Art & Design

The Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword : Centuries of Art and Tradition

18 October 2018, Leeds

Japanese swords are known around the world as the primary weapon of the famous samurais. Nowadays, Japanese swords no long serve as weapons, rather they are appreciated both in Japan and overseas as items of beauty and symbolic protection. Setouchi City, in Okayama Prefecture, is a region with one of the longest and richest histories in sword production, where many great master swordsmiths originated from. Almost half of Japanese swords designated as national treasures or cultural properties are from this area. This region is thus known as the home of the Japanese sword.


During this event, the coordinator for international relations of Setouchi City Sophie Dillard and the master swordsmith Hiroyasu Ando who forges Japanese swords at the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum will invite you into the world of the Japanese sword and its fabrication process, a fascinating world still unknown in the UK. This event consists of two parts. In the first part, the speaker will explain the special bond between the samurai and his katana as well as the Japanese sword’s ancestral and artistic fabrication process, through videos and material and tool demonstrations, and why it is considered today as a piece of art. The master swordsmith Hiroyasu Ando will also give you the opportunity to sneak a peek into his life journey and the uncommon profession he chose to do. The second part consist of a Iaido demonstration given by a local martial arts master to demonstrate how Japanese swords are used today. This is a great opportunity to get to understand the artistic spirit of master Japanese swordsmiths as well as the ancient techniques and history of Japanese swords.


Photo: courtesy from the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum

18 October 2018

Room named ‘Function’ in the Student Union of Leeds University, Lifton PL, Leeds LS2 9JZ, UK


Setouchi City Hall