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  • Japanese sword making is a tradition

  • that goes back centuries,

  • and one that's carried on to this day.

  • Each sword requires dedication, skill,

  • and can take over 18 months to create.

  • The resulting blades can be worth thousands of dollars.

  • So, what makes them so expensive?

  • Master Akihira has been making swords for 21 years.

  • He was inspired by a sword crafted by the legendary

  • 13th century swordsmith Masamune.

  • And after a five-year apprenticeship, and years of training,

  • he became one of the 180 swordsmiths

  • working across Japan.

  • Japanese swords have always been more than just weapons.

  • They were artworks, status symbols, and throughout history,

  • held a huge spiritual importance.

  • Each sword is a unique artwork,

  • and one that is made to be admired as you would a painting.

  • As sheets of steel

  • are folded into each other again and again,

  • wood-grain-like patterns form, and these patterns,

  • coupled with the skill of the sword master

  • create a completely unique blade.

  • Knowing what to look for in each sword is important.

  • Characteristics like the angle and length of the blade,

  • or the way the metal is folded,

  • could give away the era in which it was made,

  • and even who made it.

  • Looking at the months of work

  • that go in to creating each blade,

  • it's easy to see why these swords command such a high price.

  • And as there are less and less sword masters across Japan,

  • these works or art are only going to become more valuable.

Japanese sword making is a tradition

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