Across Japan, there are approximately 350 qualified swordsmiths. However, the current situation is such that most of them hold the qualification but are not practicing professionally. In fact, only about 10% of these qualified individuals make a living as swordsmiths.
Furthermore, among them, less than 5% are certified at the highest level of swordsmithing, known as “Mukansa.” In addition to this, only two active swordsmiths who are still alive have won the industry’s highest honor, the “Masamune Prize.”
One of these two is Norihiro Miyairi, a swordsmith and blade artist, who is regarded as having the highest level of skill in the world.