steel japan

10 Days in Japan: Day 4

I’m in Japan. I’ve traveled halfway around the world to be here and I’m standing in the corner of a dark, dingy factory watching hot carbon steel cool on a bed of bricks. Just minutes ago those were cold, characterless pieces of steel, and now they are knives. In the course of the coming weeks those knives will be touched by many skilled hands in this small factory. The knives will be tempered, sharpened, polished, and sharpened some more. A wood handle will be attached to those knives, they’ll be boxed up, and shipped out. People will pay handsomely for these knives (they are some of Japan’s finest), and with any luck they will continue to make the knives better. Through years of use, and care, what was once faceless and impersonal will have soul.

Stay tuned for tomorrow as I learn to forge my first nail…  

All my best,

Peter Buchanan-Smith
Best Made Co.

JAPAN. Road works and Fuji near Kawaguchiko. I stopped at some road works at night and Fuji was visible. I made a 4 minutes exposure and the flashing red lights combined with the green fluorescent light of Fujinomiya city reflecting from the clouds was almost hallucinogenic. 1999. © Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum Photos