[ ISHIDO ] [ KANNA ALPHEBETICAL ] [ HISAGORO ] [ ISHIGURO ]
The saw neck reads
down the middle:      
Nakaya Hisagoro,         
and at the top right:         
Fujioka.
The neck back
reads:           
Shiro            Kami, or
Whitepaper Steel.       
Whitepaper steel
is a Hitachi Yasugi
special saw steel
This mark reads:
KI  
or Yellow steel
TOKU
SEI:
or Specially
hit
Made
HIGASH
East
TOKU
UCHI
or Specially
Hit
KAWANO RYOTARO
aka, NAKAYA HISA
Kawano Ryotaro who uses the professional name of Nakaya Hisagoro
is the 4th generation saw maker in his family from the town of Fujioka
in Gumma prefecture in the mountain area near Nagano. He is 72
years old and still maintains his small shop with his wife. He fills his
time mostly now as a saw sharpener. He said the days of making
saws is over for him, and because he has no children, his saws will
be the last of his line of Nakaya.
Nakaya Hisagoro saws have a special look and character all of their
own and look and feel very much handmade. After the straightening
and tensioning he only scrapes his saws to a minimum degree while
leaving a lot of the hand work marks evident in the final finished saw. I
have 2 saws by his father made in the 1930s, when they were working
with a charcoal forge, and they look and have the same character as
the son's saws from the 1960s-70s.
Some of Kawano Ryotaro's saws are made from blanks, where the
tang is not welded on and some do have a welded on tang. He did
some of the original surfacing with a sander as many saw makers do.
All other steps were performed by hand. The teeth were cut by Nakaya
Hisagoro, the saw was shaped and styled in the neck according to his
fathers patterns. The saw body was then tempered in a forge and
quenched to specific tolerances in water. The hours and even days of
straightening and tensioning the blade requiring tens of thousands of
hammer taps after it comes out of the furnace coaxes the saw to take
the shape. From looking like a piece of wavy paper the steel begins to
look like a functional saw. Some saws are then hand scraped to a
thickness of .6mm at the neck tapering down to .55mm at the tip. He
does not hollow ground his saw bodies. All these steps including the
original metate were done by him in his shop. Finally the signature
was hand cut with a burin by the saw maker.
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NOTES1
 

PARTS OF
A KANNA