HANDMADE JAPANESE KNIVES
Meet the Makers
At Japanny, we work closely with the various bladesmith and craftsmen involved in the knife making process. Each maker brings something unique to their knives. To fully appreciate a knife, it's important to understand the crafting process and all the effort and care that goes into bringing each knife to life. Please take a moment to read and learn about some of the knifemakers that Japanny is proud to work with.
Well known for his unique blade designs, Yu Kurosaki is the youngest blacksmith to receive the title "Master Blacksmith" by the Japanese Governement. Not only does Kurosaki tempt us with his beautiful blade designs, but their ability to perform keeps us coming back. High quality materials and age old forging techniques combine to create a knife with an extremely sharp edge that will hold up throughout use.
Yoshimi Kato hand forges his knives in the town of Takefu, Fukui prefecture. After taking over the company from his father Hiroshi in 2017, Yoshimi continues to craft high quality knives. Kato goes abroad a few times a year to visit his loyal customers and gather feedback to improve his designs and functionality, always striving for perfection.
Born in 1950, knife smith Hideo Kitaoka works in Takefu Village, Echizen City, Fukui Prefecture. From a young age Kitaoka began learning his craft from his father and now specializes in traditional single bevel knives. Keeping with tradition, Hideo Kitaoka forges his blades from high carbon steel for the finest edge quality. The superior craftsmanship resonates throughout the body as you use these knives, making you the envy of sushi chefs around the world.
"Iron is alive, it can live and it can die depending on the blacksmith." Knife making is in Anryu san's blood. His family started making knives in the early 1870's. Katsushige is now the fourth generation to continue this legacy. He started apprenticing under his father, Katsutoshi Anryu, after graduating high school in 1959 and now with well over 50 years of experience he continues to forge incredible blades. Anryu san is always striving to make better knives that in turn make the cooking process that much more enjoyable.
Shungo Ogata is a young, talented blacksmith who works among the masters in Takefu Knife Village, Fukui, Japan. He began his career as a blade sharpener and has recently begun producing very high quality knives of his own. His background in sharpening allows him to focus on the geometry of the blade, creating extremely thin blades that slice with ease. With a variety of different and interesting blade shapes and styles, we can’t wait to see what Ogata-san will come up with next!
The young Shigeki Tanaka is a skilled craftsman from Miki, Hyogo. His passion for creating knives is as hot as the forge used to make them and to see him hammer steel into knives is spectacular. Tanaka started training and making knives in Takefu, Fukui. Since, he has created many blades under his brand "Shigeki-saku. With his radical design and beautiful craftsmanship, his knives are loved by people all over the world.
Isamu Takamura founded Takamura Cutlery in post-war Japan. Working in Echiezen City, Fukui Prefecture, an area with a rich history of knife making, Takamura-san set out to create the best quality knives he could forge from stainless steel. While unpopular at the time, Takamura-san spent countless hours experimenting in order to produce blades with the same sharpness and edge retention as those made of high carbon steel, but that did not stain or rust. Takamura Cutlery went on to become one of the first manufacturers to utilize High Speed Powdered Steel (HSPS), forging knives from R2/SG2 steel to improve on the already sharp and edge retentaining qualities of their knives. Use a knife forged by Takamura Cutlery and you will notice a smile naturally come to your face!
Founded in 1933, Sukenari has gained a reputation for quality. Using the same technique that is used to craft samurai swords, Sukenari has been certified to create 'Honyaki' knives that are unsurpassed in their edge retention and durability as well as their cutting edge. This technique, however, is extremely difficult and time consuming, so in recent days Sukenari has begun forging knives from 'high speed steels' such as R2 and HAP40 while maintaining the same blade quality and edge retention. Sukenari always try to improve on the quality and performance of their knives.
Takefu Knife Village
Many of the craftsmen Japanny works with are headquartered in Takefu Knife Village. Founded in 2005 by ten knife makers, including Takeshi Saji, Katsuhige Anryu, Yoshimi Kato, who wanted to promote the art and industry of knife making to new generations.
Located in Echizen City of Gifu Prefecture, the state of the art facility houses workshops for each of the resident craftsmen, as well as a museum to educate students, tourists, and other visitors to the Village.