Be a Samurai Swordsmith !” Japanese Sword workshop

The Japanese sword boom is sweeping the world-both inside and outside of Japan. Young women called “swords girls” are rushing to attend sword exhibitions and appreciation sessions. All of this is triggered by the online game Touken Ranbu, in which magical swords, which actually take the form of young boys. The appeal of  Japanese sword goes far beyond that of mere weapons, attracting people with their beauty as works of art and with their history that has been passed down through generations. Recently, I visited the only swordsmith’s house in Kyoto, and joined a unique sword workshop held at a temple in Kyoto.

―Forge original knives guided by a swordsmith―

Here we can learn techniques of forging Japanese sword through this workshop. This time I took a basic course in which you make a small knife with a short blade of 9cm in about one and a half hours. The first step is to heat and stretch a block of raw steel, hammer it to shape the blade. Generating sufficient heat by using a bellows, heating the iron over a charcoal fire, and hammering and stretching the blade over and over, all added up to quite a tough job! When the knife is completed, you warm it again and gradually cool it, enhancing the beauty of the blade. Then you smooth it with a file. The expert swordsmith kindly helps you work. He also inscribes the knife with a Kanji character as you request ( for example the character representing your name). Then you heat the blade, put this hot blade in water to harden it (quenching and tempering).Attach a handle to the knife, and voila! –You’ve done it!

In the advanced course, you can experience more detailed steps of forging a Japanese sword. You also polish the blade more beautifully, and make a cover and adjust the handle after finishing it.

The value of a Japanese sword is said to lie in the beauty of the hamonor “blade patten,” the hadaor “grain,” and in the overall appearance. And when we hold a real sword, we might feel more weight than you had imagined. We can enjoy not only the beauty, but also the power of the Samurai sword-making technique and the depth of Japanese tradition.

Japanese Sword Workshop is held at MASAHIRO TANTOUJO in Kameoka city, Kyoto
Pref. throughout the year. ( See 1. )
The same workshop is held at HONPOU-JI Templeand at DAIRYU-JI Templein Kyoto city in spring and autumn. ( See 2. )

1.Workshop at MASAHIRO TANTOUJO in Kameoka ( Ages:10 and over)

ADDRESS: 32-1 Nishi Kashaisijiki, Honme-cho, Kameoka-city, Kyoto Pref.
(40 min.from JR Kameoka station by taxi)
DATE: Tues. Thurs. Sat. Sun. ( reservation required)
TIME: 9am-12:30pm, 1:30pm-5pm
( Survival Knife Course::9am-5pm/ It depends on the day)
CAPACITY: need to confirm
PRICE: Small Knife Course (¥16,000) need 2 people or more
Authentic Small Knife Course (¥36,000) Used the same material as the Japanese sword
Japanese-style Survival Knife Course (¥58,000)
PAYMENT OPTIONS: cash or credit card ( make the payment on that day)

2.Workshop at Honpouji temple in Kamigyo-ku and at Dairyuji temple in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto city

DATE: Several times in Mar.-May, Sep.-Nov. ( need to confirm)

●1.2.Contact Information
EMAIL: guestsupport@tradi-jp,com (Tradi Inc)
TEL: 050-5243-7502
※Tradi Inc is holding various workshops to experience Japanese tradition and culture,
such as Japanese sword, ceramics and Kyogen( comic theater).

南部 千雅子/CHIKAKO NAMBU ( Chika )

Japan/Interpreter guide certified by Kyoto City/ 現役の高校英語講師。京都市認定通訳ガイドとして伝統工芸や茶道体験、舞妓ショー、日本酒と和食体験の通訳にも携わる。路地歩きや自転車ツアーも得意。マイブームは夜の居酒屋と雑貨屋めぐり。ツアー相談は下記まで。ーーー Although a high school by grade, I do have a 4-year guiding experience in Kyoto. I can offer you wonderful experiences such as traditional crafts, Maiko dinner show, the tea ceremony, sake tasting and local food. I can show you “ Off-the-beaten Kyoto” by cycling, walking in narrow streets and shopping. Please contact me below.