Discipline: Kanna Shokunin | Bladesmith – Master Craftsmen Of Plane Blades
Status: born 1908 – died 1999
Key Fact: One of the great plane (kanna) bladesmiths of Japan
Born Kanki Yoshiryo and later to become known as Chiyozuru Sadahide 千代鶴貞秀.
In his late teens, Kanki Yoshiryo — already an accomplished kanna bladesmith in his hometown of Miki in Hyogo Prefecture — would encounter an awe-inspiring kanna in Osaka that would change his life.
The blade of that kanna, forged by Chiyozuru Korehide, one of the great kanna bladesmiths, so captivated Kanki that he begged the master to take him on as an apprentice at the age of 21. Eventually accepted as a day apprentice in 1929, Kanki honed his skills under one of the best bladesmiths in Japan. Finally, in 1949, he succeeded to the master’s name, taking the name Chiyozuru Sadahide.
The succession of this signature then went to his son, Chiyozuru Sadahide II (born Kanki Iwao) in 1990, after the approval and recommendation of a wide circle of third parties and local experts.
Now in 2019, after a 13-year apprenticeship under his master Chiyozuru Sadahide II, the 37-year-old Chiyozuru Naohide (4th generation) was granted permission to manufacture and sell his own tools bearing the Chiyozuru name.
Chiyozuru is one of the most well-known names for plane blades and other woodworking tools in Japan. Many of these tools from current and previous generations are viewed as national cultural treasures in Japan. In addition, the tools have also received numerous awards.