As one of Japan’s last remaining swordsmiths, Korehira Watanabe has spent 40 years dedicated to preserving the aesthetic and soul of the Japanese people through his swords. For most of his career, Watanabe has doggedly pursued the recreation of the traditional Koto sword from the Heian and Kamakura periods (794-1333 AD).
While there are no known records of how to precisely make the Koto sword, in the past five years Watanabe has been able to closely replicate it. Moreover, Watanabe abstains from using any of the shortcuts made available by modern technology; for him it is the only way to maintain the tradition of sword making and ensure that the craft survives.
Watch the video above of the craftsman in action.