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Visiting a traditional Japanese forge (Swordsmith)

Joined
Feb 17, 2015
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8
Greetings!

As a part of my upcoming journey to Japan, I would like to visit an traditional Japanese forge specializing in nihonto, and first of all, the famous Katanas. Being a backpacker/university student, I don't look for a private "show", but would really like to see the process of forging and polishing in action, and I have the curiosity and respect (both as a fan and as an engineer) to spend at least a day or two in such a place.

From a glance, there are a few places that may suit what I look for: Osafune (Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Craft Center), Seki (Seki Kaji Denshokan). I would be grateful for a recommendation - either on the mentioned above, or other place.

ありがとう ございます,
Simon.
 
Joined
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Seki Kaji Denshokan seems to have only a limited number of days of public "shows". (source, in Japanese). 2nd January - seems to be some special new years event? - first Sunday of March, April, June, and November - and in October for the duration of the "刃物まつり" (festival) which this year will be on the 10th (Saturday) and 11th (Sunday) (source, again in Japanese). If you have an interest and you were planning to go around that time anyway, the festival might be interesting.

Osafune has open days where you can view the working areas on (most) Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, between 9am and 4pm, with traditional forging on Sundays (and holidays) between 1 and 2 pm. There is no cost. They do recommend that you book in advance, partly to make sure that things are open on the day you're thinking of visiting, but also there are limits to visitor numbers (Japanese only again, sorry, couldn't find a decent page with these details in English). There is an English page for the actual booking, which is here . The front page says that due to the heat, the "traditional forging" won't be run from the 8th June until "autumn" (other parts presumably open), and they are closed entirely on the 16th/17th of August (obon).

When it says "Please read Japanese instructions of the homepages carefully" on the booking form, there's really just some general rules which if you've visited any sort of similar site anywhere in the world you ought to be familiar with. I would summarise these as "fire hot, don't be an idiot".
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2015
Messages
8
@nekojita :Thank You very much! Osafune is indeed my first choice for now, but I'll check on the Seki too. As I plan to be in March/April, unfortunately the festival, which does sound interesting, is not relevant. Maybe next time :)

@Majestic the first link looks super interesting! Thanks.
 

Rafiosan

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Joined
Jan 11, 2016
Messages
1
Greetings!

As a part of my upcoming journey to Japan, I would like to visit an traditional Japanese forge specializing in nihonto, and first of all, the famous Katanas. Being a backpacker/university student, I don't look for a private "show", but would really like to see the process of forging and polishing in action, and I have the curiosity and respect (both as a fan and as an engineer) to spend at least a day or two in such a place.

From a glance, there are a few places that may suit what I look for: Osafune (Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Craft Center), Seki (Seki Kaji Denshokan). I would be grateful for a recommendation - either on the mentioned above, or other place.

ありがとう ございます,
Simon.
Hello Simon !!
Did you manage to visit a Traditional Japanese forge ??
I am really interested by your feedback !!
 
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