Gardone Val Trompia, February 4th, 2015 – For the very first time the antique noble art of forging Japanese Katana Swords meets up with the ancient Italian tradition of firearms manufacturing, giving life to a one-of-a-kind set to be unveiled by Beretta at the Safari Club International Show, this week at Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas NV on Thursday, February 5th.
After the “Human Technology“ movie, and the extraordinary 486 by Marc Newson collaboration, Beretta, once again, pursues its vocation to explore unconventional new challenges and follows new inspirations. The ensemble, a result of a five years long venture with the greatest Japanese Sword Masters alive today, includes a Beretta SO6 EELL shotgun engraved by grand master Izumi Koshiro and a museum-quality Tanto dagger realized by five highly-specialized Japanese masters. To complete the set, a luxury shotgun cleaning kit by Italian master Maurizio Cairola is nestled within a marquetry wooden box by David Linley of London.
“The ‘Izumi Project’ celebrates the Japanese Wa (harmony) inspiring principle,” says Franco Gussalli Beretta, Vice President and Managing Director of Fabbrica D’Armi Pietro Beretta S.p.A. and Executive Vice President of Beretta USA. “It links together the antique, noble art of forging Japanese swords with our 500-year-old heritage of firearms manufacturing. This one-of-a-kind set, hand made over five years by artisans on two continents, is an homage to beauty, to craftsmanship, to passion, and to the pursuit of perfection, which drives Beretta Premium Guns philosophy.”
Master Izumi Koshiro, one of today’s most important engravers of Japanese swords, enthusiastically accepted Beretta’s challenge to create something entirely new. “ I feel - he says - that nowadays the superior quality of Japanese craftsmanship is at a turning point, and there are not so many successors, so it is essential to magnify and pass on, to future generations, the art of the Samurai Sword”.
Master Izumi chose to embellish the best-quality Beretta SO6 EELL sidelock shotgun with a dragon theme. The receiver features a water dragon on one sideplate and a celestial dragon on the other, while on the bottom the master portrayed another sea dragon transitioning from the water into the air to bridge the two elements. Dragons are depicted chasing a gold sphere - the mystical sacred pearl of wisdom, or Yang energy in early Taoism.
A museum-quality Tanto, the traditional dagger carried by Samurais since the Kamakura period (12th century), was chosen as the perfect complement to the shotgun. Its crafting involved no fewer than five highly-regarded Japanese masters. Ito sensei has forged the blade, using a process not dissimilar to that for shotgun barrels; Izumi sensei has created the golden embellishments and carvings, Ikeda sensei has sharpened and polished the blade, Iiyama sensei has created the sharkskin grip and Oyama sensei has finished the piece with traditional lacquer.
To watch the SO6 EELL IZUMI PROJECT VIDEO and to find out more, click here