Yoshihara Yoshindo, named Prefectural Living Important Cultural Property
by the Japanese government, and one of the top contemporary sword
smiths in the world, now has a working forge in the US for
demonstration and cultural educational purposes. The forge is located in Kirkland, WA.
Yoshihara’s first U.S. demonstration was at Dallas University over 25 years
ago, where he met with sword polisher, Token Konno. In 2000, Token
Konno invited Yoshihara to perform another demonstration in Seattle to
commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Dallas exhibition. With Token
Konno’s proposal, the City of Seattle and the Consul General of Japan in
Seattle, officially invited Yoshihara to forge swords at the Seattle Cherry
Blossom Festival in 2000.
From that point, Yoshihara and Token Konno discussed the construction of a
forging workshop in the Pacific Northwest to allow more people to witness
this magnificent art form. Token Konno offered the location and Yoshihara
brought all of the forging tools and equipment from Japan, including the
traditional Japanese bellows, anvil, hammers, etc. After five years of
planning and designing, the forging workshop was completed in the summer of
This forging workshop is not for commercial use, but rather to advance the
cultural education of sword making in the United States. To see such a
prestigious sword smith in action is truly a sight to behold.