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Kuwahara Kaji Kobo / Nagasaki

Way down the coast from Nagasaki but still within the city limits lies the township of Kayaki-cho, which gets its name from the local method of blade manufacture known as mosquito forging. 

Yes, I know. Very mysterious. Our curiosity was piqued also, so off we went. It was a brief visit and we still don't know definitively why the forging techniques locally established in the Edo period are so named.

The elder Kuwahara san, now in his eighties and senior knifemaker in this particular clan, reckons it might be because there are a lot of mosquitos about. Not so sure about that but it kind of makes sense - the area is apparently known for its abundant quenching-friendly soil and water. 

Rather than speculate we'll drop in to the local library on our next visit and confirm why - there's usually a local historian around somewhere who can answer these questions, and this must be the one they get all the time.

Mosquito-forged knives. At present Kuwahara san is able to supply us with a limited range.  They're well made, very well priced, and come with an aura of mystery that may have something to do with mud and mosquitos.