Newly Forged Katana by Yoshimasa


Keiichiro Tomioka, a swordsmith in Okayama Prefecture, first tried his hand at the Modern Sword Artisan Exhibition's sword-making division in 2020, winning both the Excellence Award and the Newcomer's Award on his first attempt. Under the sword smith name, Yoshimasa, Tomioka has loved creating things since he was a child. After graduating from a college of arts, he was torn between becoming a swordsmith, which he had wanted to be since he was a child, or a web designer, which is highly valued by many companies.

As a result, he chose to work as a web designer. While he had helped create various design commissions, he felt something was missing from that type of work. Then, one day, he decided to again try to become a swordsmith. This would allow him to create his own unique works of art and, more importantly, because it was a career he had longed for since he was a child.

After quitting the job as a web designer, he contacted swordsmiths all over Japan, and met a smith from Miyazaki Prefecture, Kunimasa Matsuba. Kunimasa was a Mukansa sword smith, which is a title bequeethed upon those who no longer require review, or in other words, he was peerless. He was taken in as his apprentice. After four years of training under Kunimasa, he was able to pass the exam to become a swordsmith. While under Kunimasa, he had learned not only advanced sword-making techniques but also the attitude and spirit of a swordsmith. Kunimasa specializes in making magnificent swords, and Tomioka inherited his style and spirit.

When asked what his current aspirations were, Mr. Tomioka replied, "I want to make swords with a strong life force so that this power of life will well up from the swords I make. To achieve this, I would like to continue to enjoy making swords, so please give me your support." He said with a smile. The swords that Tomioka has put his soul into will continue to shine brightly for a long time to come.

Swordsmith name: Yoshimasa

Real name: Keiichiro Tomioka

Birthplace: Soja City, Okayama Prefecture

Birthday: December 21, 1983

How did you become a swordsmith?
Making swords has been my childhood dream. When I was working as a creator in an IT company, I felt something empty that my creations would disappear with time. I decided to become a swordsmith because I knew that if I made swords, my creations would be around forever.

What to keep in mind when making a sword:
When making a sword, I always face it with a pure heart

Message to sword lovers around the world:
The fact that you are reading this message means that you are interested in Japanese swords in no small way. First of all, I would like to express my greatest gratitude to you for that. The reason why the sword culture has been handed down from ancient times to the present is that there have been people like you in every age. As a modern swordsmith, I would like to continue to make swords for the people living now and in the future so that this culture will be preserved. Please continue to love the Japanese sword culture.