With the increased interest in Japanese cuisine and culture, the Japanese kitchen knife has received grown attention from not only professionals but also from informed enthusiasts around the world. Bringing out the best of the ingredients is one of the signature culinary methods of Japanese cuisine.
The Sharper the edge of a piece of Sashimi indicates the freshness of the fish and special knives for that exclusive purpose were made so chefs were able to slice in one stroke. You can say that the knife is what gives Sashimi its edge. This is why a good Japanese sushi chef is very particular about their knife of choice. Today, some of the finest chefs from not only Japan but all over the world come to Japan looking for their perfect knife. One of the popular blades that we carry is the edgy authentic Japanese knife called the “Wabocho”. As Japanese culture and cuisine have been spreading internationally, this knife in particular has been gathering attention among top notch chefs of Japanese cuisine from around the globe.
How sharp it is? You can check the video below and see how sharp the Japanese knife is.
Outstanding knives “Wabocho” with traditional blade shapes have been made in the traditional manner in small Japanese swordsmith’s shops for centuries, often with a high level of manual work or even completely handmade. They are valued by experts because of the best steels, carefully selected materials for the handles and ferrules, a high level of workmanship, original design – and last but not least, extreme sharpness and sharpness retention. The blades usually have a hard carbon steel core forge welded to one or more outer layers of iron – similar to multilayer Samurai swords. Traditional materials and forms are also used for the handles.
We would introduce one good example of “Wabocho” shops. Moritaka Hamono has been producing swords for over 700 years. To preserve this ancient tradition, its master swordsmiths continue to handcraft knives and swords that samurai would be proud of. The outstanding quality of its blades is established by using a combination of a steel core and iron cladding. The steel core gives the knives razor sharp edges, while the iron cladding ensures durability that surpasses any mass production knives. Their extensive knowledge and experience regarding the properties of these high quality materials allows them to exploit the full potential of these steels, resulting in the production of a superior knife.
How popular “Wabocho” is ? Don’t get surprise. If you order Moritaka Hamono’s knife today, the delivery of the product takes a 12 month. But don’t worry. There are many other good “Wabocho” shops in Japan and the best place to find one is Kappabashi Street in Tokyo. So visit Tokyo and get ones.
Thanks to the Hollywood movie like ’The Last Samurai’ starring by Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves upcoming movie’47 Ronin’ , “katana” sword has now become an extremely popular sword in the world. Katana is one of the traditional Japanese swords worn by the samurai. From the medieval period to the modern, the Samurai sword has evoked fascination amongst warriors and laymen alike and was believed by the Samurai to be joined to his soul.
One of the greatest swordsmiths in Japan is Masamune(千子 村正） . Masamune is almost legendary in Japan. Most of his work was done during the 13th and 14th century. He created swords and daggers in the Soshu tradition.
Sword at Tokyo National Museum
Japanese Katana – National Treasure
To make the swords requires a great amount of technical skill and craftsmanship making them not only weapons of note, but also works of art in their own right. This did not only apply to the blades, the hilt and scabbard were sometimes carved from ivory and depicted a story from Japanese mythology and along with the hand guard, were often embedded with silver or gold.
Traditional swords are still making in Japan and recently MEXT (The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology), Japan created the making video of Japanese sword by traditional swordsmithing.
The authentic Japanese sword is made from a specialized Japanese steel called “Tamahagane” which consist of combinations of hard, high carbon steel and tough, low carbon steel. High-carbon steel is harder and able to hold a sharper edge than low-carbon steel but it is more brittle and may break in combat. Forgers use these details when making a sword.
When the rough blade is completed, the swordsmith turns the blade over to a polisher called a togishi, whose job it is to refine the shape of a blade and improve its aesthetic value. The entire process takes considerable time, in some cases easily up to several weeks. Early polishers used three types of stone, whereas a modern polisher generally uses seven. The polishing process almost always takes longer than even crafting, and a good polish can greatly improve the beauty of a blade, while a bad one can ruin the best of blades. More importantly, inexperienced polishers can permanently ruin a blade by badly disrupting its geometry or wearing down too much steel, both of which effectively destroy the sword’s monetary, historic, artistic, and functional value.
In addition to folding the steel, high quality Japanese swords are also composed of various distinct sections of different types of steel.
After the blade is finished it is passed on to a mountings-maker, or sayashi (literally “Sheath Maker” l). Sword mountings vary in their exact nature depending on the era, but generally consist of the same general idea, with the variation being in the components used and in the wrapping style. The obvious part of the hilt consists of a metal or wooden grip called a tsuka, which can also be used to refer to the entire hilt. The hand guard, or tsuba, on Japanese swords (except for certain twentieth century sabers which emulate Western navies’) is small and round, made of metal, and often very ornate.
The handguard piece, often intricately designed as an individual work of art — especially in later years of the Edo period — was called the tsuba. Other aspects of the mountings (koshirae), such as the menuki (decorative grip swells), habaki (blade collar and scabbard wedge), fuchi and kashira (handle collar and cap), kozuka (small utility knife handle), kogai (decorative skewer-like implement), saya lacquer, and tsuka-ito (professional handle wrap, also named emaki), received similar levels of artistry.
The obvious part of the hilt consists of a metal or wooden grip called a tsuka, which can also be used to refer to the entire hilt. The hand guard, or tsuba, on Japanese swords is small and round, made of metal, and often very ornate.
Almost all blades are decorated, although not all blades are decorated on the visible part of the blade. Once the blade is cool, and the mud is scraped off, the blade has designs and grooves cut into it. One of the most important markings on the sword is performed here: the file markings. These are cut into the tang, or the hilt-section of the blade, where they will be covered by a hilt later.
Martial artists see that a katana sword is more than just a weapon. It’s a sword with concept, philosophies, and symbol. When a person is starting to learn about the Japanese sword martial art, they will not only learn the techniques, but also the philosophies behind it.