Four-sided, hand-forged Japanese hammer by Master Hiroki
In Japan, carpenters were traditionally paid by the number of joints they had completed. To cut good joints quickly, one needs a perfectly balanced hammer. The art of making such a hammer was widely lost as Japan modernized. But the tradition lived on through the end of the 20th century in the person of Kozaburo Hasegawa. Master Kozaburu died in 2004.
Master Smith Aida Hiroki was strongly influenced by Master Kozaburu and is probably the only one left making this kind of perfectly balanced hammer according to traditional principals handed down over hundreds of years. Master Hiroki sells these hammers under the trademark Aitoyo. He calls his hammers "orthodox" hammers after the original meaning from the Greek: the correct, straight-line teachings, and thereby shows his admiration for the traditional and proven production methods.
Photos from Hiroki’s smithy
The hammer head blank is heated in a coal-fired oven.
Positioning the punch to start the hole for the handle.
Click here for a short Video
The heavy trip-hammer drives the punch into the red-hot hammer head blank.