Knife News Wire 12/15/17 – Japanese Swordsmithing Going Extinct

Knife News Wire 12/15/17 – Japanese Swordsmithing Going Extinct
As far as big blades go, Robert Burns's Joe Musso Bowie is a cutting behemoth.

Burns's big blades

This is the first installment of the Knife News Wire, a regular series that takes a wide look at the world of knives.

Regulations Hurting Traditional Swordsmiths in Japan

The centuries-old tradition of sword making in Japan is under siege by Japan itself. As a result, the swordsmith trade is nearly extinct. From the Gulf Times:

One reason for their dying art is that swords are today officially regarded as dangerous weapons, falling together with firearms under Japan’s Weapons Protection Act.

By law, the swordsmith featured in the article can only sell two swords per month. Without taking off my shoes and socks to count on my toes, that sounds like a hard way to make a living. 

Read the full article here.

Is It Time to Repeal the 1958 Federal Switchblade Act?

With nation-wide concealed carry reciprocity under consideration in D.C., are switchblades about to get the same treatment?

The American Tool and Knife Institute (AKTI) seems to think so. It’s put together the Freedom of Commerce Act as a model for legislators to work from. The goal is simple:

This legislation will repeal the Federal Switchblade Act of 1958, and allow consumers to purchase any automatic knife legal in their state.

To be clear, the Switchblade Act only impacts interstate commerce, and does not supersede state laws. Some states already decriminalized switchblades separately.

Knife Rights is also pursuing similar legislation.

A Second BLADE Show?

In the Everything Old is New Again Department, it looks like BLADE Show West is making a comeback. Due to the incredible popularity of the BLADE Show, organizers are looking to add a second show somewhere on the west coast.

BLADE Show staff kindly requests you fill out this survey.

Total Ivory Ban in China Goes Into Effect Next Year

While the knife world continues to wrestle with the ivory issue, and the uncertainty of the ivory issue, the end of 2017 marks the complete shutdown on the stuff in the People’s Republic of China. 

From the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post:

Under the ban, 67 of the country’s 172 accredited ivory stores had to shut before March 31 this year with the remaining ones forced to shut by the end of December.

This is significant because the PRC is one of the world’s largest consumers of ivory. The ban marks a leap forward in the push for world-wide ivory prohibition.

That means the ivory issue in the United States, regardless of who is president, isn’t likely to go away any time soon. Stay tuned.

Are Knifemakers Too Secretive?

Most knifemakers are happy to share tips and offer guidance for newbies, but not all. That’s the problem Jared Williams, of Salt Lake City, ran into when starting out. From KSL:

“There was a bit of a thing with knifemakers that was still kind of secretive, almost,” Williams said. “It was like ‘No, these are my trade secrets, I don’t know if you’re worthy of it.’ There’s still a little bit of that in parts of the industry. Not all of it, and maybe it was just kind of a hard thing to find and maybe I just met the wrong guys.”

Williams got the last laugh when he appeared on Forged in Fire. Read the full story here.

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