Wednesday, October 04, 2006


KezurouKai Sanjo

This september 2006 Kezuroukai was held in Sanjo city, Niigata prefecture. A 2 days event, which was attended by even more woodworker amateur, blacksmith, and other curious than the previous meetings I have been to. An international meeting too: people from Germany, Taiwan / Canada, France, the USA, and maybe other countries were present.

Blacksmsith lesson

The activities started for me with a one morning introduction to heat treatement of a kitchen knife. The knife's blade was already premade, we had to power-hammer it to relieve the stress of the steel, temper it, dress the edge and sharpen it.

Kit for the blacksmith introductory course

It was an interesting basic course.


One great attraction was the blacksmith stand, with a traditional box bellows called fuigo as a blower. Chisels and plane blades were forged during the show.

The forging was done entirely with traditional methods.

Big planes

The big plane stand always attracts folks. Here is Kamijo-san, one of the expert in big planes.

Kamijo-san, all concentrated on his shaving


The axe is for sure an old tool. It came much earlier than the kanna we see today. But it is still present at almost each kezuroukai meeting, and has its adepts all the way to Germany.

The following pictures show how to manipulate the axe. It is quiet a heavy tool, thus a particular serie of movements based on balance helps greatly. I should say that it not only helps, it is necessary for long sequence of chopping.

On the pictures, you can see how the handle is used to act as a lever to move the head of the axe up. The left hand is the pivot, and the right hand pushes down. Then the left hand goes down to join the other and gravity do almost all the job.

I am greatful to Hanesse, from Kezuroukai Germany, for his explanations.

Kanna mi (plane blades)


These plane blades are from the Tsunesaburo factory. They are made from different metals: white, blue steel, swedish steel, tougou reigo steel, ... They range in price from 30000 to 130000yens (about 250 to 1100$ or 200 to 860Euros). They are all unsigned.

Set of unsigned blades, Tsunesaburo


Uchihashi-san is a young blacksmith that was apprentice to Shiyozuru. I met him in Sanjo, and though we can't exchange much due to my poor skills in Japanese, I report here about the blades he makes. See also my previous post, Young blacksmith.

They are all swedish steel, and range in price from 30000yens to 60000yens (250 to 500$), depending on size, type of oak for the dai,...

The blades are shown here are they were exposed during the meeting.

Uchihashi-san's blades

80mm blade

Tomo osae subblade

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