Finding Balance in Korean Sword Making

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Balance can be described as finding the equalizing point between two opposing forces, and as both a design principle and a life philosophy, it is central to Korean culture.

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For master swordsmith Eun-cheul Lee, balance is essential to the creation of his hand-crafted swords. He revived a traditional Korean style of sword making that had been lost for 100 years.

By blending different types of iron ore to make the steel used in his swords, he achieves balance in his blades and successfully brings an ancient technique into modern times.

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The history of the sword in the Korean Peninsula begins with imports via Bronze Age in the mid 1st millennium BCE. Native production of Bronze and Iron swords appears to pick up beginning in the mid 1st millennium CE.

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