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Foreigner Bladesmiths in Japan?


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#1 barnejp

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 01:01 AM

Hi All,

 

Is/was there any famous foreigner who made blades in Japan?

 

Thank you,

Greg

 


Greg

#2 Gabriel L

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 03:53 AM

Keith "Nobuhira" Austin. http://www.ncjsc.org...eith_austin.htm


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#3 ChrisW

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 05:07 AM

That was a really informative read Gabriel, thanks for sharing!


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#4 Ken-Hawaii

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:54 AM

I actually lived in Yuba City while he was forging, but wasn't yet interested in swords.


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but it takes a special kind of human to rise to life's challenges for a lifetime.


#5 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 11:49 AM

If memory serves me right there was a half Japanese/French smith who has his own forge, there was a well made video of him on youtube.


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#6 Gabriel L

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 06:58 PM

If memory serves me right there was a half Japanese/French smith who has his own forge, there was a well made video of him on youtube.

 

Believe you are referring to the Canadian smith Pierre Nadeau. http://soulsmithing....persons/nadeau/. I do not believe he is half Japanese but he did train in Japan. I don't think he completed the apprenticeship / was ever licensed by the Ministry of Culture, etc. but he moved back to Canada and was working on starting a smithy there. However I'm not sure what his current status is, if he is still smithing etc.

It's very hard to make smithing a sustainable career. The top smiths are doing fine but many apprentices struggle to get to that point of getting licensed and then getting enough orders.



#7 SAS

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Posted 17 April 2019 - 08:07 PM

Louis Mills "Yasutomo" RIP, a pioneer Westerner in the Japanese tradition.


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#8 Gabriel L

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 06:01 AM

I had not heard that Mr. Mills passed away. That is sad to hear.

 

Louis Mills is one of a number of smiths I would refer to as "Japanese-style" rather than "Japanese tradition." While he may have consulted with Japanese smiths an on ongoing basis, it is not my understanding that he trained under smiths in Japan for any extended duration (please correct me if I am wrong). This doesn't mean he wasn't good at what he did, just that it was distinct from what I would consider nihontō. For a smith to work in the Japanese tradition I really think requires a multi-year apprenticeship in Japan… very few modern smiths like that from outside of Japan. For high-quality art swords that are Japanese-style but not strictly traditional, there are a relatively larger number of examples, such as Rick Barrett, Howard Clark, Anthony DiCristofano etc.

 

By the way if we look back to history, some smiths were said to have come from abroad, e.g. Rai school originating in Korea. Just a side note.



#9 Guido Schiller

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 07:39 AM

Only half foreign, so I'm not sure if he counts ;-) :  http://www.militaria...ese-swordsmith/


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#10 John A Stuart

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 09:09 AM

Gabriel, Pierre is very active, in fact he does seminars in the region. John


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#11 SAS

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 04:00 PM

http://togiarts.com/Louis_Mills.html

This has a bio with his own statement on the nature of his art. I do not have NY INFO TO SUGGEST THT HE HAD ACTUALLY FORGED BLADES IN Japan, SO PERHAPS HE DOES NOT MEET THE SPECS THE OP INQUIRED ABOUT.  (sorry for caps, typing in the dark)


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Steve Shimanek
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