Tosa Forged Blades


Records show that at the end of the 16th century there were some 400 smiths at work in Tosa. While they were skilled in the making of the samurai sword, they also seem to have made sickles and knives at the request of local farmers. Subsequently, with the promotion of forestry and the development of new fields in the area, bladed tools for agriculture and forestry were made in large quantities and a production center for forged goods came into being.

A variety of knives, hatchets, sickles and axes are now produced alongside quality saws. A form of ""free forging"" is used to great effect in the making of these tools and each one is made individually.


The craftmen of Tosa Uchihamono can create any blade according to the nationwide requests by just receiving mere description of its shape and size. Their method is known as Jiyu-Tanzo (free-forging) of Tosa. Their techniques survived until now by getting advantage of their ability to create a wide variety and small number of products, which explains why Tosa has a wide variety of cutlery.

How to make

An iron or steel is hammered out to shape from while heated in a furnace. The edge is sharpened afterwards to make a complete product. Special method called nuki-bitsu (perforating by chisel) is used to create tools such as axe or hatchet.