A modern bladesmith rooted in the old traditions

Mushin Wakizashi

This blade is a hira-zukuri wakizashi made from homemade steel. 18” nagasa. The steel was made in a traditional bloomery furnace and divided in two blocks. The first billet was used for the core of the sanmai sandwich. This metal was carburized. The other block of metal was compacted and then folded to create 360 layers of metal divided in two to make the jacket of the sanmai. 360 degrees represents a full circle which goes along with the “mushin” topic which I tried to reflect in this blade.

“Mushin” literally translates to -no mind- as in the flow of things that happens to look easy because of the level of experience of the maker which at that point does not need to think about what he or she is about to do. I don’t feel like I have achieved mushin but I am easily relaxing towards my best approximation.

I wanted simplicity in the fittings to go along with the theme. The handle was made from a single piece of hardwood carved with simple yet elegant curves. The ends of the wood were lacquered black to create the illusion that the handle is shorter than it really is. All the fittings were made from copper and given a simple texture to avoid clouding the overall design. They were blackened using a patina.