Korehira Watanabe is one of the last remaining Japanese swordsmiths. He has spent 40 years honing his craft in an attempt to recreate Koto, a type of sword that dates back to the Heian and Kamakura periods (794-1333 AD). No documents remain to provide context for Watanabe’s quest, but he believes he has come close to creating a replica of this mythical samurai sword. Moreover, Watanabe abstains from using any of the shortcuts made available by modern technology; for him it is the only way to maintain the tradition of sword making and ensure that the craft survives.
Recently, NY-based filmmaker, Takeshi Fukunaga made a trip to Japan to shoot a short documentary about the legendary swordsmith. Check out the video below, courtesy of Etsy.