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pboylan
30th October 2013, 00:54
On a recent trip to Japan I was lucky enough to visit the sword smith Kawahara Sadachika. I took some pictures and video that I included ina blog post that I thought might interest folks. If you've got any questions or comments, I'd love to hear them.
http://budobum.blogspot.com/2013/10/visiting-traditional-japanese-sword.html

Eric Spinelli
1st November 2013, 05:51
If anybody is interested in doing something similar to Peter, the Budo Shop in Tokyo runs workshops that allow one to take part in forging of their own kozuka. They offer one day, two day, and one week courses, all with Takano Yukimitsu (高野行光) in Adachi-ku, Tokyo. You get to spend the day in the forge, see how they use it, and in addition to the kozuka you get a DVD with photos and video of everybody in action. You can learn more here (http://www.budoshop.co.jp/KATANA-Kozuka/Katana-Kozukakobo-E.html).

I participated in the one day course earlier this year in a group of five. It's quite expensive but I think we all enjoyed ourselves. We not only had the attention of Takano-sensei, but another licensed smith (previously apprenticed to Takano-sensei) and his current apprentice. The apprentice, who first got started through this kozuka workshop, has since passed his licensing examination. The owner of the Budo Shop speaks functional English, but I recommend going with somebody who can provide additional translations.

Ken-Hawaii
1st November 2013, 20:54
The Bizen-Osafune Sword Village offers a similar chance to watch swordsmiths do their forging (http://okayamajapanenglish.blog6.fc2.com/blog-entry-67.html). There are also several resident smiths there, including togishi, sayashi, tsubashi, & several other experts. And the museum itself is an incredible place to visit.

Ken