Seki is a small city in the center of Japan, located in the northern Mino region of Gifu Prefecture. Seki is famous for the production of blades; first samurai swords and now kitchen knives and cutlery continue a legacy of production by artisan swordsmiths in Seki City using modern and traditional forging styles that have been passed down for centuries. Today, the Seki name is globally recognized as a signal of quality production, and knives forged there are in high demand.
According to legend, Seki has forged fine blades since a master sword-maker by the name of Motoshige in the 13th century discovered the ideal conditions there for tempering steel: high-quality ore, pine charcoal, and an abundance of pure water.
Today, Seki is considered the home of modern Japanese kitchen cutlery, a place where state-of-the-art manufacturing and technology has built upon an ancient tradition of forging skills to produce a world-class series of stainless and laminated steel kitchen knives that sought after worldwide.
You can experience the knives and swords, as well as the traditions that surround them at this festival, hosted by the Seki Cutlery Association, the Seki Swordsmith Museum, the Seki Outdoor Knife Show, the October Cutlery Festival, and the Cutlery Hall where visitors can purchase a Seki knife of their very own.
The Seki Cutlery Festival celebrates the modern cutlery industry of Seki, and 700 years of traditional sword making culture in the city. At the festival you will find stall after stall selling high-quality Seki knives at discount prices, sword forging and polishing demonstrations, sword cutting and unsheathing demonstrations, and much more.
This symbolic festival is held at Honmachi and other places in Seki City on the second Saturday and Sunday of October annually.
October 6 sat.- 7 sun 2018
At the Seki Cutlery Hall knives and other cutlery produced in Seki are exhibited and sold. As many as 2,000 pieces of cutlery including cooking knives, knives, scissors, and nail clippers are on sale for 70 to 80% of market prices.
The Seki Sword Tradition Museum shows off the city’s 700 years of history of using traditional forging styles to create blades that border on art. Documents and videos are always on display for visitors to see, but the highlight is catching a glimpse of traditional Japanese sword forging in action.
On specific dates, you can see a live demonstration of traditional forging practices in which sword smiths in traditional white attire pound the raw steel with giant hammers; sending out flurries of sparks and heat. Notably, every January 2nd is the Uchizome-shiki, a ceremony marking the first forging of the year.