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The seed that began this project was the question of what would result if a historical Japanese knife maker working at a time when exposure to the west was very limited was asked to create a western style knife based only on a description. The resulting piece retains the lines and techniques that would have been familiar to the maker, but incorporates the most obvious elements of the foreign style which would have been transmitted in that description. The wide guard and hardwood handle would have been immediately recognizable to a western traveler, but the construction of the scabbard and other fittings are quite eastern. In viewing the final work, it seems that this particular fusion of eras and origins have unintentionally captured many of the influences normally associated with, dare I say it, the steampunk genre... "When we attempt to adapt a new style or design that is foreign to us, we tend to work from our own frame of reference, relying heavily on what we know as a foundation. The most obvious elements that differ from the familiar are the ones that tend to get emphasized and filtered through our own paradigm, often to the point of caricature. Similar to examples of pre-photographic illustrations of strange new animals from other lands, the interpretation is sometimes quite unlike the actual subject." more here: islandblacksmith.ca/2015/12/touzai-fusion-tanto/
It has been awhile since I had photo documentation of a whole knife from start to finish, so I wrote this freshly minted minimalist kotanto project up as an exploration of implementing nihonto geometry and construction into a fusion style edc/outdoor knife. "The Japanese swordsmithing tradition has been in place for generations and many of the design elements have been tested and refined for centuries. With careful study and practice, this can be a solid foundation for today's bladesmiths and knifemakers to build their work upon." Here is where we are headed... ...hang on!