Vancouver-based Japanese NikkeiTV stopped in at the museum forge on their central Vancouver Island tour. Thank you to Kaeko~san and Tag~san for your visit and interest in traditional swordsmithing! Original airing date was June 5, 2022.
Some views into the steel of an antique yoroidoshi during restoration polishing, on a day and stage when the light and the surface were showing interesting details of the hamon and hada. Thank you to its caretaker for allowing me to contribute… Continue reading
It is with some hesitation and a great degree of uncertainty that I interrupt the usual flow of news to bring you this official announcement of the end of an era. While we were blessed to have a workspace on the same… Continue reading
Some views of an Edo period wakizashi that had a tsuka repair with tsuba and fuchi replacement, fitment tune-up, and scabbard repair and lacquering. Thank you to its caretakers for allowing me to contribute to its care and preservation. Unpapered as it… Continue reading
Simple technology for pouring water on the anvil, takeno mizusashi (竹の水差し) made from a piece of bamboo.
Forging with a thin film of water on the anvil and hammer prevents forge scale or oxide from being hammered into the surface of the steel. The hot steel instantly vaporizes the water and the resulting steam explosion blows the scale off of the work, keeping it clean as it is worked. This type of bamboo scoop is a traditional style tool for evenly applying water to the surface of the anvil or the hot steel. Read more about the process of making one.
A photo essay depicting some elements of selective management of a Hinoki Cypress forest on a mountainside in rural Japan. The main idea is to reduce the density of the trees to promote healthy growth but there are several additional benefits as… Continue reading
Building a small farm shed in an inaka area of Japan. The materials were mostly reclaimed and from what was on-hand on the farm. Incorporating elements of local architecture, the design allows farming tools and materials to stay on site at the… Continue reading
Photographic inspiration from traditional Japanese countryside construction. Additional views here. View from the mountain across the valley of roof tops and rice fields. Backing right onto the steep mountain slope, water and soil control is very important. These buildings have stood here… Continue reading
Photographic inspiration from the edges of satoyama in a Japanese countryside orchard garden. The crops include yuzu (citrus), nashi (asian pear), kaki (persimmon), sudachi (citrus), ringo (apple), sumomo (plum), momo (peach), kuwa (mulberry), muscat (grape), satsuma imo (sweet potato), yama imo (mountain… Continue reading
Some views of an Edo period wakizashi that is in the shop for a fitment tune-up and mekugi replacement, along with a new sword bag brought from Japan. Thank you to its caretakers for allowing me to contribute to its care and… Continue reading
This antique nata is in the permanent collection at Soulsmithing and is a lovely example of original handcraft from Japan. This photo essay will reveal some of the beautiful details of this tool for study and appreciation. Nata (屶, “mountain sword”, or… Continue reading
Satoyama are the managed forest areas that border the cultivated fields and the mountain wilds in Japan. Historically they provided fertilizer, firewood, edible plants, mushrooms, fish, and game, and supported local industries such as farming, construction, and charcoal making. Balancing the interaction… Continue reading