The Japanese Ono is a Samurai war Axe. Season 7, Episode 33 “Japanese Ono” is one of the many Forged in Fire episodes featuring an axe. The Ono according to forged in fire is a 17th century battle axe used by the Samurai reaching nearly 6 feet long.
The Ono (斧) is also known as the Masakari (鉞) or Fuetsu (斧鉞).
A Japanese Ono with what appears to be an axe mask
Season 7, Episode 32: “Japanese Ono” (S07 EP33)
In round one smiths must forge a knife that fits exactly into a puzzle piece cutout. At first I thought this was gimmicky akin to forcing blacksmiths to create “keys’ to unlock boxes to get their metal like in Episode 32 “Tomahawk and Bowie”. But the missing puzzle piece is a beautiful knife profile reminiscent of Burt Foster’s style.
I think it is a unique challenge that really tests a smith’s ability to forge on demand to an exacting shape. So I think this is an interesting first round for Forged in Fire.
Finale Weapon: Japanese Ono
I’m all about the axes and the finale weapon does not disappoint. The smiths have four days to craft a Japanese Ono. It’s a kind of pole axe or battle axe. I wasn’t able to find more than one actual image of historical Ono’s.
I did find several paintings of Samurai with axes.
Logan’s Ono was rustic. Doug seemed pleased with the damage it did on the kill test. Jay mentions it is heavy and the wrap makes it hard to slide the hand down when chopping with it.
Keaton was leagues ahead in fit and finish. The bronze cast hearts inset in the axe head were well executed. It performed on Doug’s kill test as well. The head design is interesting. It also has an integrated wedge to split the wood handle and keep it snug. There is also a pin going through the head affixing it to the shaft as well.
Both Ono’s heads tended to roll upon impact but the judges don’t comment about this.
The outcome never seemed in question. Both axes performed similarly so it came down to craftsmanship and balance.
Great to see three season seven episodes in a row featuring an axe. It partly (partly mind you) makes up for the fact that there were zero axes in Forged in Fire: Beat the Judges.
It is also great to see a Japanese edged tool that is actually an axe. Unlike the Nata.
Axes in the episode: finale weapon: Japanese Ono