Sharp and edgy like his swords, Sado Island

by Fujiko - Japan Licensed Guide
(27) Reviews

Calling

Mesmerized by the absolute beauty of a sword in his house when he was about 10 years old, Shimbo san decided to become a swordsmith.  Since then, he has been producing many award-winning swords, long and short or even spears for about 6 decades.

His sword was also chosen as a special offering to the Grand Shrine of Ise, the shrine for the Imperial Family.

I can imagine how honored he was!

 

Now, I'd like to introduce Motohira Shimbo or Master Shimbo, the only swordsmith on Sado Island.

He is an exceptional craftsman and I feed honored to be acquainted with him.

Sharp and edgy like his swords, Sado Island

We can often admire the beauty of Japanese swords when we visit museums in Japan, many of them have historical value like national treasures.  But meeting a swordsmith and learn how to admire swords is completely a different story.

 

Sharp and edgy like his swords, Sado Island

For swordsmith, the workplace is sacred because we find sacred rope in there and rarely open to the public.  It's the place where they put all of their energy and soul into forging and producing swords of their ideal.  So, no one should disturb them.

 

Sharp and edgy like his swords, Sado Island

If you ever have a chance to visit them and see them forging swords, you have to follow the instructions from them because it's not a "show" or "performance" but a never-ending pursuit of creating something special.

 

 Disciplined, motivated and faithful like samurai 

Sharp and edgy like his swords, Sado Island

Shimbo san has a drawing room with the display of his swords.  Visitors(1 - 5 person) are accepted with admission fee and he is happy to explain about swords when he is available.  

But please be sure there are do's and don'ts when you visit swordsmith.  I give you one example.

Before visiting him, please wash your hands.  Shimbo san himself wash his face and hands several times in a day.

Can you guess why?

Swordsmith deal with "tamahagane" or raw material steel and have to avoid "salt".  Swords are much more delicate than we imagine!

Also in his room, please ask him what you can touch or hold and when.

To avoid confusion or trouble, I ask you to bring tour guides or translator.

If you follow rules, I'm quite sure that talking with him will be a memorable experience.

 

People in general have been attracted by the shinning beauty of gold or silver.  But what makes us admire Japanese swords with its subdued beauty?

Because the blade is like a canvas for swordsmith and they draw mountains or waves or other scenaries on it.

Actually, there are many ways to admire the beauty of Japanese swords.

I'm still a novice but would like to learn more about swords itself and steel/iron, too.

Japanese swords are definitely one of the representatives of Japanese culture and spirituality!

 

Did you like my article?

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Fujiko

Licensed Guide
(27) Reviews

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Recent Tour Reviews in Sado

“ Amazing day full of a variety of sights ”

Excellent
1 month ago Traveler: Nancy -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

My tour with Fujiko-san was fantastic! She is a great guide - friendly, knowledgeable and always making sure her customers are enjoying their tour. She was very flexible when setting the itinerary, taking into account all of the places I wanted to see and my interests, resulting in a large variety of sights throughout the island. She knows a lot about Sado Island and it was so interesting to hear ...
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“ Thoughtful and pleasant tour experience ”

Excellent
5 months ago Traveler: Beth -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

We spent one day on Sado Island with Fujiko. She was engaging and informative as we drove through different regions of the island, toured a sake brewery, took a tub boat ride, met a nationally famous sword craftsman, and enjoyed a nice local lunch. My only regret was that the island needs more than one day and we weren’t able to spend more time. I highly recommended her as an excellent guide, with...
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“ Fujiko an amazing & awesome tour guide ”

Excellent
6 months ago Traveler: Donna -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

My friends & I loved our Sado Island trip! Fujiko made it more fun & we look forward to going back again. She treated us like family. She is a very knowledgeable tour guide, enjoyable, friendly & caring. The day of our tour the weather was very windy & rainy. Fujiko was able to shuffle our itinerary & we were able to continue on with our tour. We did taiko(drumming), rode the tarai-bune(tub...
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“ The perfect Sado Tour ”

Excellent
9 months ago Traveler: Adrienne -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

Fujiko was a wonderful guide. She loves S Sado Island and knows the best places to show you to get to know the island. It is lovely to talk to her. We had so much fun exploring the island with her!
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“ A wonderful day on Sado Island ”

Excellent
9 months ago Traveler: Laurie -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

Fujiko planned the perfect day for us. As a resident of Sado Island, she knows it well and shared many interesting facts about it. We got to try taiko drumming, visited a historic village and went for a tub boat ride with a nice dog named Asti and his owner. We had an amazing seafood lunch, then visited a sake brewery. The local apples, pears and persimmon were so sweet and delicious and Fujiko ...
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“ Excellent day with Fujiko ”

Excellent
10 months ago Traveler: Jennifer -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

We had a wonderful day in Sado with Fujiko. She was responsive starting the first message we exchanged and throughout the whole process. She helped us booked a local rental car in Sado, which we would not be able to do on our own from 5000 miles away. We noticed this local shop was the only one opened (and all the Japanese went to) when we arrived. She took care of all the rental car details/...
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“ Excellent guide ”

Excellent
11 months ago Traveler: Joanna -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

Fujiko san spoke excellent English. Was very knowledgeable about Sado. Worked hard to give us a very good experience. A pleasure to be with!
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“ A super guide ”

Excellent
1 year ago Traveler: Cloudy -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

She got everything well-prepared and studied in order to bring me a wonderful journey. I can get my job done smoothly and it should be credit to Fujiko too. Thanks very much.
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“ Shukunegi, the best place ? ”

Excellent
1 year ago Traveler: Laurence -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

I do not often take the services of a guide, but I see that our guide Fujiko, is filled with its function, that she likes to share the recesses of her island, that she loves this one, which makes alive his visit. In addition, she is lovely and full of empathy, it was a wonderful moment to spend this afternoon with her, because she was of a partience with us (there was a ils lady, my Mum and a f...
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“ Fujiko showed us the authentic Sado ”

Excellent
1 year ago Traveler: David -   Tour Guide: Fujiko

The day was fantastic! Fujiko understood exactly what kinds of things we would enjoy, and introduced us to many interesting people! She knows everyone and told us all about the history and about living on Sado today. We were looking for a specific bamboo basket, and Fujiko found a basket maker craftsman with a huge warehouse of baskets. We found exactly what we were looking for. Fujiko is fun...
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