Mizu-Honyaki Slicing Knife - Yanagiba, 300mm (11-3/4 in) - Shirogami #3

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Product Description for Mizu-Honyaki Slicing Knife - Yanagiba, 300mm (11-3/4 in) - Shirogami #3

Maker: Yoshikazu Ikeda (click to see more by this maker)
Item num: 94835
Blade length: 11.75 in.
Total length: 18.00 in.
Blade height (at heel): 1.45 in.
Blade thickness (near bolster): 0.16 in.
Blade thickness (at midpoint): 0.11 in.
Blade thickness (near tip): 0.06 in.
Item weight: 7.00 oz.
Shipment weight: 9.6 oz.
Blade: Hand forged mizu-honyaki Shirogami 3 (white #3) carbon steel with a water quench
Bolster: Front and rear buffalo horn ferrule
Handle: Macassar ebony
Description: Yoshikazu Ikeda is one of the finest smiths in Sakai, Japan. Ikeda has been making knives and swords for over 40 years, beginning in his early 20s. In 1988, he was recognized as a dentoukougeishi by the Japanese government and since 2001 he has been the chairman of the association of dentoukougeishi. Dentoukougeishi are highly skilled master artisans recognized by the Japanese government for their commitment to protecting traditional arts and techniques.
The yanagi is a traditional Japanese knife used to cut boneless fish fillets for preparation of sushi and sashimi. It is mainly used for a drawing cut. The heel of the knife is placed on the fish and the knife is lightly pressed down, letting the weight of the knife do the work while drawing the blade toward you. Sashimi knives are also excellent for slicing other boneless meats. This knife is designed for right-handed use.
Yoshikazu-san is very close to retirement. I was very pleased to recently get several presentation grade pieces that he made for an exposition in Tokyo. This is one such knife.
Ikeda's traditional knives are highly sought after by professional chefs and show the tremendous skill of this renowned craftsman. Rather using the san mai (three-layers) technique, his mizu-honyaki knives are forged from a mono-steel and heat treated very much like a Japanese sword. The spine is coated with clay prior to quenching. This insulates the top of the blade and results in a keen, hard cutting edge with a soft, supportive spine. Honyaki takes more skill to forge and shape than other techniques.Of all the Japanese knives, mizu-honyaki knives have the greatest kirenaga (staying sharp the longest), but they are also slightly more fragile than other knives and can chip if used improperly. Quenching the knife in water ensures the very best edge holding possible. A mirror polish is exceptionally dramatic and provides limited protection from rusting (though oiling with camellia oil is still strongly encouraged).
The blade is forged from Shirogami 3 carbon steel. This exceptional steel is high in carbon and the finer grain structure allows for a keen, long-lasting edge even through heavy use. A clear heat treatment line (called a hamon) travels across the blade. This shows the transition between the keen, long lasting edge and the soft, supportive spine.
The half-round "Wa" style handle is carved from macassar ebony with front and rear buffalo horn ferrule. The top features three facets while the base is rounded for comfort. This natural, ambidextrous handle is easy to grip and lasts a lifetime. Like other kitchen knives, this knife should not be put in a dishwasher or soaked in water.
This knife is accompanied by a ho wood saya (blade guard) with an ebony pin. This protects the knife's edge while in transport and storage.


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