National Institute Of Fashion Technology
Japanese -Samurai Katana – Quality
• Traditionally made Japanese Sword .
• Worn by Samurai of feudal japan .
• Dr. Stephen Turnbull (Author- „The Samurai „) defines it as
the symbol for authority, pride which samurai‟s used for
maintaining law and order .
• James chamber (Author –‟The devils horsemen‟) refers it as
the ultimate cutting weapon .
• Revered more than beauty and precision, said to posses the
spirit of its own.
What makes it so superior ???
Traditional skilled swordsmiths
Unique design and composition
• For a katana, quality raw steel is
used – Tamahagane
• Tamahagane is found in shimane in
• Created by smelting in traditional
• The smelter Kihara does not sleep
for 3 days and 3 nights .
• Kihara Identifies the steel by
sound of the furnace, which is the
last of its kind.
• Only a skilled swordsmith can make a samurai katana.
• Gasam Sadatoshi one of the most renowned swordsmith in the
world tells that he checks the tamahane and then select the
• It has part as a traditional knowledge to him by his ancestors.
• He pass it on to the others by means of Apprenticeship.
• It takes 5 years to master the Art .
• The sword is examined at every stage and judged by its color .
Unique Design and Composition
• Gasam also focuses on the design hamam, produced as a ripple
along the length of the sword.
• The ability of the sword and the swordsmith is judged by the
• Katana is composed of a unique blend of iron and steel .
• Great Research and Development.
• Stephen turnbull Quotes “ that this is probably the only weapon in
the world which is called to have spirit of its own “
• Every Samurai had to follow a code of conduct.
• If not followed he had to commit suicide.
• During WW2 katana‟s were actively used for beheading POW.
• It was left to japanese to Free the spirit of katana post WW2 ,
hence certain restrictions were imposed on its use and possesion.
• IT has survived competition from guns and bullets , just because of
its moral values.
• Katana still used as an artifact and in practice of Martial Arts
Testimony to a weapon which refuses to become a relic.
• Many cheap versions are now industrially manufacted in varying
• But original samurai grade katana making can be done only by
the traditional swordsmiths.
Case Study- Ford
• Ford was manufacturing in Japan and USA simultaneously.
• Soon the customers wanted cars made in Japan and it could
even wait despite USA made cars were available.
• Ford studied the parts and could find that – All USA made
parts were within the tolerance limit but Japanese made parts
were more or less identical.
• Suppose a part has to be 1 foot long with plus/minus 1/8 “ as
tolerance japanese parts were within 1/16 “ tolerance.
Japan and Quality
• Role of E. Edwards Deming- statistical quality control methods
• Culture -A strong organizational culture is characterized by
“intense emotional attachment and the internalization of
„clearly enunciated company values‟ that often replace formal
structures”- kunda gideon
• work environment-Life time Employment , unionism, seniority
Role of Edwards Deming
• Deming is the final, and arguably most important, variable in the
equation that led to Japan‟s economic revolution after the Second
• As Deming himself said, “Quick returns, whether by acquisition, or
by divestiture, or by paper profits or by creative accounting, are
self-defeating” (Deming 1985). When Japan adopted Deming‟s
techniques, Japanese firms were not thinking about profit margins or
stock prices. For them, it was about the success of Japanese
industry, and the future of Japan as a nation.
• Total quality management, quality control circles, quality
control groups, etc. all accomplish the same goal by making the
workers invested both physically and mentally in the
• Incentives are given to workers to provide suggestions as to how
manufacturing can be made more efficient
• There is an intense degree of cooperation between workers, and
even departments, within a firm
• Discovery channel documentary– making of katana swords.
• National geographic documentary – The making of the perfect
• Research Paper by Andrew Mandel http://bir.brandeis.edu/bitstream/handle/10192/92/Mandel