The reason why Woodworking Tools are of such High Quality and so Well Known in Japan



You might probably know about samurai through movies, media, or social platforms. They are warriors who possess a strong spirit and iron will and are willing to sacrifice themselves until their work is complete. During the days of the samurai, swords were their inseparable objects, and swordsmiths were the most highly respected shokunin craftsmen. Only they and the samurai were allowed to wear swords. When samurai were outlawed by the government, however, at the beginning of the Meiji era (1868-1912), the skills of the swordsmith were no longer in demand by society, and the profession died out. This is a good example of the interdependence of society and shokunin.

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However, the technology of the swordsmiths was not completely lost. Because some swordsmiths used their secret forging methods, along with this style and attitude, Researchers believe that some blacksmiths who forged samurai swords and spears turned to making chisel and plane blades as the samurai period has ended. At the end of the samurai period, invest those tools with symbolic importance. This legacy is one of the reasons why woodworkers’ tools are of such high quality and so well known in Japan, and why certain blacksmiths are still known among shokunin and scholars today.

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