about iiza

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In the Echizen region of Fukui, Japan; there is a long history and tradition in craftsmanship using proven technologies and techniques. These include, forged kitchen knives, Japanese paper, lacquer ware and ceramics that have been inherited and passed down through generations.
“iiza” is Echizen Brand Products Consortium’s brand building project, which aims to revitalize these local traditional crafts, and industries and cultivate new markets.
By combining and making the most of the regions advantages and utilizing the wide range of technical, design and craftsmanship skills and experience available in the region, our wish is to spread and share the “wisdom” and “beauty” of our crafts, nurtured and handed down over the centuries to present times.


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.

About Echizen
About Echizen

The logo for the ECHIZEN BRAND PRODUCTS CONSORTIUM brand fuses together elements of the komainu guardian shrine dog that presides over the spirit of Echizen uchihamono forged blades, and the phoenix that symbolizes the hizukuri forging technology and has been handed down and is continued to be used in Echizen. This logo is intended to serve as a symbol of preserving the history of Echizen uchihamono forged blades to date and in moving forward.
Furthermore, our production series with name “iiza”. “iiza”, is a historical term for a trade guild for commercial and industrial people and business people in medieval Japan. “ii” (good), “za (gathering)” “Good gathering”, where craftsmen of all kinds from Echizen gather together, disseminate their inherited tradition to the world to be passed down for future generations.