Samurai sword making process at Kajita token

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Production of Japanese sword

Process of Japanese sword manufacturing

There are a lot of feature swords such as fencings in France,the Blue dragon falchion in China and the Janbia in the Middle East. The Japanese sword may be the first rank of the world, because of its beautiful appearance and shape. The process for forming will be seen here.

Charcoal

Only pinetree charcoal is used in making Samurai-sword.

The reason why the pine charcoal is used for the Japanese sword making depends on the reason to maintain the reduction atmosphere easily.

 

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Iron Sand

The raw material used for the Japanese sword has used the iron sand produced in the Izumo region from ancient times. The low temperature reduction refinement obtained iron with high purity, and was able to make a strong Japanese sword by using the iron sand.

It has been permitted by the government that the swordsmith can manufacture swords up to 24 pieces a year by the condition of using only the iron that is made by ancient method.

Raw Material-Tamahagane

Raw Material-tamahagane is reduced and refined from iron sand.

Lump of tamahagane is subdivided to the fragment by carbon concentration.

This material is spattered during sword making ,finally remained only 1/10 mass.

 

Folding forge

Pieces of the tamahagane are stacked onto a plate like the image.

This mounted plate is heated to about 1300. The pieces are hammered and weld together. Then this mass of tamahagane is folded and forged 10 - 20 times.

Forming

Some Tamahagane pieces of different carbon concentration are stacked like a sandwich. and is shaped to a straight bar by hummer.

Hot forming

The point of a straight bar is cut off in triangular shape called Kissaki-point.

It is heated. and using a small hammer the Kissaki-point is formed in the direction of the arrow. and hammered out.

The cutting edge is forged too.

 

 

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Rough finish by scraper Sensuki

It is scraped off by Sensuki or File after the hot forming to smooth the blade-face.

Clay covering

It is covered by a clay-paste in order to avoid over-quenching.

 

Quenching

During thermal quenching-work, all window of working room are shut . the room keeps dark. Only charcoal and blade is shining.

Most swordsmith adopts only water as quenching reagent, because of to get a sharp edge-pattern.

 

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Filing

Tongue of Japanese sword is filed for its artistical value.

Filing-pattarn is important to determine who made it.

Engraving shallow line 'hi'

 

Some swords is engraved shallow line called 'hi' to make it stronger and lighter.

Engrave Signature

It is engraved signature of swordsmith to sword-tongue by small chisel.

 

Whetting

Whetting is one of the most important processes in Japanese sword-making. So swordsmith select carefully a man who whet his sword.

 

Grip making

Any process of manufacturing after engraving name are applied by each specialist.

Left image shows the under-making grip that is composed of sharkskin and twilled string.

 

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Guard "Tuba"

The metal-guard that is called 'Tuba', is prepared and customized by detailed goldsmith.

This is the intentionally decorated parts as a ornament.

 

Finish adjustment 'Habaki'

@This is a part to adjust the space between the blade, guard metal and the sheath.

It was often made of silver or gold. The owner is secretly proud of this.

 

Undecorated-sheath

Usually Japanese sword is keeping in plain sheath like the left image. this sheath is custom made, so it can not be useful for another sword.

 

Polishing the sheath

Official sheath is coated with japan by specialist.

Left- image shows the polishing of sheath after coating.

 

 

お守り刀展ポスター
Works of Tokai-Tosho Exhibition

 


お守り刀展ポスター
Omamori-Gatana Exhibition

 


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