History of Japanese Tools

History of Japanese Woodworking Tools (in 3 minutes)

Japanese swords

In Japan during the period when samurai existed, katana (Japanese swords) were commonly used and increased in popularity as close-combat warfare evolved.

Japanese sword making

The swords were hand forged from professional blacksmiths (sword smiths). The steel (combined carbon steels) gets hammered and heated numerous times to increase the sword’s durability. This process of pounding and other techniques used to create a sword eventually was utilized for manufacturing many tools in Japan.

no more Japanese swords

In 1876 the Meiji Government issued an edict to outlaw Japanese swords. It was a hard time for samurai, but the blacksmiths who produced swords were also out of business.

Japanese tools

As a way to pass down the skill of tool forging and continue business, many blacksmiths decided to create woodworking, gardening tools and kitchen cutlery instead. Around this period, woodworking in Japan was also going through changes; high-quality tools to increase efficiency were in demand. Combining the skills of Japanese sword forging, the tools evolved in the quality of their cutting edges and durability.

Hida Tool & Hardware Co., Inc. © 2014