Dec 3, 2011

Important Anouncement

I stop taking orders of Shigefusa and Sanjo Yoshihide knives for a while.
It is of some personal reasons.
I still continue to ship orders which has been done before.

Thank you all for the support.

Best regards

Masaru Nakamura

Hide's Export

Oct 8, 2011

Feedback Welcome

I will visit Shigefusa and Yoshikane end of this month and meet with Iizuka san and Yoshida san.

So it would be a good chance to have feedback from my customers.

Please give me feedback by e-mail and I will translate and give it to the blacksmiths.

Oct 7, 2011

My Friend and Partner Maxim Will Visit Japan

My friend Maxim from JNS will visit Japan last week of October.

He said it is his dream to come Japan and visit Shigefusa, Yoshikane, Jnats stores and Jnats mines.
I will attend him to the places.
It will be a very busy and intensive trip because time is short and we must visit Sanjo and Kyoto from Tokyo.

But I hope he will be very happy.

I got also request what we will eat each dinner.

1. All you can eat sushi!
2. Yakitori and raw Chicken.
3. Horse meat
4. Blow fish
5. Hamo (Muraenesox cinereus
6. Yudofu

I hope he will like Japanese dish too.

Oct 3, 2011

Shigefusa Special Order Kitaeji Boning Knife

I wrote about the boning knife before on May 26th.

It took a bit more than 3 months but it is now ready to ship.

My am not good at taking pictures but please enjoy.

It is 145mm long and  25mm wide. Spine is about 4mm. Weight is 116g.

I am not so good to take Kitaeji pictures.

The backside is almost flat. This is Urakou 裏鋼 and it a very time consuming and very difficult to make. See also the Kitaeji at the backside.

Edge side. IT has no edge about 40mm from handle.

This is the first Honesuki Maru with Wa handle made by Shigefusa.

Sep 26, 2011

More Knife Pictures (3)

Here more knife pictures ready to ship.


 Kasumi Usuba  195mm

 Custom order 180mm Kitaeji Kiritsuke blade height 36mm

Kitaeji Mioroshi Deba 195mm

Please watch the backside of the blades carefully. You will see the perfect "ura" of Shigefusa knives.

Sanjo Yoshihide:

 KU SLD Sekiso 240mm Gyuto with Bubinga western handle

KU SLD Sekiso 75mm Petty western handle

White 2 core SS clad hammer finished Wa Gyuto with Saya

The KU Sekiso knives are for returning customer who like this finish so much not only for the decoration but also the cutting performance.
The White 2 core SS clad is for those who want a carbon knife but want easy maintenance too. White 2 core SS clad can be made in Migaki finish too.

Aug 4, 2011

Finger Stones

After my blog about Kitaeji Maintenance I got many e-mails asking for finger stones.
Today I made some finger-stones for my customers.

From left right:
Sword polish grade Uchigomori (Hazuya)
Sword polish grade Nakayama (Chizuya)
Hakka (soft stone very easy to use)
The tiny stones at front are some of the fingerstones I used to make the blog.
I used my wife's manicure coat for protection.

I can include a Hakka fingerstone for free to my customers who bought a knife.

A set of Uchigomori, Nakayama and Hakka can be included to the knife for a fee.

Please e-mail me if you want the finger stones included.

I think the shipping cost of EMS (1200JPY to US and 1500JPY to EU) for customers who do not buy a knife from me is quite expensive.

For those who are alright with the shipping cost they can make e-mail request or I recommend my friend Maxim at JNS.
You must ask him about sword grade Uchigomori and Maruka finger stones.
He has not the same but similar finger stones.

Two Petty plus One

Here are two petty.
One is from Shigefusa and it is a 150mm Kitaeji.

Another is a left hand (LH) 180mm Yoshihide SKD Migaki petty from Yoshida Hamono.

Though there is difference in maker and steel and length these two have very similar geometry.

Now the plus one.

I myself have a 180mm Kitaeji petty. I used it at my blog Kitaeji Maintenance 1 to 5.
Now I wanted to see how it compare to the out of the box Kitaeji.

Above is my 180mm petty which was polished with Hakka and Nakayama Maruka fingerstones.
Other than the fine "hairlines" with are on the new Kitaeji they look very similar. Both have some broad lines which are "characters" or "signature" of the Kitaeji. These broad lines are not so significant if you  have sunlight, They are significant if you have fluorescent light as light source. The picture was taken under fluorescent light.

Now I made polish with the sword grade Uchigomori fingerstone.

Above is my 180mm petty and below is the new 150mm petty.
The contrast of the broad lines decreased when I used the Uchigomori fingerstone.

So if you work under fluorescent light and do not like the "signature" of  the Kitaeji using Uchigomori fingerstones for maintenance would be a solution.

Aug 1, 2011

Flooding News Update

I got report about Shigefusa and Yoshikane workshop.

Yoshikane workshop was not affected.

Shigefusa workshop was affected but only little. His home is a bit higher than the streets and was not affected. Part of his workshop is a bit lower and got some flood but it is not so serious.

If there is a delay it will be only few days.

But part of the Sanjo city was effected and the river Igarasi is too turbid that water purification does not work. They have shortage of tap-water now.

This will be the last news about this subject.

Jul 30, 2011

Flooding in Sanjo

I think some has read the news of flooding in Sanjo.
Here some news links:
NHK: Torrential rain hits Niigata & Fukushima 

JapanToay: Floods claim first victim; 296,000 urged to evacuate in Niigata, Fukushim

It is said that the rain was heavier than 7 years ago when Shigefusa workshop was flooded.

The Igarashi-gawa and Shinano-gawa which are the main rivers of Sanjo city broke some banks.

But the news is that the place of the broken bank is 10km upstream of Shigefusa workshop and as for now they are safe.

To my customers:

It is a natural disaster and please understand if some order is delayed.
As for now I have no news of any delay.

Jul 24, 2011

Many Sort of Knives by Yoshida san

I recommend the SKD Migaki, SLD Sekiso Migaki and SLD KU Migaki
Knives I Recommend Part 2 Yoshihide

But Yoshida san at Yoshikane Hamono can make other double bevel knives.
All kitchen knives here are 180mm blade length Gyuto.

He makes 2 sort of Kurouchi finish. Above is the hammered Kurouchi and below is the simple Kurouchi.
The Hagane (core) is high carbon steel V2 and Jigane (clad) is soft iron.

He makes also knives with high carbon steel Shirogami 2:

Above is hammer finish and below is Nashiji finish. The core is high carbon Shirogami 2 (White  paper 2). The clad is stainless steel (SS). This is for people who want a high carbon steel edge but do not want a rusty blade.

Now the SKD and SLD Sekiso knives:

Above is SKD hammered which is quite famous under Yoshikane brand.
Below is the SKD Migaki (Kasumi) which I recommend.
The core is SKD 12 and clad is SS.

Above is SLD Sekiso Migaki and below is SLD KU Sekiso.
Core is SLD (same as SKD 11) and it has SS Damascus clad.

There are variety of knives you can order from Yoshida san.
Give me a e-mail if you are interested.

Jul 20, 2011

Kitaeji Maintenance 5

I was asked how Kitaeji reacts to natural Aoto.

I did not try only Aoto but I tried also other natural stones which I have in my collection. I do not have so many natural stones other than the finisher from Kyoto mines so I could try only 7 stones.


This is my favorite Aoto. The mine is unknown but it feels like a rare and very good  Akamonzen Aoto.
It has small red brown dots at the surface.

The Aoto is a middle stone. Though this Aoto is on the fine side of Aoto you can  still see some scratches. It does not destroy the Kitaeji pattern so it will be a very good middle stone or pre-finisher.

Now some finish stones which make semi mirror or mirror finish.
These are Mikawa Nagura (Mejiro), Tsushima Nagura (from mountain) and Translucent Arkansas.

 Mikawa Nagura Mejiro

 Big Tsushima Nagura (from mountain)

Translucent Arkansas

Now the results (they look almost same):

  Mikawa Nagura Mejiro Polish

 Tsushima Nagura (from mountain) Polish

Translucent Arkansas Polish

You can see that these finishing stones are not suited for Kitaeji polish.

Now back to some natural middle stones Iyo and Amakusa:

Iyo Stone (on hard side and porous)

Iyo Stone Polish

This Iyo stone was very very slow. But the result was not so bad as a middle stone.
But still not good enough compared to the 3 fingerstones I selected.

 Amakusa Stone

Amakusa Stone Polish

Amakusa was very slow too. Polish was similar to Iyo.

Last is my favorite middle stone Aizu:
 Aizu Stone

  Aizu Stone Polish

Aizu was the fastest of all stones tested here. You can see scratches but you can see the Kitaeji patterns too. Aizu is a very good middle stone but I can not find any Aizu now.

After every test and end of all the tests I used Hakka or Maruka fingerstone to get the Kitaeji pattern back.
Here the Shigefusa Kitaeji knife after all the tests:

 Maruka Fingerstone Polish

Hakka Fingerstone Finish


Middle stones of Aoto, Amakusa, Iyo and Aizu does not destroy the Kitaeji patterns. They can be used if you do not care about scratch patterns.
But these middle stones are a bit brittle so I think you must enforce them with Japanese paper and Cashew lacquer if you want to use them as fingerstones.
And the finish is more bright and not so good as the finish with fingerstones I have selected.

Finishing stones which make semi mirror or mirror finsih destroy the Kitaeji patterns.  Mikawa Nagura, Tsushima Nagura and Translucent Arkansas are those stones.

If you want a nice Kasumi finish the results of this test is useful too.

Edit to add on 27th. July:

My friend Maxim at JNS has also blog about fingerstones: