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Tanegashima and Steel

A brief history of Tanegashima and steel.


Blessed with high quality iron sand and a super-abundance of fuel, it is probably inevitable that the Japanese island of Tanegashima (tah-ne-gah-shi-ma) would become a centre for steel production and the sword-making usually associated with it. We were naturally curious to know why Tanegashima’s forged edge tools are so highly regarded by academics and users alike and also how the techniques to make them developed on the island, so we did some reading. It's a fascinating story. Read on by clicking the bar below.


Tanegashima lies some 43km off the southernmost
tip of Kyushu, in south-western Japan.