The history of blacksmithing in Sanjo city goes back to the early 17th century when many farmers were struggling to make a living because of frequent flooding. A local magistrate named Otani Seibei went to Edo (Tokyo) and invited some blacksmiths to come and start work making nails as a second industry and giving them an alternative source of income.
Within a generation of this decision there were many blacksmiths established and working the trade and their reputation grew as they expanded their offering into other items such as farming tools and other small implements. Sickles were a primary tool made and Sanjo blacksmiths became known for this particular tool. Soon a whole small industry was developed and trade with other regions of Japan were established. Today Sanjo blacksmiths continue to forge cutting implements and many small shops still exist to this day with fathers passing on their businesses to their sons. Kitchen cutlery has become an important product as farm tools have waned after the introduction of larger factory tools to process rice and wheat and other crops.