Korehira Watanabe is one of the last 30 remaining swordsmiths in Japan having spent 40 years honing his craft. His life ambition has been to re-create a type of sword called Koto, that dates back to the Heian and Kamakura periods that spanned from 794 AD to 1333 AD, even though there is no written guide or formula for creating the sword. The challenge to hand-craft a sword without any blueprint has been an obsession of Watanabe’s since he was a child.
While there is no set formula to re-create the Koto swords Watanabe refuses to take any shortcuts and use any modern technology available, because for him the only way to maintain the tradition of sword making is to ensure the craft survives in its purest form.
The history of the Samurai sword is divided into four periods – Koto (Pre 1596), Shinto /Shinshinto (1597 to 1876), Gendai (1877 to the end of world war II), and Shinsaku (modern).
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