JAPANESE KNIVES AND KNIFE SHARPENING
Yosimitu Kajiya is a family run Kajiya (Smithery) in the small town of Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture and was established in 1937. Junichi Ide is the 3rd generation blacksmith at Yosimitu Kajiya and does all stages of the blade making; free forging his blades from pre-welded “Rikizai” steel and grinding the edge by hand. Yosimitu Kajiya has always specialised in kitchen knives but also makes tools for the local agricultural and fishing industries, it is a traditional family run blacksmith. Junichi Ide wants to make sharp knives for everyone to use, Yosimitu Kajiya knives are thin, strong, rustic and built for daily use.
Junichi-san calls this knife a Large Nakiri, it is made in the style of a Chuka Boho. The Nakiri, “leaf cutter”, is a double bevel, thin bladded knife designed for vegetable cutting. The flat grind of the blade makes for good chopping board contact so no more “accordion” vegetables.
Shirogami or White Paper steel, is a very pure steel with a high carbon content that was designed to be like traditional Tamahagane, used in sword making. Very popular with Japanese blacksmiths, it takes a fine edge and is very easy to sharpen. Shirogami comes in 3 grades with various levels of carbon, Shirogami #1, #2 & #3.