Hot from the island of Shikoku (where Symonds lived for a year) come these knives from Tsutomu Kajiwara.
SHAPE: Kiritsuke. Traditionally this is what the executive chefs used in kitchens as it has a pretty flat profile, allowing for it to be used for slicing, in place of a yanagiba, and also general kitchen work.
STEEL: Aogami (blue paper) 2 steel. This is very similar to white paper steel but with tungsten and chromium added to it which helps with edge retention and slows down rusting. This steels differs from Blue 1 in its carbon content, Blue 2 having slightly less carbon. Due to the non stainless nature of this steel care must be taken to dry the knives properly after use.
FINISH: Kurouchi. This is a traditional, rustic finish achieved by leaving the furnace scale from the forging process on the blade rather than polishing it off. It has the advantage of reducing the reactivity of the surface of the knife and gives the blade a stylish, matt black finish.
Damascus or Suminagashi. This type of finish is made by creating a Kitaeji; which is produced by repeatedly folding/stacking then compressing two different steels until they create a laminated pattern. This can then be manipulated in various ways to produce the maker’s desired pattern effect. This material is then clad around the core metal of the blade as an elaborate protective layer for the core steel - thus giving the knife a beautiful and striking appearance.
HANDLE: Octagonal Rengas wood handle with oak ferrule.
LENGTH: 210 or 240mm in length.
MAKER: Tsutomu Kajiwara, Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku Island. Kajiwara is the third generation of a family of blacksmiths.
BEST FOR: A classic finish and easier to care for carbon steel.
SAUNDERS SAYS: “Excellent quality for the price and a great knife if you are starting to sharpen yourself.”