To build the tomb of Emperor Nintoku in the 5th century, casting experts were gathered to Sakai from all over Japan. Even after the completion of the project, they kept living there.
Great Buddha of Kamakura
From Heian, 12th century, to the Kamakura Period, there are metal casting craftsman group. They are famous for making temple bells and participated in casting the Great Budda of Kamakura.
In the 16th century, in Sakai, swords and weapons of war were produced by Tatara iron-making process using Tamahagane, high-quality Japanese steel.
Tabacco Knives (Tabacco Hocho)
At the end of 16th century, tobacco was introduced from overseas and people started to grow it all over Japan. Tabacco knives were first produced in Sakai to cut tabbaco leaves. Tabbaco Knives with ultra fine sharpness made in Sakai were spread throughout Japan and the brand name of sakai became very well known.
In the Meiji period, the demand of tabacco knives decreased and the production of knives was shifted to creating knives for cooking.
In Genroku Period, 1688-1704, Sakai was an excellent fishing ground and especially good site for red sea bream. To cut these fish, deba knives were created. A book at the time described ” Knives from Sakai are the best.”
Sakai City is located in the southern part of Osaka prefecture. Osaka is the major factor for the development of Sakai's knife-making. People in Osaka are such a gourmet that they spend their fortune on food. Once upon a time, chefs from Osaka came to Sakai to get good knives.