Honyaki Yanagiba knife, Shirogami 2, Mt Fuji hamon - Togashi Kenji
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Togashi Kenji is a highly experienced Sakai-based blacksmith. He is most famous for his honyaki or true-forged blades. These blades use a mono steel construction which is then differentially hardened. This basically means the edge is harder than the spine. The wave line, or hamon, seen on the blade face is an indication that the blade has been hardened in this way. In the case of this blade, the hamon it is shaped to look like Mt Fuji. These are the hardest knives to make and failure rate is high.
SHAPE: Yanagiba. This knife is used to slice protein in one continuous movement to minimize damage to the ingredient. This shape features the traditional single bevelled edge so is only suitable for right handed users. This edge design allows it to take a razor sharp edge, helping to slice fish thinly. Traditional Japanese knives, such as this, must be exclusively sharpened on whetstones.
STEEL: Shirogami (white) 2 steel. It is a reactive carbon steel which is easy to sharpen and holds an edge well. This steel is often chosen for traditional-style Japanese knives.
FINISH: Mirror polished.
HANDLE: Octagonal ebony handle with a buffalo horn ferrule.
LENGTH: 300mm in length.
MAKER: Togashi Kenji - Sakai, Japan
BEST FOR: Seekers of the ultimate in Japanese knife craftsmanship.
SAUNDERS SAYS: "I only got one of these which was the a mistake. This thing is magnificent, it’s definitely got some weight to it but it’s still perfectly balanced.”