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Tanren 鍛錬

March 5, 2012

OK, I finally got images scanned and processed from my trip to Japan last month.  Sorry for the long wait.

はい、分かっています。久しぶりですね。二月は忙しかったけどフイルムがスカーンをしました。お待たせしました、すみません。

This entire post is from my day photographing Takami Kuniichi at his workshop.  The process he was doing is called “tanren” which essentially translates to “forging”.  Put simply, it’s during this process of making a sword that the raw iron gets melded together into an ingot and then, in further processes, will get hammered and lengthened.  You’ll notice that the images tend to be quite dark.  That’s because all the windows are curtained so that, in the darkness, he can properly read the temperature of both the flame and the iron.  When the time and temperature are right, the iron comes out of the forge to get beaten or cut and folded.  It’s the cutting and folding that give Japanese swords their legendary layers.

このポストは専ら高見國一の仕事場で撮影したの写真です。今回、方法は「鍛錬」です。鍛錬はとても面白い方法と思います。なぜですか。たとえば、槌から騒音があるし火の粉が飛ばす。でも、穏やかなこともあります。鑪が息をすると炭を燃焼するの音はいいと思います。

Overall, I’m quite happy with the majority of the images.  Unfortunately, I learned a hard lesson about film and airport x-ray machines.  I lost 3 rolls of black and white film due to being highly overexposed.  Why?  Because since I was shooting at a high ISO to begin with, the multiple times that those particular rolls had been through airports caused a cumulative effect, further sensitizing them.  “Don’t you have a lead bag and take the film as carry-on?”, I hear you say.  Yes, I do, but, as I learned, all that means is that the good folk at the security check merely crank up the power of the machines.  The whole experience cost me about 3 dozen rolls of film because, just to be on the safe side, I tossed all the rolls both on the trip and at home that I knew had been through airports more than a couple times.  From now on, they can bloody well hand check my film!

その旅行に空港のX線の機械で大変なめにあいました。僕はフイルムで撮影します。今回、大阪に帰った後、フイルムが焼いてさせました。3本の白黒写真のフィルムが露出過度になり、使えなくなりました。残念!どうしてですか。ほかのは大丈夫でした。「なるほど」と言いました。その3本のフィルムは高い露出度で撮ったフィルムで、何度か空港のX線検査を通ったことが原因です。ほかの大丈夫フィルムは新しいでした。そして、ホテルにあるフイルムと香港にあるのもを取り捨てさせられました。最終的に36本のフィルムを念のために空港で捨てることになりました。勿体無いですね。これで、空港のX線を使わずに僕のフィルムを調べることができますね。

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