Metalworking (Sakai Forged Blades)
In the Edo period, (1615-1868), new forms of metalwork were made, including kitchen utensils and knives. Sakai craftsmen began applying their blade expertise to cooking knives, creating sharp blades with superb knife balance just as they had done in the past with tobacco knives. To this day Sakai continues to be home to some of the finest metal and knife craftsmen in the world. A magical blend of talent, competition and the passing forward of technical wisdom from the past continues to allow this remarkable area to thrive and evolve. Examples of this include swords and armor as were made in the Kamakura period (1185-1336). Once Samurai rule collapsed, wearing swords was banned by the Meiji government in 1876. This forced metalworkers to find new applications for their skills.