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Thread: Longquan (Dragon Well Forge)

  1. #1
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    Wildwoo is offline 苦練在最熱的天,夏季和冬季最寒冷的日子 !
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    Dragon Well forge

    Hey fellows does anyone know the name of the village in China where the Dragon Well weapons are forged? I have heard it is somewhere in Western China.
    Thanks for your kind help.

    WWII

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    Longquan, it is in the south-east part of Zhejiang province. I'm going out to Hangzhou next year and am planning a trip out to Longquan soon after I arrive.
    Simon McNeil
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    Talking Correction

    I meant South-West.
    Simon McNeil
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    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

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    Watch for our next issue.

    We have a piece on dragon well that I think you'll find very informative. It'll be in our Jan/Feb 2005, available at the end of Nov 2004.
    Gene Ching
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    Wildwoo's Avatar
    Wildwoo is offline 苦練在最熱的天,夏季和冬季最寒冷的日子 !
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    That is really cool and I can't wait to see it.
    Have any of you ever beeen there? Is it an easy journey or is there some stress involved?

    Thank you

    WWII

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    going to Dragon Well

    It used to be a very difficult journey. I haven't been there myself, but my boss went years ago and said it took hours of driving up sketchy mountain roads. It might be different now, though. China is changing so rapidly.
    Gene Ching
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    was it the case that there used to be different grades of their gim based on the label that would imply quality and rarity of production ? for example there were silver label, gold, and I think either red or bronze? I could be wrong, I just remember my sifu had a bunch in the back of the store that he didn't want to sell, and I thought he mentioned that other than the tang, that the label would tell you of the manufacturing. right or wrong?

  8. #8
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    sort of right and wrong

    Actually there are several independant competing forges surrounding Dragon Well. In addition, there are several fake forges - forged forges if you will. These are makers that are not from Dragon Well but place the Dragon Well label on their product.

    That being said, there is a huge range in quality of products bearing the Dragon Well label. In China, you can't trust labels. You have to look directly at the product. There are some great pieces coming from authentic Dragon Well forges and there is some cheap crap. Likewise for the Dragon Well fakes, some are good, although most are bad.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    Same with Hanwei right?
    practice wu de


    Actually I bored everyone to death. Even Buddhist and Taoist monks fell asleep.....SPJ

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    Hanwei

    Hanwei is a singular forge, based in Dalien, PRC, under the direction of Paul Chen from Taiwan. I have yet to see any Hanwei knockoffs, but it wouldn't surprise me if they exist.
    Gene Ching
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    Longquan (Dragon Well Forge)

    I have decided to go to Longquan around the 30th of this month. I was intending to see if it's possible to visit one of the forges in that area as I'm looking to get a sword of decent quality... if I can afford it. So is there anyone who has been up that way on here? Is there more than one forge in Longquan today? If so which one produces the best swords?
    Simon McNeil
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    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

  12. #12
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    There are lots of forges there. Most of the storefronts are selling junk. You have to talk to the owners to get them to show you the good stuff, usually stuck in the back. One exception is Zheng Wutang who is on the end of the block. Realy good stuff in the showroom. He is a little more expensive but you are buying quality. You can check his website to see some of what he has to offer. Don't let the prices scare you. My buddy bought one of his miao dao's. The web listing is $750.00. He got it in Longquan for $160.00.

    I bought a real nice Han style jian from the Guyi forge, just up the block, but it took some talking to get them to show it to us.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the info. What sort of talking are we talking about? My putonghua is passable enough for someone who couldn't even say "Hello" six months ago but it's far from great. Brushing up on key phrases might be a good idea. In English what sort of things would I be looking at saying?
    Simon McNeil
    ___________________________________________

    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

  14. #14
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    It used to be fairly inaccessible

    I've never been there personally, but my boss, Thomas Oh, has been. He went years ago, in fact, we were one of the first American companies to go it. At that time, it was only accesible by a sketchy mountain road. Mr. Oh also reports that the food back then was terrible. Since there was little access, most of the food was stuff they found around the mountain, snails, bugs, frogs and such. Yum. That's probably changed since then.

    There was a book published two years ago about Longquan - Shuang Xue Long Quan Jian by Wu Jingrong. We used it for our 2005 Sword special issue. According to that, only one of the seven dragon wells is still extant, but I've been told there are even more forges now.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  15. #15
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    I was just there in September. The road is very good and they are building a new highway next to it, looks to be freeway size. I took a train from Shanghai to Li Shui and a bus from Li Shui to Longquan. The bus was a nice modern one. The ride was enjoyable.

    Longquan is a big town (pop about 250,000) with modern hotels, modern stores, etc. We had to look to find an old alley where people were living the old way. we did have to look around to find an acceptable restaurant outside the hotel restaurant (which was good), but the food was tasty and fairly standard.

    I don't know why people want to keep perpetuating the "little hard-to-get-to village up in the mountains" myth.

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