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 Post subject: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7671
Location: Madison Wisconsin
Hi Guys,

Just made it back last night. Had a nice harrowing flight from Chicago to Madison to polish off the trip. We flew through a thunderstorm and bounced around quite a bit with lightning all around us.

The trip went GREAT! I have so much stuff I want to show you guys. I'm not quite sure how to talk about it. Here's a quick list of my itinerary by day.

Day 1. Met with Nishi (he's a distributor I use for the Richmond AS Lasers and other stuff) and we went out to dinner before I passed out from Jet lag.

Day 2. Toured the National museum and saw a bunch of fantastic old swords and many other things. Had dineer with Moritaka-san and his wife Akiko. It was the only dinner I had with so few people and it was special. They are soooo nice. I have to make a trip down to their factory next year.

Day 3. Took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto and went to a really cool Zen Garden with Takeda-san and Imanishi-san. Kosuke from Konosuke drove up and we had a fantastic dinner at Imanishi's favorite restaurant in the Gion district.

Day 4. Imanishi-san drove me to Takefu Village and I was swarmed by everyone at the factory. I got to do about 8 audio interviews for the oral history project we're going to do and I also allowed to walk their factory floor while they were all working and shot some cool stuff, both audio and video. Many of the guys took me to dinner and we had a great meal at our hotel with lots of beers and then we all went to the hot springs. It was one of the best days of my work life.

Day 5. More Takefu, this time we went to Visit Saji-san and his crew and then over to tour a handle making shop. Back to the Takefu village facility for another round of interviews and then we had dinner with Saji-san, his son in law and Kurosaki-san before another hot spring visit.

Day 6. Dr. O from our steel mill picked me up and drove me to Toyama and we had a full afternoon with Hanaki-san from Sukenari. He gave me an in depth, step by step tutorial and demonstration on making honyaki knives with particular attention to how the quench the knives and heat treat the blades which is much more tricky than normal clad knives. Then out to dinner with them at a little restaurant that rivaled the night in Kyoto with fantastic food. They close the restaurant to other guests so it was just the 3 of us being served by the chef and his assistant.

Day 7. Off to Seki City with Dr. O and met with my Kohetsu team, The Tsukahara brothers own a great little shop and we had a good conversation and expect more cool stuff from them later this year. We then went down the street to tour the specialty heat treating facility and after that we toured the little handle finishing shop they use for our HAP40 line. They introduced me to some nice stones that they could distribute to me from Suehiro and I asked to try them so I got to sharpen in front of all of them which was fun.

Day 8. I took the Shinkasen to Osaka. Then over to tour the shop of Mr. Shiraki who was quenching some blades. This guy's speed and skill was something to behold. Then out to dinner with them and they stuffed me full of food and I got to meet and talk to his top apprentice who started working for Shiraki-san 10 years ago straight out of high school. We did the interview right at dinner so I'm hoping the audio came out ok.

I'll break this down and expand on my meetings and show you guys pictures in the coming days. I'm so happy to be back. I missed Sue and she had to work really hard while I was away so I'm going to shrug off the jet lag and get back to work so I can give her a little break.



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Mark Richmond
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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:29 pm
Posts: 111
What a great breakdown of your time in Japan. Even more impressive, given the jet lag.

It is great having you back. I am certain Sue echoes the sentiment!

Can't wait for the details...


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:45 am
Posts: 206
Sounds awesome man! Excited to hear more in depth details and see some of these videos and interviews and actually most excited to hear about some of the actual food you were eating out there.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2401
Welcome back Mark! Sounds like a great trip. Looking forward to hearing more...


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:08 am
Posts: 58
That sounds like a very full and fantastic week.
Can't wait to hear more details.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:36 pm
Posts: 2823
Welcome back Mark, indeed!! :)



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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:11 pm 

Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 9:21 pm
Posts: 470
Cool!


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7671
Location: Madison Wisconsin
I wanted to also thank you guys so much for answering questions while I was away. Sue said she posted a number of them on here and you did a bang up job helping answering questions.



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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:44 pm
Posts: 46
Welcome back, sounds like a wonderful trip. Can't wait to hear more and see some videos/pics.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm back!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 317
Your outline of the days already sounds great. Looking forward to hearing more details!


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