Echizen uchihamono forged blades can trace their origins back nearly 700 years to Japan’s Nanboku-cho period (1336 to 1392) when the renowned Kyoto sword smith Kuniyasu Chiyozuru began producing sickles and other agricultural blades in addition to swords for local farmers in Echizen in what is now Fukui Prefecture. It is said that the whetstones used by Chiyozuru when creating a blade were carved into a komainu - the guardian dog found at the entrance to shrines, which were then dropped into a well. This was intended to incorporate Chiyozuru’s wish as a craftsman that his blades would not be used as weapons for taking human life and would only act as a symbol of the warrior. This philosophy of creating blades not for the taking of life but for use as an “ultimate tool” has been continued to this day by the craftsman who still produce Echizen uchihamono forged blades. The highest quality forged blades that are handcrafted by Echizen craftsmen produce the sharpest of edges tempered by the process of hizukuri forging that is rooted in this region’s history.