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Kanayama Tsukutomi was a
blacksmith from Tokyo and the
blade pictured to the left was
made by him in the 1940's or
1950's. It is known that his
original workshop was in
Tokyo and he excelled in his
field until his death in 1960.
Kabutowari, is marked
down the center
(reference to weapon*),
and to the left
(Kanayama's nom de
by Tsukutomi
) and to the
upper right is the makers
* Kabutowari is defined as Kabuto 株と as a samuri helmet and Wari 割
to split. The weapon of kabutowari is a close quarters weapon uesd by
ninji or other warriors. Two web pages to follow regarding Kabutowari.
Kanayama Tsukutomi was an active blacksmith who not only designed and sold his
own blades through the traditional wholesale market, but according to his son, he
also helped to fill other orders for different blade makers including Chiyozuru
Korehide. Tsukutomi's son Tetsuo-san explained on 2 separate occasions to me
that his father worked and was known as a "shadow blacksmith" in his capacity of
making some of the blades for Chiyozuru. I have no evidence
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Following are some of the beautiful
blades from the Kanayama shop,
some are made by the current
Kanayama Tetsuro, and some were
made by his father Tsukutomi-san
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His son Kanayama Tetsuo, shown to the right, was born in 1950 and he has
continued the craft and traditions of his father and at this time has gained a
reputation for his fine small kiridashi kogatana knives and large survival type knives.
One of Kanayama Tetsuo blacksmithing trademarks that he is known for is his
inventive and artistic use of kamaji and watestsu.
Below he is showing how
to use a large wheel that
was used for grinding out
the ura on a kanna blade.
The two wheels are nearly
5 feet in diameter and are
impregnated with
abrasive. These type of
wheels were used for
large production orders. I
saw a wheel in the Ishido
shop that was used for the
same purposes.
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