Swordsmiths have a saying — strike while it’s hot; there’s absolutely nothing you can do once it has cooled down. In 2011 — in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami — lifestyle cycling label Rapha organized a charity ride, asking for the help of anyone willing to donate. Now, a little over a year later, the Tohoku area is still closed for general tourism, but roads ideal for cycling remain plentiful. In this video, watch as the Rapha Continental team documents their ride through the ravaged yet beautiful region of Japan and the parallels they draw with the ancient art of swordmaking. Based on their encounter with 9th Generation Hokke Saburo Nobufusa — a family with a 1,000-year-old sword making tradition — the film touches on cultural cornerstones that are often just one natural disaster away from extinction.