There are many questions begging to be answered. However, there is one question that is
the basis for all others. Anatomically modern humans appeared roughly 200,000 years ago.
For 150,000 years there was little difference between what has been called archaic
humans and modern ones.Their tool kits were basically the same and there is little evidence
that they behaved differently.
Then roughly 50,000 years ago in the relative blink of an eye all that changed. Creativity
for the sake of creativity burst onto the scene and totally engulfed what is generally
acknowledged as a small population.
In 1962, as a nine year-old, I was firmly convinced that dire consequences awaited any male of the human species sporting unshorn locks three Mondays in a row. Why else would I and every male I knew, man or boy, have to traipse down to the local barber shop every two weeks for a haircut. Fortunately, barbershops held some strange allure for me. Here was a man’s place, completely devoid of any female influence. I loved my mother, tolerated my sisters and I even had friends who were girls. However, it was somewhat of a strain maintaining what was considered acceptable behavior in the eyes of the fairer sex. Judging from the conversations of the other patrons,they were not very successful at it either.
I have been making blades for over thirty years. Here we explore the world of the ancient Japanese Swordsmiths primarily using hand tools. Fire, hammer and steel combine to make the beautiful but deadly art form of the Nihonto. We learn the basics of setting up a forge to creating a beautiful temper line.