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.
The Gyuto is a Japanese version of a western Chef’s Knife, based off of French chefs knives in the 1880’s it was designed for cutting meat. Gyuto translates to “meat sword”, but it is a versatile all round kitchen knife that can be used for rock or push cutting styles. Due to the harder steel used for the cutting edge, Japanese Gyuto’s generally have thinner blades than a western knife of the same size.
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.