©Copyright Lech Budaj |Yakiba | 2012

About Me

Ever since I can remember I was very interested in manual creative work, first it was handcrafted boats made from pine bark, later wooden stick airplane models.  While in primary school I started to attend airplane models workshops where i got familiarised with various methods of working with wood and metal, but more so the instructors taught me the work ethic and the importance of appreciation and respect to tools and materials I used to create my models.  Then started my interest in history and especially weaponry used then.  I have made my first knives by polishing old  steel  files , later I started to re-forge the files on a piece of old rail track and I started to decorate the finished blades with silver and bronze. I have also started to pay a lot of interest into old jewellery and old methods and techniques of creating it.  In my years of studies and later this became my source of income.

At the same time, for a dozen or so years I have trained Karate which opened the door to Japanese culture and fascination of Japanese weaponry, especially when I dropped Karate in favour of the art of the sword.

When I started to train Iaido I had a problem of what to train with..

It wasn’t the times where you could just buy a sword on the Internet.  This way I had to make my first blade - because I needed it! Later I have made few more for my colleagues and since then I have created quite an impressive number of swords. My workshop and knowledge have grown enormously.

In 2008 I have received an invitation from the Museum of Biskupin to take part in a fair dedicated to the culture of Japan. During the fair with a group of colleagues we have carried out first in Poland (They are very rare outside of Japan too) melting of traditional Japanese steel called Tamahagane in self built traditional furnace called Tatara, since then I can create my swords absolutely in compliance with traditional ancient methods of the Japanese masters using steel of my own production.

As opposed to Japan where a sword is made by few craftsmen each responsible for different aspect of the final product my swords are being made absolutely by one person in one workshop.  Reason for this is that there is not a lot of specialists in Poland that are capable of carrying out the polishing or finishing the setting. Especially the polishing part is very tricky and demanding because the outcome of this operation has direct influence into how the finished blade will look like. 

In my work I use most of the materials originating from Japan, this is necessary to achieve the right effect at the end of the work. I have had to sell part of my collection in order to be able to furnish my workshop and allow me to develop my craft further. Especially establishing of the polishing station was a quite a costly task. I am continuously exploring and expanding my knowledge, materials and literature in order to develop myself and perfect the swords I make.

Currently I mostly focus on restoration of historical blades quite often damaged by incorrect care and conservation. I still am making my own swords at the same time. My swords are tested in practice when used on trainings and tournaments in order to ensure accordance to the rigorous requirements of the Tamashegiri. The quality of every finished product is very important to me, every sword has his own unique finishing setting. Recently I also often make new settings for swords imported from Japan.

This website is dedicated mainly to my work but I also hope that thanks to the “Projects” section it can help to develop a database for other enthusiasts to base on when exploring fascinating art of creating Japanese swords.

BUDAI ART Lech Budaj - Historical Swords Studio

Kendo | Samurai | Iaido | Katana | Japanese Sword | Sword | Wakizashi | Tanto | Japanese Swordsmith | Kitchen Knives| Roman Weapons | Tamahagane | Tatara Buki | Fuchi | Kashira | Tsuba | Menuki | Habaki| Biskupin | Nihonto | Naginata | Sword Smith | Sword Restoration | Polishing |

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BUDAI ART Lech Budaj - Historical Swords Studio