Friday, March 23, 2012

Visiting the Sword Making Shop

After breakfast at the hotel, the parents and a couple of siblings decided to visit a local sword making shop.  The owner took the time to show us his technique and even passed out some flyers of the definitions that a woman had translated for him.  His shop was small and very personal.  He said it took him about three months to make one new sword.  He showed us a couple of different parts of the process.  He even challenged us to determine who could turn a small rectangular piece into a point on one end.  Bill Turcott accepted the challenge  And came up woefully short.  Not to be outdone, Cameron decided he would go next.  While he too was not nearly as quick or precise as the master, he was given a gift that the owner created himself.

While we were still at the shop, there were several members of a dojo who were ready to demonstrate the use of these precise weapons.  We humbly sat in chairs while they staged wet rolled up mats to be used as the "victims".  Each man stepped forward with care and concentration and cut through the mats quickly and with one stroke.  They took great care to make sure the blade was put back securely before stepping away.  Then we were able to take and hold the swords and ask questions.  The whole day was very funny because we did not have a translater and it was a lot of gesturing and laughing and guessing at what the others were saying.  However, we did learn that one of the demonstrators had one thumb shorter than the other.  This occurred on his very first day when he quickly pulled the blade from its sheath and in the process sliced his own thumb off, which was saved and reattached later.  We took many pictures and shared many smiles.

Here are the photos from that trip...

1 comment:

  1. What you guys didn't speak Nihongo??
    Hope the jet lag is waning for everyone.