Forging disciples and Japanese sword making

Sword making fascinates me. Proper sword making. Not those novelty blades you buy at cheap markets and in trinket shops. It’s so tactile. There’s something romantic about a forge and the hammering of red hot metal. But its archaic at the same time. And pointless (pun intended). Nobody runs around with swords any more. Except ninjas.

Korehira Watanabe makes Japanese swords. He’s trying to recreate a legendary blade by feel, without instructions.

Handmade Portraits: The Sword Maker from Etsy on Vimeo.

From the Etsy Blog:

Korehira Watanabe is one of the last remaining Japanese swordsmiths. He has spent 40 years honing his craft in an attempt to recreate Koto, a type of sword that dates back to the Heian and Kamakura periods (794-1333 AD). No documents remain to provide context for Watanabe’s quest, but he believes he has come close to creating a replica of this mythical samurai sword.

He’s motivated by handing down a tradition. And he says this cool thing about his disciple.

“I want my disciple to surpass me as a swordmaker. It is my duty to build up a disciple who is better than me. Otherwise the tradition will wear thin with time.”

That’s a nice difference between being in business for yourself, and being in business because you love what you do, or because you feel vocationally called to preserve a tradition or truth.

Here’s a previous post about a Taiwanese swordsmith.

A swordid invention

For those parents who want to foster their children’s imagination on the cheap, who simultaneously don’t have any issues with children playing with violent toys, will join me in appreciating the simplicity of this invention which turns any stick into a sword.

From a designer named Naama Agassi.

Make your next barbie a swordid affair

What could be more fun than stabbing your sausages with a makeshift sword?

Stabbing your sausages with a makeshift sword while wearing a free mask… that’s what. And now, make that dream come true, this product doubles as a great prop for the next time you want to reenact Zorro in your backyard.

If you need some more help or guidance with your backyard culinary exploits or you’re more of a “cook by numbers” type – then take your barbecuing to the next point in the grid with this spreadsheet grill.

Scroll to Top