Echizen where nature is abundant and the history still lives
The city of Echizen is surrounded by mountains ranging from 400 to 700 meters above sea level.
It is still rich in nature and has beautiful villages, mountains, and scenery that has not changed from long ago such as the clear Hino River. Also, it has a long history. Echizen prospered for about 1300 years as an important region which supported central government; the province office was built here during the Nara period (710-784).
Symbol of the Echizen Uchihamono - Syouryu (ascending dragon)
Echizen Uchihamono has 700 years of history. To commemorate Chiyozuru Kuniyasu, a legend who was believed to have started Echizen Uchihamono, a 1.8 m tall and 2.6m length ascending dragon was built as a symbol of Echizen Uchihamono, and this majestic dragon has been exhibited at JR Takefu Station.
The dragon was constructed from knife blades only. The dragon was built in 1964 by Hiroshi Masutani, the chairman of Ryusen Hamono Limited, as the Vice Deputy Chairman for the project. Koji Matsutani, the president of Ryusen Hamono Limited, restored it as the Chairman in 2008.
About 2967 knives are used for this dragon such as kitchen knives, sickles, hatchets, and small knives.
About Echizen Uchihamono
It is said that Echizen Uchihamono (forged blades) originated in 1337 (Muromachi Era), when a Kyoto swordsmith named Chiyozuru Kuniyasu came to live in Fuchu (today Echizen City in Fukui Prefecture) in search of a good land for swords production. He then began to make sickles for farmers in the neighboring districts. Echizen Uchihamono craftsmen today continue to use the same original Hizukuri-forging and hand-finishing techniques that were used in ancient times. Specializing in the creation of high-quality traditional Japanese blades, Echizen Uchihamono was the first production center for forged blades to be nationally recognized as the Japanese Traditional Craft Product accolade in 1979.
Tanzou (forging) is a very important skill for making Japanese swords. This skill makes it possible to create a strong and straight sword that does not bend nor snap in half.