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Korea has a history of swordsmithing dating back 3,000 years.

Although appearing to be ceremonial in nature, samples of these straight blades preserved in the Shōsōin were hand-forged with hardened cutting edges.

While traditionally bladesmithing referred to the manufacture of any blade by any means, the majority of contemporary craftsmen referred to as bladesmiths are those who primarily manufacture blades by means of using a forge to shape the blade as opposed to knifemakers who form blades by use of the stock removal method, although there is some overlap between both crafts.

Historically speaking, bladesmithing is an art that has survived and thrived over thousands of years.

By the time of the Heian period (794—1185 AD) the Japanese sword took on its distinctive curved shape as a mounted horseman would have more use for a slashing type of blade as opposed to a thrusting type.

Due to the quality of metal found in Japan, Japanese bladesmithing became an extremely rigid, precise process, involving folding and forge-welding the steel many times over to create a laminated blade.

Many different parts of the world have different styles of bladesmithing, some more well-known than others.

Ancient Egyptians referred to iron as "copper from the heavens" because their lack of smelting technology limited their accessible iron supplies to what little native iron they could recover from meteorites.

This technology included folding, inserting alloys, and differential hardening of the edge, which historically has been the most common technique around the world.

While the Japanese would be more influenced by the Chinese dāo (single-edged swords of various forms), the early Japanese swords known as ken are often based on the jian.

This is still in debate as metallurgist John Verhoeven at Iowa State University believes the nanowires to occur in most steels.

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