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A collab between renowned kitchen knife maker, Ryusen Hamono & young swordsmith Kawase Sadazane to continue traditional Japanese swords
17 backers pledged ¥674,789 to help bring this project to life.

About

ECHIZEN KNIFES AND SWORD to pass on samurai sword making project video thumbnail
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¥674,789

17

This is a collaborative crowdfunding campaign between a young swordsmith, Sadazane Kawase, who wants to continue the Japanese sword making technique, and Ryusen Hamono, a renowned chef's knife maker that bases the manufacturing of its daily-used knives on traditional sword-forging.

The Story of the Echizen Kitchen Knife and its Sword-forging origin

The Echizen area has an over 700 years legacy of manufacturing kitchen knives.
The region still manufactures these chef's blades based on the hand forging and striking techniques passed down from the Muromachi era.

These blades also have the Japanese government's seal of traditional craft.
Although the kitchen knife is a well preserved traditional technique, the original sword technique is no longer being practiced, that is until two years ago.

Sword making is a process that takes specially trained skills, years of apprenticeship, and immense patience for the long duration of time a piece takes.
After training with Nara swordsmith master, Sadatoshi Gassan, Yujiro Kawase returned to Echizen and opened a sword-forging studio of his own under a swordsmith name, Sadazane Kawase, to continue this tradition of Japanese sword making.

In this campaign, your support will go towards helping him pass down this authentic Japanese technique to future generations.

We interviewed Kawase and asked him about the sword making process.

K: Making a Japanese sword takes more than one year, and depending on the situations, it can take up to two years.

They’re made beginning with carefully selecting iron ores and forging from scratch, and steel is selected based on the expert knowledge.
Rather than everyday use like the kitchen knife, the Japanese sword could be regarded as an art piece that has immeasurable value.

Kawase who grew up with many relatives who are artisans, particularly gravitated toward swords and wanted to continue this traditional craft.

K: The Japanese sword has a history that has spanned over a thousand years and still continues today. I think there is a reason this art still exists, and that history is something I would like to learn more about.

To hone a sword takes numerous folding of soft and hard steel for the beautiful pattern to surface on the blade.

To start, the steel ore is heated in the fire to to 1200 to 1300 celcius then hit repeatedly by a hammer to get rid of impurities.
The cycle is repeated countless of times. Hamon, or blade pattern, with a wave down the center is made from countless splashing of boiling earth, this repeated boiling is a method that reflects the tough spirit of the Kamakura samurais.

To thank you for your support we have a Kogatana, or small blade as a part of the rewards that you can order.
We also have tours of the studio where you can come see the traditional technique in practice at Kawase's studio.

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About Ryusen Hamono

Kouji Masatani, the 3rd generation inheritor and director of Ryusen Hamono
Kouji Masatani, the 3rd generation inheritor and director of Ryusen Hamono

As the Japanese sword is a meaningful root to the Echizen kitchen knife technology, Kouji Masatani, director of Ryusen Hamono wishes the young swordsmith can be successful in continuing the sword craft, believing it will bring a positive impact to the whole area.

The Echizen Uchihamono (forged blade technique used for kitchen knives) is a diligently preserved hand-crafted technique that traces its roots to 1337 in the Muromachi era.

It is said that its origin is by a Kyoto swordsmith named Chiyozuru Kuniyasu who went to live in Fuchu City (Echizen City, Fukui, today) in search of a good area for swords production when he began making sickles for farmers.

The technique evolved into knife tools for the daily lives of farmers and the original Hizukuri-forging and hand-finishing techniques that were used in ancient times is continued today.

Uchihamono craftsmen in Echizen came to specialize in the creation of these high-quality traditional Japanese blades.

Ryusen Hamono is one of these Uchihamono studios continuing this sword-traced-craft.

They form their knives to fit how people use them in the kitchen in their daily lives, making pieces that are easy to use on the hand.

They also pay particular attention to its ergonomics, function, shape, and is on a constant pursuit of evolving the technique to create beautiful pieces people want to posses for a long time.

As an already renowned kitchen knife maker whose products are used by famous chefs, you can be assured of their quality and value of Ryusen's knives and products.

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Rewards

  •  Kogatana (By Swordsmith Sadazane Kawase) 
(Includes a white sheath & silver habaki)
(Includes a white sheath & silver habaki)

The kogatana is a beautiful piece for display of simplistic beauty that exhibits strength and the Samurai spirit.
It can be used practically as a cutter for fabric, paper, and ropes, and as a wood sharpener.

  •  New Product!! ”Meikiri” Inscription key rings (By Swordsmith Sadazane Kawase) 
Engraved "Echizen"
Engraved "Echizen"

It is a special strap that engraved "inscription cut" which craftsman makes Japanese sword. Craftsman carefully carved stroke one by one on a metal plate.
The inscription cuts represents the high technology of Japanese sword craftsman.
Let's carry on the essence of the Japanese sword and enjoy it everyday.

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  • Tour of the Studio in Echizen (By Swordsmith Sadazane Kawase)
You can take a tour of Kawase's studio, take a look at the swords being honed in person, and learn about traditional samurai swords.
You can take a tour of Kawase's studio, take a look at the swords being honed in person, and learn about traditional samurai swords.

Tour of the Studio in Echizen, converse with Sadazane Kawase about samurai swords and Order a sword in person.

With the tour of Kawase's sword forging studio in Echizen, you can see the beautiful place that is rich in clean water, earth, and steel ore that is ideal for forging knives and swords.
You can converse with Sadazane Kawase about samurai swords and place an order in person with customized engravings like your name in Kanji letters.

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  • Ryusen Hamono Coaster
(Material: leather; side A - black with logo; side B - cognac)
(Material: leather; side A - black with logo; side B - cognac)

With a limited quantity of 50, the coaster is unsold and is typically exclusive to visitors of the manufacturer.
For this special occasion, we will specially send it to you to thank you for your support!

  • Ryusen Hamono Keyholder
(Material: Stainless Steel)
(Material: Stainless Steel)

The keyholder is made from the same steel used to make the kitchen knives.

  • Ryusen Hamono Original Grindstone
(Material: VG10, SGII, ATS314 Stainless Steel)
(Material: VG10, SGII, ATS314 Stainless Steel)

This is an original Grindstone made by Ryusen Hamaono and it is essentially a smaller version of what artisans use when they work on the knife finish.

  • Ryusen Hamono Urushi "FukakuRyu" Knife
(Material: ATS314 Steel core with 63-layers of Damascus Stainless Steel, Canadian Curly Maple handle with Urushi lacquer; includes Urushi-painted wooden sheath and box)
(Material: ATS314 Steel core with 63-layers of Damascus Stainless Steel, Canadian Curly Maple handle with Urushi lacquer; includes Urushi-painted wooden sheath and box)

From Ryusen Hamono, this is the recent collaborative model of the Fukaku Ryu knife in conjunction with lacquer craftsmen of Echizen.

  • Ryusen Hamono "RyusenRin" Kitchen Knife
(Material: VG-2 stainless steel core clad with 70-layered Damascus stainless steel, Canadian Curly Maple handle; includes white sheath and box)
(Material: VG-2 stainless steel core clad with 70-layered Damascus stainless steel, Canadian Curly Maple handle; includes white sheath and box)

The beautiful patterns on the blade is named Ryusen-Rin.
It is a distinctive technique passed down by Ryusen Hamono craftsmen through the ages.
Multi-layers of soft and hard steel are forged and the surface is polished completely. Having this pattern all the way to the edge of the blade allows for extreme sharpness.

=======================================================================

We also have other projects

Echizen Lacquer
Echizen Lacquer
Echizen Washi
Echizen Washi
Echizen Pottery
Echizen Pottery
Echizen Furniture
Echizen Furniture

We would like more people to know the charm of Japanese traditional crafts.
Please support our project's Facebook page and Instagram. Please spread it to many people.

Risks and challenges

※NOTE - Transportation and accommodation to the studio is not included in the tour cost

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥1,000 or more About $10

    Digital Video Letter from the Studios

    A short video exclusive to supporters about the artisans' insider thoughts and their honest talks about their lives in the workshop and the industry.
    Your support will help in continuing the history rich sword technique.

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
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    3 backers
    ¥

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥2,000 or more About $19

    Ryusen Hamono Coaster

    Normally limited to visitors to the manufacturer, the coaster is a special present that is not sold on the market that we will send to you to thank you for your support.

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Ryusen Hamono Coaster
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    ¥

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥2,800 or more About $27

    Ryusen Hamono Key Holder

    The key holder is made from the same stainless steel used to make the kitchen knives.
    Dragons that are worshipped in Japan and is said to grant your wishes is the symbol of Ryusen.
    You can carry the dragon symbol with you on a smooth key holder that won't rust.

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Ryusen Hamono Keyholder
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    ¥

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥2,800 or more About $27

    ”Meikiri” Inscription key rings

    It is a special strap that engraved "Meikiri"inscription cut which craftsman makes Japanese sword.
    Craftsman carefully carved stroke one by one on a metal plate.
    The inscription cuts represents the high technology of Japanese sword craftsman.
    Let's carry on the essence of the Japanese sword and enjoy it everyday.

    · The material of the plate is "brass"
    · We will carve popular Japanese KANJI such as 愛"Love", 感謝"Thanks", 希望"Hope", 魂"Soul".
    · If you wish, you can carve your favorite KANJI with a few characters

    ※ The photo is a prototype. Specifications may change.

    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    ¥

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥5,600 or more About $54

    ”Meikiri” Inscription key rings set

    It is a special strap that engraved "Meikiri"inscription cut which craftsman makes Japanese sword.
    Craftsman carefully carved stroke one by one on a metal plate.
    The inscription cuts represents the high technology of Japanese sword craftsman.
    Let's carry on the essence of the Japanese sword and enjoy it everyday.

    · The material of the plate is "brass"
    · We will carve popular Japanese KANJI such as 愛"Love", 感謝"Thanks", 希望"Hope", 魂"Soul".
    · If you wish, you can carve your favorite KANJI with a few characters

    ※ The photo is a prototype. Specifications may change.

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • ”Meikiri” Inscription key rings
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    ¥

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥5,600 or more About $54

    Ryusen & ”Meikiri” key rings set

    It is a set of 2 key rings.

    [Ryusen Hamono Key Holder]
    The key holder is made from the same stainless steel used to make the kitchen knives.
    Dragons that are worshipped in Japan and is said to grant your wishes is the symbol of Ryusen.
    You can carry the dragon symbol with you on a smooth key holder that won't rust.

    [”Meikiri” Inscription key rings]
    It is a special strap that engraved "Meikiri"inscription cut which craftsman makes Japanese sword.
    Craftsman carefully carved stroke one by one on a metal plate.
    The inscription cuts represents the high technology of Japanese sword craftsman.
    Let's carry on the essence of the Japanese sword and enjoy it everyday.

    · The material of the plate is "brass"
    · We will carve popular Japanese KANJI such as 愛"Love", 感謝"Thanks", 希望"Hope", 魂"Soul".
    · If you wish, you can carve your favorite KANJI with a few characters

    ※ The photo is a prototype. Specifications may change.

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Ryusen Hamono Keyholder
    • ”Meikiri” Inscription key rings
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    ¥

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥12,000 or more About $114

    Ryusen Hamono Original Grindstone

    This is an original Grindstone made by Ryusen Hamaono and it is essentially a smaller version of what artisans use when they work on the knife finish.
    It is the perfect accompaniment to quality kitchen knives.

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Ryusen Hamono Sharpening Stone
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    ¥

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥53,000 or more About $503

    Ryusen Hamono Urushi "FukakuRyu" Knife

    From Ryusen Hamono, this is the recent collaborative model of the Fukaku Ryu knife in conjunction with lacquer craftsmen of Echizen.
    The Urushi paint gorgeously complements the exquisite pattern of the blade.
    The smooth texture of the Urushi also makes the knife easy to use.

    【Material】
    ・Blade:ATS314 Steel Center with 63-layered Damascus Stainless Steel
    ・Handle: Canadian Curly Maple with
    maroon Urushi varnish painted over

    【Specs】
    Total Length 34cm
    Blade Length 21cm
    Weight 180 g

    【Includes】
    Urushi-painted wooden sheath casing for the knife & box

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Ryusen Hamono "Fukakuryu" Kitchen Knife
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    ¥

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥105,000 or more About $997

    Ryusen Hamono "RyusenRin" Kitchen Knife

    The blade's name celebrates the water and fire that knives cannot be forged without.
    The Ryusen-Lin pattern characteristic of the maker can also be enjoyed on this model.
    The blade is an epitome of a dually exquisite and practical knife that also exhibits the blade maker's technique passed down through the ages.

    【Specs】
    Total Length 31cm
    Blade Length 18cm
    Weight 180 g

    【Material】
    ・Blade material: VG-10 stainless steel core clad with 70-layer Damascus stainless steel
    ・Handle:Canadian Curly Maple

    【Includes】
    white sheath & box

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Ryusen Hamono "Honeryu" Kitchen Knife
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    ¥

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥150,000 or more About $1,424

    Hand Crafted Kogatana

    The kogatana is made using a history-rich technique passed down from swordssmith in the Echizen region, in a process that takes specially traine skills, years of apprenticeship, and immense patience for the long duration of time a piece takes.

    Although many artisans transitioned into kitchen knife making, Kawase wants to continue this tradition of Japanese sword making.
    Your support will go towards helping him pass down this authentic Japanese technique and skill to future generations.

    The kogatana is a beautiful piece for a display of simplistic beauty that exhibits strengh and history.

    The blade will come in a silver habaki and white sheath for the blade is sharp enough to even slice the sheath covering it.

    ※Please handle with absolute care
    ※ThisKogatana is real, but it is for viewing only

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Hand-crafted Kogatana (in white sheath & silver habaki)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    ¥

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥200,000 or more About $1,898

    Hand crafted Kogatana & Studio Tour

    You will receive a personal invite to swordsmith Kawase Kazasane's studio to get a unique glimpse at how Japanese swords are forged.

    The kogatana will be handed to you directly from the artisan, Sazadane Kawase, himself.

    With the tour, you will be able to hear from the artisan himself the story of the long-established technique.
    We will provide you with a translator so you can learn the deep stories about sword-making and have exchanges with the master.

    ※Please note that transportation fees until Sabae is not included in the tour
    ※This Kogatana is real, but it is for viewing only

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Hand-crafted Kogatana (in white sheath & silver habaki)
    • Tour of the studio
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    ¥

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge ¥250,000 or more About $2,372

    Kogatana+Studio Tour & Forging session

    You will receive a personal invite to swordsmith Kawase Kazasane's studio to get a unique glimpse at how Japanese swords are forged.

    You will hear from the artisan himself the story of the long-established technique for blades that takes a long duration of time and immense patience to make.
    We will provide you with a translator so you can have exchanges with Kawase about Japanese swords and the incredible region.

    On top of that, you will have the opportunity to order a traditional sword in person with details.

    ※Please note that transportation fees until Sabae is not included in the tour

    ※The package includes a chance to order-make a sword so you can talk to Kawase directly about the details.
    It does not include the of the price of the sword itself however.

    ※This Kogatana is real, but it is for viewing only

    Includes:
    • Digital Letter & Sword/Knife Making Film
    • Hand-crafted Kogatana (in white sheath & silver habaki)
    • Session to order make a sword
    • Tour of the studio
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    ¥

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge ¥105,000 or more About $997

    Hand Crafted Kogatana - Price 30%OFF!

    The kogatana is made using a history-rich technique passed down from swordssmith in the Echizen region, in a process that takes specially traine skills, years of apprenticeship, and immense patience for the long duration of time a piece takes.

    Although many artisans transitioned into kitchen knife making, Kawase wants to continue this tradition of Japanese sword making.
    Your support will go towards helping him pass down this authentic Japanese technique and skill to future generations.

    The kogatana is a beautiful piece for a display of simplistic beauty that exhibits strengh and history.

    The blade will come in a silver habaki and white sheath for the blade is sharp enough to even slice the sheath covering it.

    ※Limited 1 Please purchase as soon as possible!
    ※Please handle with absolute care.
    ※This Kogatana is real.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    ¥

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)