- About Japanese knives:
- Traditional Japanese knives or Wabōcho (和 包 丁) are forged by hand using a high-carbon steel called hagane. Knife production in Japan is concentrated in the port city of Sakai in Osaka, the leading capital of samurai sword production since the 13th century. Hagane is a mild steel that was originally used to forge samurai swords because of its ability to hold an extremely sharp edge. During the Edo period, strict laws were introduced that regulated the production of swords, and later it was completely banned in the advent of the Meiji (1868), along with the disintegration of the samurai class. Unemployed, skilled swordsmen saw this as an opportunity to adapt their skills and move their production from swords to kitchen knives.
- The two classic forging methods that are being developed are Honyaki and Kasumi. Kasumi knives are made by forging hagane and jigane (soft iron), resulting in a soft body that is easier to maintain (and economical) for home use. Honyaki is forged only from pure high-carbon steel, using the same sword-making technique, thus making them the highest quality Japanese knives, but also requires frequent sharpening due to the hard blade.
- Over time, Japanese steel has proven that it does not change the taste of fish and meat like other steels.