Tatara

    A week spent at Japanese swordsmith Manabe Sumihira’s helping out with the operation of his tatara. Manabe chose to operate a pig iron smelting zuku-oshi tatara instead of the more commonly known kera-oshi. The pig iron decarburizing process can be seen here (in Japanese, click on various links): More details are available on these…

  • Kiyota JIROKUNIETSU at the Forge

    Kiyota JIROKUNIETSU at the Forge