Recreating a 19th century Japanese Tsuba

One of our readers, Jimy Soprano, sent us the links to this incredibly inspiring short documentary of classical Japanese metal artist Ford Hallam recreating a lost masterpiece by the 19th century Mito tsuba artist Hagia Katsuhira. Years ago, I went off on a Samurai sword/Iaid? kick and obsessed over every detail of Japanese sword construction, maintenance, and the “moving Zen” of the Iaid? form. This video touched that obsession again.

The tsuba is the decorative sword guard, and like every other piece of a samurai sword, it’s work of art in and of itself. This video documents Ford Hallam being commissioned to create a tsuba for a Katana (long) sword to match an existing tsuba created by Hagia Katsuhira for a wakazashi (short sword). The painstaking, precise nature of the work is rather dizzying — via MAKE

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