About the Course
This course is intended for experienced students who either taken our Basic Forging Course already, or otherwise have had equivalent first-hand blade-smithing experience.
For the 2023 session of this class, we will be forging the sword blades from the tamahagane-type steel made the weekend before the class during our Oroshigane (Steel-making) Seminar from electrolytic-sponge-iron (dekai-tetsu in Japanese).
Students will then hand forge a blade of a least tanto length from the folded steel. The blade will then be shaped with grinders and files, and prepared for heat-treatment. Hopefully, after a successful yaki-ire (heat-treatment), we will continue to refine and sharpen the blades, as time allows.
Tanto, having the greatest variety of different styles of blade shape will be the focus of the class. Students will forge a blade of shobu-zukuri, hira-zukuri, osuraku-zukuri, moroha-zukuri, or of another shape and are encouraged to explore a geometry besides the typical shinogi-zukuri.
All tools, fuel, and material included.
The price of the course is $2725 and is limited to a maximum of four students per session. A deposit of $575 is required for reservations with the remaining tuition of due a week before the first day of class.
5 thoughts on “Intermediate Japanese Sword Forging Course”
I am so excited to attend your class! Once I save up enough money. I have a couple questions though! It has literally been my dream to become a smith since I was 10. Wether it be for horseshoes or swords and now, after my 2 years of martial arts training, I have found Dragonfly Forge!!! I am more interested in making this a lifelong career. Can I do so by attending your schools? and different classes? Or should I seek out an apprenticeship like you did? I am very serious about attending your school and can not wait until I do. I also would like to know if its possible to have an apprenticeship with You.?
Thank you for your time!
Thanks for the inquiry.
We recommend taking classes in whatever aspect of sword making that interest you most. This way you can better determine if the craft suits you and in which direction you might want to go. It also allows us to get to know you.
Apprenticeships are a very familial relationship and it is important that we each understand the strengths and weaknesses of all involved. It also requires a strong commitment from both parties for an indefinite length of time. My own apprenticeship with Mr. Nakajima was five years, but in some cases more time is required for mastery.
I hope this answers your questions. I encourage you to take a course and see how much you enjoy it.
I look forward to meeting you.
Hello, I have been forging blades for about eight years now and i have recently developed a passion for the art of the Japanese sword. I currently intend on making a career as a blade-smith but ultimately I would like to focus on making Japanese swords. However, I am unsure of how well one can compete in the Japanese sword market without completing an apprenticeship under a licensed Japanese Sword-smith. Do you have any words of wisdom that might steer me in the right direction?
Dear Mr. Yinger
Thanks for your question.
I don’t think one must compete with the Japanese smiths. The system in Japan is very different from the US and the ability to make a living is determined by ranking and awards in several competitions each year. An apprentice must spend a minimum of five years with a licensed smith before becoming licensed himself.
It is very difficult for a non-Japanese to study in Japan. One must speak Japanese and have enough money to live during that time, plus visa requirements, etc.
In the West one competes by creating quality swords and building a reputation as an artist and craftsman.
I recommend studying the myriad books and videos now available to students, and continue to work at your forge. Keep in mind the fact that the technology of forge welding and shaping a blade under the hammer is universal.
At some point you might wish to take some of the classes offered at our school that apply specifically to the Japanese sword.
As I’m sure you’ve learned, forging and heat-treating a sword is not easy. Perseverance furthers!
I wish you the best of luck.
When are you doing classes again?