Echigo Yoita Forged Blades
The making of Echigo Yoita Uchihamono dates back to the Sengoku period (1428-1573) of unrest. It was then that warring feudal lords who fought alongside Uesugi Kenshin encouraged swordsmiths from Kasugayama into the area and these skilled men began making various kinds of forged blades.
In the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868), carpentry tools from Yoita became known as Tohi-nomi and Hyobu-nomi. At the start of the Meiji period (1868-1912) swordsmiths turned their hand to making plane blades, which soon became famous nationwide.
Echigo Yoita Uchihamono are invested with traditional skills and techniques dating back more than 400 years. Forged in a time honored fashion, they are well known for being sharp and trouble-free, and are fashioned into chisels, planes, axes, adze, carving tools, knives and the ancient shaving trowel or yarikanna.
Yoita forged blades have an established reputation of having an excellent edge and ease of use thanks to their forging process.
How to make
First the steel and iron ferrite are stretched to specified dimensions. The steel is then laid upon the iron, and the combination is hammered until they reach a bright red glow. When the shape is hammered the metal is then slowly heated on the forge to ensure a strong alloy of the steel and iron. The blade is then polished to bring out the natural beauty of the metal. The blade is then repeatedly tempered and quenched, in a process which is said to be the very source of life for forged metal. Next the edge of the blade is ground, and then set in a handle or base, and the product is then complete.