Hideki Sugiguchi, who continues to be at the forefront of the industry as a motion actor and suit actor, asked Akihira Kawasaki, a Master of Japanese sword who has a sword dojo in Saitama Prefecture, to make a own Japanese sword... ! Akihira are said to have attained the highest level among swordsmith who have passed down Soshuden (one of the five legends of the propagation of swords) today. The master craftsman kindly agreed to release the swordmaking process, and the production of this video series started!

This video series is an unprecedented documentary about Sugiguchi'srequest to Akihira to produce a Japanese sword, and the process by which a block of iron is reborn into a beautifully sharpened Japanese sword, as well as Sugiguchi's performance using the finished sword.

For the second time, I will show the process of "Tsumiwakashi" and "Tanren".

Probably, almost everyone who has reached this video will hear the word "Tsumiwakashi" for the first time. Also, when you hear the word "Tanren," you imagine a spectacle of sparks flying like big fireworks. But that's not all. What do the Master of Japanese sword look at and think about when they are 'stacking' and 'forging'? Please take your time and watch it while imagining it.

【Key characters】

Hideki Sugiguchi : CEO of Motion Actor Co, Ltd.

​「SUG-AFTRA stunt performer」。He is a leading figure in the Japanese XMA world. 

He is a 20-year veteran of motion actors.

With his amazing physical abilities, he has appeared in many domestic and international productions including Hollywood. Please check the link below for the works!

【Motion Actor Co, Ltd.】 https://motionactor.co.jp/

【Twitter (@jagar001)】 https://twitter.com/jagar001

Akihira Kawasaki:Master of Japanese sword

He is reputed as one of the swordsmiths who has reached the highest level among the swordsmiths who pass on the Soshuden(one of the Five Legends of Sword Propagation).

【Akihira Tantou Dojo】 https://www.akihirakatana.com/


【Friendship Appearances】

Fusahiro Shimojima:Master of Japanese sword

​He is Master of Japanese sword who conveys the tradition of Minoden and Seki-kaji to the present day. Akihira Kawasaki has an old acquaintance with him, and he has a training ground in Saitama Prefecture. This project frequently asks for his cooperation.

【Fusahiro Nihontou Tanrenjyo】 https://www.samurai-sword.jp/

【Points to note】 


Preparation of "Tsumiwakashi"

First make "Tekobou". A steel plate called "Tekozara" is forge welded to the end of the steel rod that serves as the handle. The powder used to complement those forge welds is borax.


Did you notice that I adjusted the shape of the tip of the bar just before the forge welding?

In order to secure the forged surface firmly, the tip of the lever rod was flattened and a Groove was made.


In order to forge-weld "Tekozara" to the rod and integrate it, the process of hitting with a hand hammer and heating it to a high temperature with "Hodo" is repeated. Repeatedly hitting the steel aligns the internal structure of the steel and increases its strength.

Akihira sees the color of iron and the color of the flame, while pouring pine charcoal on top of the forged part submerged in ”Hodo” and sending the wind at a constant speed from the bellows to the ”Hodo”.The color of the flame determines the time to boil the iron and the timing to strike it, and the amount of pine charcoal and airflow is examined to make fine adjustments.

Akihiara makes most of the tools used in making Japanese swords by herself, such as the handhammer, poker, daruma chopsticks, and water broom. Tools function as an extension of the body for the swordsmith. In other words, whether or not the tools suit your body directly affects the success or failure of thire work. Please pay attention to the tools used by Akihira in this video.


Once again, add borax and beat with a hand hammer to forge firmly. Finally, the temperature is lowered at once to lower the temperature of the steel, and the lever bar is completed.


Behind him is the voice of the Fusahiro swordmaster. Only a few times in this video series, guests were invited on filming dates. Fusahiroexplains while translating technical terms into easy-to-understand words, so it is easy to understand what the purpose of each process is. It's a learning time for the guests as well as the filming staff.


Stack the billets into "Tekozara". Akihira checks the cross section of the steel pieces and arranges them like a puzzle. He doesn't just line them up. When the steel is boiled over a high temperature fire and beaten, it is easy to remove impurities, and careful consideration is given to ensure that the steel is detailed and beautiful.


Akihira accepted Sugiguchi's strong determination when he decided to make an order. And he put it in the character "鍛". Do you understand how this Washi paper is involved in the process of making Japanese swords?

※ ”鍛” = forged

By the way, what is the “sword king”? One day, Akihira tried to write "swordsmith." At that time, he inadvertently wrote "king" instead of "craftsman." He laughed in spite of himself. "I should be a king, not a craftsman.


While the ashes from "Hodo" fluttered like snow powder, Sugiguchihanded over a piece of Japanese paper to Akihira.


He piles the steel in the state of “Kowari” into “Teko-Sara” while selecting it according to his standards. They are then carefully wrapped with "鍛" Japanese paper, covered with mud from clay, covered with straw ash, and wrapped tightly in the palm of the hand to prevent the ash from peeling off.

It seems that it is just a work, but Akihira performs them very carefully.

The steel in the state of "Kowari", he chooses according to his criteria and stacks it into "Tekozara". Then, carefully wrap them in the washi paper, cover them with mud mixed with clay, cover them with straw ash, and wrap them tightly in the palm of your hand so that the ash does not come off. It looks like just that much work, but Shohei does it very carefully.

Even if it is a simple task, he does not think it is good to cut hands. This is impossible for Akihira, who wants to be the king of the sword. Akihira's Japanese swords should always be the supreme work, butworks that are cut out by simple work can only be mediocre in their own way. In order to make a work, Akihira  is very strict and disciplined

Many swordsmiths have been in the family line of craftsman for generations. However, his family was a samurai family. It may be the blood of the samurai that flows inside him that makes him do so.



“Tsumi-wakashi” is a process in which small pieces of steel piled up on a lever plate are melted at a high temperature and put together into a single mass.


In fact, it is Sugiguchi who is gathering charcoal to the right. Although it is cut in the video, he was working while receiving explanations from Akihira about how to put the charcoal and where to put it on.


The sound of the bellows, the sound of the wind blowing into "Hodo", the color of the flames, the sound of exploding pine charcoal... Please take a moment to imagine what Akihira is thinking and feeling.


“Tanren” begins. Most of the work of swordsmiths that everyone imagines is probably only this process.

They heat the steel and hit it with a large hammer to knock out impurities while molding it into a beautiful cube.


Please enjoy Fusahiro's “Sakite” (the one who wields a large hammer) and the power of the sparks that fly like big fireworks.

By the way, it wasn't just the "fire" that splattered. Most of them are "boiling impurities". Therefore, when it hits the body, it is not only "hot" but also "painful". Please pay attention to the unwavering movements of the two swordsmiths, who do not move the slightest bit even after receiving this amount of "boiling impurities".


The purpose of "Orikaeshi Tanren" is not only to remove impurities, but also to homogenize the amount of carbon and increase the strength of the steel itself. And the beautiful "Jikei" that appears on the finished Japanese sword is born through this process.

※Jikei(地景): The appearance of a Japanese sword is divided into a white part on the blade side and a black part on the ridge side. The beautiful layer-like scenery that appears in the black areas is called “地景”.


By pouring a small amount of water on hot steel and hitting it with a hammer, a steam explosion occurs and impurities on the steel surface are blown off. Then, after making a notch with a chisel, it is beaten with a hand hammer to fold it, and it is molded into a cube again. It feels good to watch the process of folding back, which progresses beautifully without waste.


The color of the flame changes from red to purple to blue.


“Yobidashi” for a moment. The sound of bellows getting louder. Akihiramuttered, "Let's go!!"


Sparks of overwhelming heat... It's a moment that everyone can't help but hold their breath and admire.

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