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''Who wants to come to Japan'' - How did I ended up in Japanese TV:D

Discussion in 'The Off Topic Room' started by BathonUk, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    Hi guys. Long time no see. I haven't post anything for a very long time, but I will fix it now. Do you remember when I asked you about a ''scam'' in that post: https://www.kitchenknifefora.com/threads/is-it-for-real-or-is-it-a-scam.3915/

    Here is what happened. As always, it is copy/paste from my blog:


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    The biggest adventure of my life - Prelude (Part 1)


    Hello!

    I hope that this post will be able to make up for a very long time when I didn't post anything. I believe that the story I want to tell you will be so long that I will have to spread it over a few posts. You are probably wondering what happened to me that I will need a few blog entries to describe it? Let me tell you. The biggest adventure of my life has happened. It happened suddenly without any notice. I will not let you wait anymore. Sit comfortably, get a beer and popcorn or any other favourite snack and read. Before I start, I would like to tell you that my original plan was to write everything with all details but now I think that it would be pointless and that I would have to write a small book in order to fit everything there. Also, it's already over eight months after my adventure and my emotions faded out. This is mostly due to a new job, lack of time etc. That is why I will try to tell you the most important things. Let me start...




    It's already over a year since everything has started but I have a feeling like it was yesterday. Last year, in early April, someone from a company called Tele-Search based in London sent me an email and asked me if I would like to participate in a programme called ''Who wants to come to Japan'' broadcasted in TV Tokyo. This programme is about people with interest in Japanese culture. If the producers think that you are interesting and passionate about Japan, then they can invite you to the country of the rising sun for a dream experience and learn more about your hobby. My first thought was that it was a scam because I was receiving a lot of strange emails before. I decided that probably it's not true and I didn't bother to answer it. A few weeks later I received another email from the same company. They asked me if I received their previous message and also explained that they know my website, blog etc. I have realised that they did some research, which meant that maybe their emails were real. I don't think that any scammer or spammer would spend a time on research just to send stupid emails. Anyway, I have answered and everything started. They asked me to record a short introduction video. I didn't know what was the concept of the show and I didn't know what to think about it. I have prepared the script for my video and tried to record it, but it was very hard. It is different when you have to speak with somebody and when you have to record a proper introduction video. Also, what I didn't realise, Japanese shows are different from any other in the world. here is the video:





    We were exchanging emails and then, few weeks or even months later, I've been asked to come to the Hyper Festival to London to record my first interview. I will try to make the whole story shorter, thus I will not get into too much detail. That was a hard time for me and my passion. In that time I have changed my career and I didn't have a time for knives anymore. I was trying to do things, but everything was going so slow, that at some point I gave up. I have stopped taking any orders because it was causing me more stress than joy. All of my friends were pushing me to go to the programme, but I had mixed feelings. I even didn't know if I will get into the programme. I was struggling with my thoughts and the more I was thinking about it the worse it was getting. I know that it may be strange for some of you because usually, people would do everything to be in my place, but I didn't feel right about it. They have found me because of my passion and it would be a big lie if I got into the programme. I can't talk about things if I am not passionate about them. Especially knives. I hope that you know what I mean. Trust me or not, but with the broken heart, I sent them an email, in which I have explained why I can't participate in the show. My fiancee told me that she is respecting my decision, but probably I will regret it. Guess what? I was really regretting that a week after abandoning the programme. Fortunately, they said that this is an ongoing programme and if I ever change my mind I can always come back. That was September 2017 if I remember correctly.

    Later on, in December, I thought that I really messed up and that I have lost once in a lifetime occasion. I was thinking about sending them an email, but I wanted to wait a few days more. Then, a few days later, I received an email from the same company. I couldn't believe what I saw. They asked me If I am sure that I don't want to participate in the show. Obviously, without thinking, I said that I really regret what I did and that I really want to take a chance. From now, everything went very fast. That was in the early December 2017. After a few emails, we have arranged the first recording in my home in the UK. A tv crew from Japan came to Leicester for two days. There were two people in the tv crew and the translator. The director - Jo Yoda, Cameraman - Yukichi Yamamoto and the translator - Miyuki Kosuga.

    Just before their visit, I've been asked to answer many questions and prepare a few things. This is an example of their list:

    • Show us your knives and sharpening tools, and explain how you use them etc.
    • Demonstrate how to sharpen/polish a Japanese knife
    • Demonstrate cutting vegetables/fish with the sharpened knife.
    • The team bring an old blunt knife from Japan for you to sharpen. How long do you think this would take?
    • Make a new handle for a knife.
    • You cook some kind of Japanese food using your knife?
    • You invite some friends over to test your knife – e.g. you make a meal together and they cut up some vegetables for you with your knife.
    • Interview with you about your passion for knife-sharpening
    I was even asked about more things. As you can see, it was quite a lot to do in only two days. I have decided to prepare properly for that because I wanted to show myself from the best side. I also wanted to make it easier for the tv crew and myself. For example, for the knifemaking part, I have decided to prepare everything in stages, for example, a knife in three stages: A blank, then recording the grinding process for a few minutes and finally the finished blade. Same with the handle. I made three handles. The first handle was actually made of few pieces of wood glued together. The second one was squared so I could show them only a few minutes of sanding and the third handle was actually a finished product. This way I was able to save myself a lot of time.

    This is the knife I have finished for their visit:

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    I had a few intensive days of preparation and mess at home. My flat turned into a proper workshop and fortunately for me, my fiancee is tolerating a lot. The day before recording I had a company Christmas party. I had to go there only for a short moment, but before that, I had a few drinks and then a few at the party itself. I had a little bit too much and it ended with a hangover on the next day. Did it help with stress??? I don't think so. Hehehe.

    We woke up in the morning and were waiting for the tv crew. They had to arrive at 10am. When they arrive I had a quick chat with my translator Miyuki. She said that they want to record a greeting moment. I gave her keys to my block and waited for them. I thought that I am ok, but when I saw a camera from the window I got really stressed. We have recorded a short greeting, introduced ourselves and after that had a nice chat and coffee with the crew. It was quite awkward at the beginning, but later on, I got used to the camera a little bit. They brought two knives from Japan. Obviously both of them in a really bad condition. I've chosen the worst one, which was very rusty Nakiri and I was asked to fix it. They have recorded the whole process. I was stressed about it because usually, I am fixing knives in my free time and I can take my time and focus on what I am doing. I hate when someone is staring at my hands and try to imagine what I felt when three people were staring at me and which were recording me with a big camera. Of course, I had to talk to them at the same time. Talking with them was very unusual for me because the tv crew couldn't speak English at all and everything was translated. Big kudos to Miyuki, who was very stressed about translating because of the vocabulary. She received a list of knife related technical terms a few days before. She did a great job!!!! Really!! In the meantime, I was explaining what I was doing in details. Later on, I had to cook a meal. First, we were thinking about preparing something Polish, but finally, we decided to make something Japanese. We have prepared miso soup made from scratch with our own fish stock and salmon tartare with sambal oelek sauce, shichimi togarashi spice, ginger and a few other things. I thought that we will eat it on the break with the rest of the crew, but I was asked to eat that with my girlfriend in front of the camera and in the same time we were interviewed. That was super awkward. We have arranged a scene in the late afternoon which involved my friend Kuba. I have asked him to bring me his knife, which I made for him a few years earlier. I thought that I will repolish it, but I have only managed to sharpen it. The scene was very simple. They were recording me while sharpening the knife and then my friend has visited me to pick up his knife. It was very funny because he didn't expect that they will speak only Japanese and it looked quite funny when he arrived. I gave him his knife, they interviewed him and then we had to scream ''Nippon Ikitai'' to the camera:






    We have finished recording after 12 hours. I was so tired that I couldn't believe it. On the following day, I met the tv crew in the Leicester city centre. They went there earlier to take a few shots of the landscapes. Later on, we went to the park to take a very funny shot. I took a huge Ittinomon mioroshi deba with me and an Aiwatani natural stone. I had to run with them towards the camera, stop just in front of it and enthusiastically say why I want to go to Japan and end it up with ''Nippon Nikitai''. It was a beautiful day, but it was quite wet, slippery and cold. I had to repeat that shot three times and after the second one I slept and almost felt to the ground with the huge knife and the stone. We came back home and recorded a few more things. Just before sunset, I was asked to show them how I grind my knives. I have quickly prepared my grinder and showed them the process. We just needed a few minutes. When we finished a bird shat on me and I laughed badly:D There is a superstition in Poland that when birds ******** on you then you will have a good luck. Remember that later on:D

    These two days were crazy and very exciting as well as very exhausting. We were recording for 12 hours on Sunday and 10 hours on Monday. As I said before, I have tried to keep that story to a minimum but you must know that we were doing a lot of things. The tv crew was also taking a lot of pictures of knives and food. I took a few pictures as well.

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    Jo Yoda:
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    From left to right: The director - Jo Yoda, Cameraman - Yukichi Yamamoto, my fiancee Gosia, translator - Miyuki Kosuga, Zack - the driver and obviously me on the bottom.


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    The fact, that the tv crew has visited me didn't mean that I will go to Japan. I knew that they were really impressed, but I had to wait for the decision of the producers.

    Later on, on 27th January 2018, a friend of mine who has visited me while we were recording in my home has set me up. He told me, that his friend who is a photographer is looking for an assistant for the wedding and that I can earn quite a lot of money for one wedding. I didn't like that idea, because I don't like this kind of photography, but the idea of earning easy money was quite encouraging. I had to meet him in the city centre of Leicester on Saturday. I went there and I have noticed three people with a huge camera. I passed them and then noticed that it was Miyuki, my translator and their driver Zack. I was speechless. They gave me a ticket to Japan!!! We went back to my home. I wanted to call Gosia, my fiancee, but they didn't let me. I was so surprised that I couldn't believe them and still wanted to call Kuba, because we had to see the photographer. Miyuki told me that it was a set up, but my emotions didn't let me believe that. We came back to my home and has surprised Gosia:D It was a great day!


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    So this is the end of Part one and an introduction to my trip to Japan. I hope that you liked it and please read the end of the story in the next posts.
     
  2. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    The biggest adventure of my life - Maruoyama, Kameoka (Part 2)

    Welcome in part 2 of my story about my trip to Japan. Just before I start, I want to tell you that the preparations for my journey were very stressful. I have asked producers to book my return flight week later so I could stay there on my own. That wasn't a problem. The problem was that I didn't know exact dates to one week before my flight. That caused me many organising problems. First of all, I had to book the hotels for the time when I was on my own. I was in Japan in the worst timing for booking hotels, because it was the ''Sakura'' (cherry blossom) season and it was Easter in the UK. Flights were extremely expensive, but I didn't have to worry about it, because Japanese TV was paying for everything, including flights, hotels, food etc, obviously only in the time I was with them. I had to cover all expenses when I was on my own. The other problem was to plan my trip. Producers kept everything in secret, so I couldn't really plan anything. I wanted to go to Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Sakai and a few other places, but I didn't know where will they take me. Also travelling in Japan by train is quite expensive. One week train pass cost about £200. That is quite a lot. After all, I decided to stay the whole week in Tokyo. I don't regret that decision, because producers took me to all places I wanted to visit:D I can also tell you that everything I wanted to see, all the places I wanted to visit and all things I wanted to learn - all of that happened. Can it be better? Check yourself in my story below.


    So I flew to Japan at the end of March. I had a nice flight with a stop in Seoul in South Korea. As you can imagine, that kind of travelling is making you tired and after landing you can only think about going to sleep. On the other hand, I was really stressed. I didn't know what to expect. Once I collected my luggage, I went through the gates and I have noticed the tv crew waiting for me. I have approached them shouting ''Kon'nichiwa'' and I think that I have surprised them. After the short introduction, they asked me to go through the gate again. Hehe. But how can I do that? You can't go back and I was so tired that I only wanted to go to the hotel. I have waited for someone who was going through the gate and quickly went through it:D Did I brake the law? Probably yes, but it was fun. So I went through it again and I was acting like someone unaware of what is happening. They called me ''Grzegorz San'' and I have approached them:D This time was good and I didn't have to do it again. They quickly interviewed me and then we went to the hotel in Kyoto by bus. It was an hour trip, but at that time I was able to chat with my translator Jim. Jim was born in Japan and raised in Chicago. He is a great person and I felt a strong bond with him. Once we arrived at the hotel, I have quickly refreshed myself and then we went to the bar. I was only dreaming about some good food and a beer.


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    Yusuke ''Jim'' Okada - my translator

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    Mai Shishihara - director's assistant

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    Jo Yoda - the director

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    Inside my hotel:

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    I have found a gown on my bed in the hotel. I thought that it was kimono:D

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    On the very next day, we went to Kameoka, near Kyoto. That place is beautiful. We stopped our van next to over 1000 years old huge cedar.

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    My director asked me to go up the hill without giving me any details. I didn't know what to expect and where I was heading to. After a short walk, I have approached the small house. The guy who was waiting for me was Youzou Tushihashi. He is an always smiling miner in Maruoyama - famous ''Tennen Toishi'' (Japanese natural sharpening stone) mine. The only mine in Japan where stones can be mined from all strata.

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    After a short introduction, I have talked to Tushihashi San about sharpening stones and his job. He showed me hundreds of stones and I felt like a kid in a theme park. Tushihashi San is the fourth-generation miner. I am not 100% sure about it, but I think that he is also one of the creators of the ''Japan sharpening Culture Promotion Association''. It is really hard to translate. Even if he is not one of the creators, then he is one of the craftsmen. These guys have created the very first sharpening stone museum which is in Kameoka. Here is the link to their website: http://toishi-kan.info/en/index.html

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    Big stone in the middle cost 500000 yen (about 4400$)

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    Here is a short walk around in Tushihashi San house and workshop.





    Later on, Tushihashi San took me to his mine in his small van. It was a little bit funny because he couldn't speak English and I didn't understand a word in Japanese. There were only two places in a van, so my translator has to go in the other car. Tushihashi San is a great person which is always smiling and laughing. We didn't understand each other, but it didn't stop us from talking to each other in our languages. After arriving at the bottom of Maruoyama, we still had to walk up the hill. Tushihashi San is 68 years old and he was going to the mine very eagerly.

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    You can guess that you are close to the mine because there are stones everywhere. I am pretty sure that you could find some good ones between the rejected ones.

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    Entrance to one of the Maruoyama shafts

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    Karasu:
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    Uchigumori layer:

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    Tushihashi San in action:

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    ... and his main tools:

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    Tushihashi San asked me to help him:







    Me and Jouzou after mining huge rock (the one I am holding is only a small stone chipped from the big rock). These stones are over 250.000.000 years old.

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    Later on, I had a lunch with Tushihashi San on top of the Maruo mountain. That was my first meal in Japan in front of the cameras and I can tell you one thing. It is really hard to be natural while eating and talking in front of a few cameras and many people.

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    There is a small lake with beautiful colours at the bottom of Maruoyama. It was really hard to capture that on the photo.
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    After a day in the mine, we went back to Jouzou Tushihashi house and later on our cameraman and an audio man took us to Kyoto. From there we took Shinkansen to Sakai.

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  3. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    The biggest adventure of my life - Emani Tadashi Hamono, Sakai (Part 3)

    On the very next day, we woke up early in the morning and I was taken to Emani Tadashi workshop in Sakai. I am not sure about the name, but I think that it is called ''Ichueno Hamono''. Of course, I didn't know where they were taking me and again it was a surprise. We have stopped not that far from this place, but I still had to walk a little bit. In the meantime, I could hear the sound of spring hammers and forging, as well as other sounds from many workshops around me. I was stressed especially that once we got closer to my destination we had to stop and repeat my walk three times. Just imagine yourself walking down the street where everybody is looking at you, especially that just behind you five people, three cameras, big microphone on the stick etc. are following you. Totally normal and relaxing situation. Hahaha. Anyway, I have managed to enter ''Ichueno Hamono'' and I was introduced to Emani Tadashi. Tadashi San is a very nice guy who showed me how to forge the knife and then, under his supervision, he let me forge my own knife. That was a very unique experience. Obviously, there is no chance to learn this kind of stuff in one day, but it gave me an idea of hard labour involved etc.

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    Templates of different kind of knives made by Tadashi San.








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    My first attempt on hammering with spring hammer. Trust me, it only looks easy on youtube videos. Every hit is very powerful and it's quite hard to keep the steel in one place.

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    Emani Tadashi is using many different kinds of spring hammers depending on the step in the process he is actually doing.

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    Here Tadashi San is cutting out the tang of the knife. He let me do most of the knife making processes except for this one.

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    Me, Tadashi San and knives forged by two of us.

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    One of the knives made by Tadashi San.

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    Suminagashi yanagiba.

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    Usually, after filming my part of the programme, the tv crew was filming the whole process done by the master. That happened here and will happen in the next parts of my story. Usually, I was spending that time taking pictures. Below you can see only a few steps of knife forging.

    The furnace is heated up to 1100*C

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    Hagane (Steel) is joined with Jigane (iron)

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    Then it is forged together, first by hand...

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    ...and then by the spring hammer.

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    Forged blank prepared to further processing.

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    The blank is cleaned...

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    ...and cut to shape.

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    This is a tang stamping machine.

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    Then the blanks are dipped in the clay, but Emani Tadashi is using the mix of clay and sharpening stone powder and who knows what else:D

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    He is also using a big butane torch to dry them faster.

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    Later on, he is heating the blanks to a proper temperature and heats treating the blades.

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    Some of Emani Tadashi daughters artwork:

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    Of course, I had to exchange business cards with Tadashi San.

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    In the meantime I have shown him my knife which I made especially for my trip to Japan:

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    After looking at my knife he asked me if I would like to see his knives. After careful examination of his blades, he said that these two are for me!!!!!!! Seriously? I didn't know what to say. I think that even the tv crew was surprised because usually this kind of stuff is done at the end of the day. Emani Tadashi gave me two beautiful knives. A 270mm blue #1 suminagashi kiritsuke yanagiba and big, thick nakiri made out of the same steel.
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    The interesting fact is that in Sakai blacksmiths don't put their name on the blades, because there are more people involved in the knife making. The blacksmith is forging the knife and then somebody else is grinding and sharpening. However, Emani Tadashi is stamping his blades with kanji inspired by names of his two daughters. Serenity (second kanji from top) and Eloquent (third kanji from top).

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    Also, he gave me two key ring pendants. These are really cool because they look like usuba knives and in reality, they are forged out of laminated steel, has ''ura'' etc. They are normal, small knives. I am still thinking if I should use them as pendants or maybe if I should perform ''honbadzuke'' and make small handles for them:D He also gave me a super nice t-shirt with kanji ''鍛冶屋'' - kajiya - blacksmith.

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    Meeting Tadashi San, forging my own knife and receiving all of the extremely nice gifts was great and I have no words to describe how happy I was, however, it wasn't end of a day. Our next stop was Sakai Hamono Museum...


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    I will keep that story for the next post..
     
  4. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    The biggest adventure of my life - Sakai Hamono Museum and Nunoya.... (Part 4)

    Hi and welcome in part 4 of my story. Straight after my visit to Tadashi San workshop,¶ we went to Sakai Hamono Museum. The museum itself was on the first floor and it wasn't very big. There were different kinds of Japanese kitchen knives in the showcases hung on the walls and a lot of knives for sale in the middle. The museum, as every museum in the world, is just a museum and there is not much to say about it. However, there was a funny situation. When I was admiring some of the blades, Yoda San told me that someone will come to me in a second. I think that they've mentioned that it will be a director of the museum. Of course, the tv crew wanted to record that conversation and I was quite excited because there were few knives that I have never seen before and I wanted to ask someone about them. After a short introduction, I have asked that person about one knife which I have seen on the wall. He was thinking for a bit and then he said that he is not sure and that he will be back in a second. Then, I have realized that he wasn't the director and to be honest I don't have a clue who he was. He came back after a short time, told me what I wanted to know and probably didn't expect another question, which I asked straight away. Again, he wasn't sure and he went somewhere to ask. At this point, I knew that recording that was pointless and I gave my crew a sign that we should be not recording that. That was the end of a day. On our way back to the hotel we stopped again in Tadashi San workshop and he gave me the same shirt that he was wearing. I really like it:D


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    ''The entire knife making process in the showcase below''.

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    ''Me and the biggest deba. It is a real knife if someone asks''

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    On the very next day, we came back to the museum. The tv crew has rented the conference room, set photo studio and took a lot of blades from the museum. They spent a few hours filming knives and this part was quite boring. In the meantime, I took my time to take some photos and then, together with Jim we went for a walk.

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    Some street photos from my walk:

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    Later on, in the afternoon, I and my tv crew packed and travelled to Osaka. This time I really didn't have an idea about what is going to happen. I was quite surprised when I met Jouzou Tushihashi. He said that he will take me to his friend. Nunoya Koji, a friend of Tushihashi San is a chef of Japanese restaurant "Unowa" nestled in a corner of Osaka Kitashinchi. He also belongs¶ to an association which I have mentioned before. It federates scientists, geologists, miners, knife sharpeners, sword polishers and more people with interest in preserving ''Tennen Toishi'' tradition and culture. It's a former luxury restaurant. I was introduced to Koji San and then I had a great restaurant experience.


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    First, I could watch Nunoya San sharpening his huge over 300mm yanagi on the Maruoyama Shiro Suita. One of the stones mined by Tushihashi San.



    After that, he prepared a special meal for me and Jouzou.


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    ''Zori Ebi'' (Mitten lobster) - It is available only for two weeks in the year.

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    This is the end result of Nunoya-San work. I have to admit that it was more than delicious. Seriously!!! That tuna...¶ OMG. It has melted in my mouth. I have also seen a super cool trick. First, Nunoya San has used a shark skin to grind some fresh wasabi and he formed a small glob on my plate. Then, he used the back of his knife to hit whatever has left on the shark skin. I really didn't know what he was doing, but then he explained that by doing so, he changed the taste of the wasabi. I have tried both of the pellets and I have to admit that it was true:D

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    ''Some of his knives''

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    Small stone shire.

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    It was a big pleasure to be there and to try such a good food. It was very stressful, to do all of that in front of the cameras, but the ·overall experience was quite fascinating. I was always dreaming about eating proper sushi/sashimi/call.it.like.you.want in a front of a chef. Great. At the end of a day, Nunoya San gave me a pack of a Japanese green tea. It was a very nice gesture. Straight from his restaurant we took a train and came back to our hotel in Sakai.
     
  5. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    The biggest adventure of my life - Shinichi Tahara (Part 5)

    Welcome to part 5.

    On the very next day, after the visit to Osaka, we came back to Sakai and have visited Shinichi Tahara. Tahara San is a knife sharpener and grinder with 55 years of experience. His family is doing that for 110 years. This is something that you just cannot pass incuriously. I have realised my dream because I always wanted to see this kind of workshop with big grinding wheels. Tahara San workshop is very small and we had problems to accumulate all of us. There was even a time when there was no space for my translator Jim and I didn't understand what Tahara San was saying.




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    Tahara San in action. It only looks easy when he is doing that, but I have quickly realised that it is a hard work and that you must be focused all the time.

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    It was a very interesting experience. I could feel a pain in my back after a very short time. This position is very uncomfortable if the wheel is not adjusted properly to your height.



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    This is the last step of grinding before ''Kasumi¶ shiage''. Tahara San told me that it is very hard to get these wooden wheels because this craft is slowly disappearing and there are not too many companies which are making these wheels.

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    In the meantime, we went to a beautiful place, which is only 5 minutes walk from Tahara San workshop. There were a small brook and blossom cherries on both sides. The view was breathtaking. I could see many people, including whole families, a group of friends or single people having lunch. Tahara San and I sat on the stairs and had a lunch prepared by his wife. Obviously, we were recorded and everybody was staring at us, which was awkward. We had a little chat and later we came back to his workshop.


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    After grinding, polishing and sharpening he attached handles to the blades

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    This is a single bevel santoku I have forged in Emani Tadashi forge and then ground in Shinichi Tahara workshop. I am proud. I have made mistakes in both situations and this knife is too thin, but it is still usable.

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    After all of that, I was asked to pack and prepare to leave. They just asked me to wait for a few minutes. They said that I can't leave the workshop because they were preparing the surprise. After 40 minutes I was ready to say goodbye to Tahara San, but he said that he wants to show me something. He has invited me to his home which was just behind the corner. I have met his wife and son and they have prepared a special dinner for me. It was amazing. We had a chat, beer and a great time.


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    Tahara San family and I.

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    And this is my tv crew.

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    At the end of the day, I have shown my master my knife which I brought from home. He was very pleased with it. He gave me a few fantastic gifts. I got the knife I have made and a straightening stick, exactly same as the one he is using. On top of that, I got some stones, which supposed to be crushed in mortar for polishing powder. I have made few fingerstones out of it.

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  6. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    The biggest adventure of my life - Free day (Part 6)

    Sunday was a free day. At this time we were in Kyoto and Yoda San said that we can do whatever I want. I told him that we can have a proper sleep and then we can go somewhere to take some photos and chill. We went to a very old district called Gion. It is beautiful. I had a wonderful day and I took some of my favourite photos.

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  7. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    The biggest adventure of my life - Maruoyama, Kameoka (Part 7)

    We spent the last two days in Kameoka in Tushihachi San house and mine. I had a lot of time to play with different stones because the tv crew went back to the mine to take some extra shots. There was a lot happening so I will just spam some pictures:


    Tushihashi and his family live in a beautiful place surrounded by the mountains. It is extremely quiet and you can hear the birds singing. Amazing!!!

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    Tushihashi San invited me to his home. The very first thing I have noticed was a huge stone from Maruoyama.



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    There was a lot of stones in the next room.

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    Then, he has shown me his private collection of ''Tennen Toishi'' which was in the next room.

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    ''Karasu''

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    The big stone was so heavy that I needed a help with carrying it. Some of these stones are very unique, mined generations ago and obviously not for sale.

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    ''Tennen Toishi'' paradise:d

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    I had a lot of time to test some stones...

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    And obviously, we had to cut some tomatoes:D

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    I could also cut and prepare some stones with Jouzo.

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    After cutting, stones are roughly polished and evened in the special machine.

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    Me and an approximately 1000 years old cedar.

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    When I thought that I have seen all stones possible, I have entered the kitchen and found that:

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    Of course, there was a final dinner. We had sukiyaki, wagyu and a lot of good stuff:D

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    Tushihashi San family and friends

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    At the end of the next day, Tushihashi San gave me wonderful gifts. I got full-size Maruoyama Shiro Suita. It weighs 1.6kg. Also, he gave me a beautiful book and small Maruoyama Shiki Uchigumori.

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    One of Youzou Tushihashi's guests gave me adzuki. This is 1% of the best-picked beans from Kameoka. Such a wonderful gift!!!




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    The very last shot!!! I have to admit that I was very happy that we have finished. I was tired, excited, happy and sad at the same time. Sad, because I had to leave these wonderful people.

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    I had a wonderful time in Kameoka. I have learned a lot and met very special people who will always stay in my heart. I can't be thankful enough for everything they have done for me, their hospitality and obviously special, ''very expensive'' gifts. I will really miss Youzou Tushihashi, his wife Sayuri. and obviously Kameoka.
     
  8. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    The biggest adventure of my life - Tokyo ( Part 8)

    We have finished filming in Kameoka and went to Tokyo by Shinkansen. The producers were kind enough to book me a hotel for 2 nights in a walking distance from their headquarters and Tokyo tower. I had a week for myself and I didn't plan anything special for that time, except for sightseeing and taking photos. Here is a little spam of photos, but if you want to see more check this link:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1LxXuSvi6wMZs_qHNU0eNlVeACoP06ONH

    These are not all pictures I have taken in Japan. I came back with approx 5000 pictures and I had to go through them, edit etc. It took me a lot of time and I didn't finish till today.


    Tokyo Tower

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    ''Akihabara'':
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    In the monorail to Odaiba and Rainbow Bridge:

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    Rainbow bridge

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    And food:


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  9. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    The biggest adventure of my life - Final words and the show (Part 9)

    So this is the end of my story. I really hope that you have managed to go through all of that. The worst part of my story is that now, I have to translate everything that you read to Polish and post it on Polish websites.
    My journey to Japan was definitely the biggest adventure of my life. It was a little bit scary at the beginning, especially that I have never had any ''in front of the camera'' experience. It was very emotional, starting from uncertainty at the beginning, stress in the middle and a lot of joy and excitement. I was moved and in tears of happiness a couple of times. I had a lot of laugh with the tv crew as well as my hosts. Don't forget that it was also hard work because we had to wake up early every day, travel and record everything. I have learned a lot and definitely saw things that I wouldn't be able to see while normal travel. I think that I was very lucky with this programme. I have asked my director Yoda San what does he think about the whole programme and he said that he don't know what to do with the whole material. We really had tens of hours of material and he had to squeeze that into 1-hour programme. Fortunately for me, I got two episodes and this is really rare. I came back with a bag full of gifts from Japan.


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    I really don't know what else I could tell you so I will tell you one thing. Actually, I will shout it to you:

    ''IF YOU WILL EVER GET A CHANCE TO REALISE YOUR DREAMS OR TO DO SOMETHING UNUSUAL, THEN JUST DO IT BECAUSE YOU MAY NOT HAVE A CHANCE TO DO IT AGAIN..''

    I will not keep you any longer here. Please watch my show on the link below. The second part is only 20 minutes at the very beginning.







     
  10. Wagner the Wehrwolf

    Wagner the Wehrwolf Founding Member

    Wow! How awesome!
     
  11. Toothpick

    Toothpick #2 since day #1 Founding Member

    Holy freaking cow! Thank you for sharing all this with us. The photos are amazing, the stories are amazing, the knives, the food, the people.....everything about this. Congrats on your journey and success!
     
  12. BathonUk

    BathonUk Founding Member

    Thank you very much. It took me a lot of time to write all of that, but now I am done with it and probably I will start writing postponed posts:D
     
  13. Intrigued

    Intrigued Founding Member

    What a wonderful adventure of a lifetime!!! [​IMG]

    Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
     
  14. Taylor

    Taylor Professional Craftsman Founding Member

    I saw this when it was first posted, but had to wait till I had some time to actually sit down and read it. I'm a bit jealous. What an amazing experience/adventure! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience!
     
  15. Spaz

    Spaz Founding Member

    Absolutely amazing, only in my dreams!
     
  16. A truly incredible experience, and a wonderful story. Thank you!

    Cheers,

    J :)
     

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