Katana were once owned by warriors as a symbol of their will and spirit.

It’s probably safe to say that the quality of a samurai’s sword often dictated whether or not the warrior survived in battle. Although it’s hard to imagine any katana craftsman doing a half-baked job in their craft, the making of a Japanese sword is no easy task. The creation of just one Japanese sword involves a long, arduous process that takes about a year to complete, and it takes the efforts of numerous craftsmen to make it possible.

Katana craftsmen still exist in Japan today. In order to preserve the art of their craft and to attain a deeper understanding of what goes on behind the scenes, an initiative called the 4K Katana Project was commenced earlier this year.


©4K Katana Project

The 4K Katana Project, run by HoriPro, is a cinematic project documenting the creation of katana in ultra high-definition (4K resolution).

The documentary follows several craftsmen as they work in conjunction to make one Japanese sword. The entire project took the film crew 2 years from beginning to end, resulting in approximately 15,000 hours worth of footage, and about 100 terabytes of data.


©4K Katana Project


©4K Katana Project

One reason it takes so long to make a katana is because it takes the blood, sweat and tears of numerous craftsmen to do so. From master sword smiths to scabbard makers, each craftsman makes a part of the sword before they are all pieced together into a one-of-a-kind katana. For this particular project, the most elite sword craftsmen in Japan were gathered to create a katana of the utmost beauty and superiority.


©4K Katana Project


©4K Katana Project

The creation of a katana requires the perfect blend of skill, craftsmanship, and aesthetics, and this documentary is the first ever to document the sword-making process from beginning to end.

The documentary is scheduled to be released later this fall, and is guaranteed to be an informative, thought-provoking journey into the makings of one of the most treasured weapons of Japanese culture.

Here’s a sneak peek of the documentary:

Photos Provided by: HoriPro

By - grape Japan editorial staff.