The Divine Sword of the Bear Hunters of Northern Japan
Over Golden Week I had a chance to take a trip deep into the mountains of northern Akita on a quest to find a rare, hand-forged hunting knife – the Matagi Nagasa. I recently learned of the Matagi culture of bear hunters in northern Japan and how they use a special hunting knife when they go off into the snowy mountains for several weeks at a time. One of my colleagues at work told me about them. He grew up in a mountains village so he knows about them first hand. After a bit of research I discovered the name of the best blacksmith – Minoru Nishime, a fourth generation knife-maker – still making the knives by hand for the hunting community.