Echizen forged knives

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Echizen forged knives are traditional knives made in Echizen City, Fukui prefecture, Japan. Characteristics of these products are the two techniques, which are called Nimai hiroge (= double layering) and Mawashi hagane tsuke (= shaping the knife). Thanks to these characteristic techniques, they were chosen as the earliest traditional craft for forged knives in 1979.

History[change | change source]

The origin of Echizen forged knives goes back to the early Nanboku-cho period (in the early 14th century). In 1337, Kuniyasu Chiyotsuru, a sword maker from Kyoto Prefecture in Japan, moved to Echizen no kuni (=present Echizen city), and  made sickles (=one kind of farming tools) for citizens who live there. While he stayed there, he thought how to make the products for many citizens, and many of them began to make the products referring to his techniques. Since then, the Echizen city became a big producing area which was famous for the farmer tools . During the Edo period (from the 17th to the 19th century), merchants selling sickles, which are farming tools,  walked from Echizen no kuni to many places around Japan such as Osaka prefecture or Tokyo Prefecture to sell these tools made in Echizen city. As these products were sold in markets, their high quality such as lightness or sharpness was evaluated, so forged knives made in Echizen city became popular around Japan. Now, Echizen forged knives produce many other products such as hatchets that are used for cutting trees in addition to knives.

Two main processes[change | change source]

The two main important processes:  nimai hiroge and mawashi hagane tsuke.

  • Nimai hiroge (double layering)

...The blade is evenly thinned by stretching the two layered plates

through beating both sides with a high-speed machine hammer.

  • Mawashi hagane tsuke (shaping the knife)

...The tip of the blade is sharpened carefully to be close to the shape of diamond.


Main associations[change | change source]

  • Echizen Forged Knives Cooperative Association
  • Takefu Knife Village Cooperative Association
  • Takefu Knives Wholesale Commerce Cooperative Association

References[change | change source]

KOGEI JAPAN https://kogeijapan.com/locale/ja_JP/echizenuchihamono/

Echizen Forged Knives Cooperative Association HP https://www.echizenuchihamono.com/shop.php

Takefu Knife village Cooperative Association HP https://tkvstore.net/

Map Echizen city en.png