Seki City in Gifu Prefecture is famous for its blade production and craftsmanship – a tradition that goes back some seven hundred years. Despite its industrial focus, the production and craft have long attracted tourists due to their historical charms – representative of which being Seki’s annual bladed cutlery festival.
With stacks of ancient Japanese swords - each believed to retain the virtues of its owner, the overall atmosphere is that of a veritable treasure trove of history and ancient skills that have been handed down through generations. The high street serves as the main venue for the festival, consisting of a huge market where spectators can witness exciting stage-performances including katana forging, blade polishing skills, and even ‘iado’ (the art of drawing a Japanese sword), for which a dummy corpse is used to test the blade. The festival’s outdoor knife show also attracts hundreds of visitors each year.