Bizen Osafune Nihon-to / Okayama
|Bizen sword maker Ueta Norihito, traditionalist of the highest order|
In Japan today the number of katana-kajiya sword smiths is somewhere in the low hundreds. Some fourteen of these men can credit Bizen Osafune's Ueta san as their tutor in the craft. The man is a wonder.
Imagine. With a magnet and a bucket Ueta san scours the rivers and streams of Japan, collecting the highest quality sa-tetsu iron sand to bring home to Okayama. These sands are classified and stored by their chemical composition.
Selected iron particles are smelted in a tatara forge of Ueta san's design, in a process that affords him control over the qualities of the jewel steel he then forges into the finest Japanese swords.
Ueta san's production of kitchen knives from this very same steel has waxed and waned over the years, at times being set aside entirely in favor of swords. Much as we might covet his poetic long blades we are fortunate that these days Ueta san has a little more time available to make the products we can use ourselves every day.