Springhammer: Watch it free!

 

SPRINGHAMMER is a documentary about Japanese blacksmiths who dedicate their lives to making culinary knives [it's also the actual mechanical tool used by the blacksmiths]. At the end of WWII, Japan was faced with a burdensome repurposing of many industries, and with military swords no longer in demand despite a tradition carried on since the samurai, the industry turned to the kitchen. Craftsmen, now applying ancient trade skills of blade making to cookery, go largely unnoticed by their countrymen, and have to find a new place in the world for their craft. Thankfully, the world seems to be starting to listen.

We like to call Springhammer an ‘accidental documentary’ – one that kind of happened rather than was intentional. The project came into existence when Kevin Kent, owner of Knifewear, took a leap of faith that bringing cameras into the blacksmith shops on one of his regular visits might end in something cool. He was right. Springhammer was produced by Story Chaser, directed/scored/edited by Kevin Kossowan, interviewing/post-translation by Naoto Fujimoto, executive production by Kevin Kent.

 

Springhammer 2: The Making of a Knife is available for streaming on demand on Vimeo. 

 

 


Kevin Kent

Kevin Kent

Author

Kevin Kent’s fascination with Japanese knives began while he was working as sous-chef for the legendary chef Fergus Henderson at St. John restaurant in London, England. In 2007, he began selling handcrafted Japanese knives out of a backpack on the back of his bicycle, while working as a chef at River Café in Calgary, Canada. Kent is just as obsessed with Japanese knives as when he first held one, and a few times a year, he travels to Japan to meet with his blacksmith friends, to drink far too much sake, and to learn more about the ancient art of knife-making. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, he refuses to confess how many Japanese knives he owns….but he admits the number is rather high. Follow Kevin on Twitter @knifenerd


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