The first sword production appeared over a thousand years ago and developed into distinct categories over the centuries. During the Heian period, the use of horses on the battlefield ushered in a new phase in sword making. The next turning point in the development of the Japanese sword was during the Mongol invasion in 1200 AD. In 1400 AD, Japan broke into civil war and the need for swords became so great production didn't allow for the time to create fanciful weapons.
Far from having disappeared, this ancient Japanese tradition has caught the imagination of collectors, and good examples or rare swords can command dizzying sums at auction houses.
We offer Tasai chisels in three styles: the diamond back (Shinogi) bench chisels (Oire Nomi) which are primarily for dovetailing, standard bevelled bench chisels (Oire Nomi) which are general purpose bench chisels, and the dimond back (Shinogi) paring (Usu) chisels (Nomi) which are for very fine hand use only.


In more recent times, modern day samurai movies have popularized the Japanese sword reigniting its mythical status as a symbol of virtue and heroism. Changes in warfare were largely responsible for the development of the sword leading to its eventual demise due to the introduction of guns as the weapon of choice. Fighting from horseback required that the curvature of the sword be exaggerated to facilitate a more efficient downward movement. The thick armor worn by the Mongols was too much of a match for the more delicate samurai swords, so a more sturdy, pointed sword was developed to have more penetrating force. Tasai is one of the most reknowned blacksmiths still making chisels by hand in Japan, and is perhaps the most famous of the great masters in the United States. The earliest swords date back to the Jokoto period, and it was after this time that the Koto swords appeared, which are considered to be some of the finest examples or early Japanese sword making.


When wearing armor soldiers would often carry a second smaller sword or dagger used for close combat. Ikeda, which we are also privileged to offer, we do not believe that it would be possible to make better chisels than these.



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