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Swordsmithing


Jake
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Indeed Pierre will have great insight. Japanese language is not enough there is so much more to it. You need to be prepared to support yourself for up to eight years while you basically work for room and board. It is especially rare that a person from outside Japan has the wherewithal and vision to match a Japanese craftsman. This is not to say it is impossible. Besides your language studies you need to start building a network of contacts, collectors, friends and relatives who can support you in your efforts and ultimately act as "sponsors" when it comes time to introduce you to various potential teachers. "One does not just simply walk into Mordor..."

-t

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Its exceptionally difficult to make money as a traditional smith. Being a westerner educated in the tradition gives one some bragging rights. Participation in couple of NHK programs, two dozen interviews, maybe a swordclub in the USA which calls you o-sensei. You'll even get a personal assigned seat in their meeting space. And those are all helpful as one would have to invest a lot of effort in self-promotion to establish a client base. I don't think I am alone in saying there is not a huge market for new swords in Japan today and outside of Japan there was always very little interest in paying "full price" for a new, traditionally made blade.

Polishers make decent money, swordsmiths struggle.

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