Contents

Japanese Kitchen Knives

Tsukiji Masamoto

Carbon Steel
Carbon steel knives offer the advantage of increased durability and sharpness at the expense of requiring more general maintenance. NA Sales carries Tsukiji Masamoto knives that are composed of the following varieties of steel.

SK Steels – An affordable option for those considering a high carbon knife. Overall these contain less carbon than white or blue steel. SK steels also contain a higher amount of impurities such as phosphorus and sulfur compared to white or blue steel, which reduce the overall toughness of the blade. In any case, SK steel knives are still high performance tools and can produce exceptional results.

White Steel (#3, #2, #1) – Much more pure than SK steels with a minimal amount of impurities and a higher carbon count. #3 has the least carbon content and is not as hard, but is more resilient to cracking and chipping. #1 has the most carbon and can hold the sharpest edge, at the expense of being more brittle.

Blue Steel (#2, #1) – Contains the same amount of carbon as its white counterparts, but has chromium and tungsten added in order to increase corrosion resistance and edge retention. However, this makes the blade more difficult to sharpen and will not take as sharp as an edge as a white steel.

Which is better, white or blue steel?
Simply put, there is no correct answer. For those looking for a premium Japanese knife on a budget, SK steel knives offer high performance at a more affordable price point. Those who really wish to indulge and are looking for the absolute pinnacle of Japanese knives should opt for a white or blue steel knife. Depending on user application, one may prefer the sharp white #1, while another prefers the lower maintenance blue #2.

However, these blades will lose their characteristic sharpness if the proper care is not exercised. The knives must be handled with care to avoid unnecessary damages and must be washed and dried to avoid rust and corrosion. Proper sharpening methods must be used to keep the blade at its highest potential.

Kataba – The single beveled knife
One of the most distinctive characteristics of Japanese knives are the single beveled edge (kataba). Unlike Western knives which have both sides of the knife beveled, Japanese knives often have a flat side and a beveled side. This allows for greater precision in slicing and allows for clean presentation where a Western knife would struggle.
Knife Shapes
Yanagiba – A long, slender knife with a pointed tip originating from the Kansai region of Japan. Primarily used for slicing sashimi. The length of the blade allows for the chef to make one smooth continuous slice.

Takohiki – Similar to the yanagiba, but does not have a pointed tip. Originates from the Kanto region of Japan.

Deba – A heavy-weight knife with an enlarged spine. Often used to behead fish without damaging the end product. Primarily used for cutting through small bones or tough sections of meats and vegetables. However, the deba is not designed to cut through thick sections of bones.

Usuba – A thin knife used primarily for delicate tasks on vegetables such as chopping, peeling, or julienning.

Mukimono – A peeling knife with a sharp pointed tip that is useful for detail work or creating intricate designs.

Gyuto – The closest equivalent to a Western chef’s knife, but is sharper and thinner. Unlike other Japanese knives, gyutos are also usually double beveled.

Honesuki – A boning knife with a unique shape designed to separate bone and meat. Unlike some other Western designs, the honesuki is rigid and will not bend.

Santoku – Literally translating to “three uses,” the santoku is a all purpose knife similar to the gyuto. Unlike the gyuto however, the santoku has a flatter edge and is generally shorter in length.

Knife Styles
Honyaki – These knives are forged from a single piece of steel under high temperatures and result in an extremely hard and sharp blade. Consequently, these knives are more difficult to sharpen and are more prone to chipping or cracking if handled improperly.

Kasumi – Unlike a Honyaki knife, carbon steel (hagane) and softer iron (jigane) are forged together to create a single blade. The soft iron becomes the body of the knife, while the steel becomes the edge. Kasumi knives are easier to sharpen and are not as delicate as Honyaki knives, but do not keep and hold as sharp an edge. These knives are generally easier to maintain and are more forgiving when handled improperly. Depending on the type of steel used, Tsukiji Masamoto knives are graded as either Namikasumi or Honkasumi.

Suminagashi – Carbon steel and softer iron are layered to create a distinctive Damascus pattern similar to the suminagashi paper marbling art technique.

Kyomen – Kyomen, which translates to “mirror finish,” refers to the additional polishing step some knives undergo. The knife is polished to a brilliant finish, which greatly enhances the visual appeal of knife work. Great for chefs who showcase their abilities in front of customers. Please note that to maintain the mirror finish, Kyomen knives should be polished with a Kyomen Shokunin polish to avoid scratching the surface.

Japanese Style Knives

Takohiki
Takohiki
  • K1040 Kyomen Honkasumi
    1 shaku / 30 cm / 113/4 in
    Steel: Blue 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1041 Kyomen Honkasumi
    1.1 shaku / 33 cm / 13 in
    Steel: Blue 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Usuba
Usuba
  • K1030 Honkasumi
    6 sun / 18 cm / 71/8”
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1118 Honkasumi
    7 sun / 21 cm / 81/4 in
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1119 Honkasumi
    8 sun / 24 cm / 91/2 in
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1118L  Left handed Namikasumi
    7 sun / 21 cm / 81/4 in
    Steel: White 3 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Deba
Deba
  • K1133 Namikasumi
    6 sun / 18 cm / 71/8 in
    Steel: White 3 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1031 Honkasumi
    4 sun / 12 cm / 43/4 in
    Steel: White 2 HRC: 63-64
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1123 Honkasumi
    5 sun / 15 cm / 57/8 in
    Steel: White 2 HRC: 63-64
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1129 Honkasumi
    6 sun / 18 cm / 71/8”
    Steel: White 2 HRC: 63-64
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1130 Honkasumi
    7 sun / 21 cm / 81/4 in
    Steel: White 2 HRC: 63-64
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1111 Left handed Honkasumi
    5 sun / 15 cm / 57/8 in
    Steel: White 2 HRC: 63-64
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Mukimono
Mukimono
  • K1036 Honkasumi
    6 sun / 18 cm / 71/8”
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Yanagiba
Yanagiba
  • K1131 Namikasumi
    8 sun / 24 cm / 91/2 in
    Steel: White 3 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1132 Namikasumi
    9 sun / 27 cm / 105/8 in
    Steel: White 3 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1034 Namikasumi
    1 shaku / 30 cm / 113/4 in
    Steel: White 3 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1131L Left handed Namikasumi
    8 sun / 24 cm / 91/2 in
    Steel: White 3 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1132L Left handed Namikasumi
    9 sun / 27 cm / 105/8 in
    Steel: White 3 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1111 Left handed Namikasumi
    1 shaku / 30 cm / 113/4 in
    Steel: White 3 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Yanagiba
  • K1125 Honkasumi
    8 sun / 24 cm / 91/2 in
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1126 Honkasumi
    9 sun / 27 cm / 105/8 in
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1127 Honkasumi
    1 shaku / 30 cm / 113/4 in
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1190 Honkasumi
    1.1 shaku / 33 cm / 13 in
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1112L Left handed Honkasumi
    7 sun / 21 cm / 81/4 in
    Steel: White 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Yanagiba
  • K1081 Kyomen Honkasumi
    9 sun / 27 cm / 105/8 in
    Steel: Blue 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1082 Kyomen Honkasumi
    1 shaku / 30 cm / 113/4 in
    Steel: Blue 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1083 Kyomen Honkasumi
    1.1 shaku / 33 cm / 13 in
    Steel: Blue 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Yanagiba, cont.
Yanagiba, cont.
  • K1122 Suminagashi Kyomen Honkasumi
    1 shaku / 30 cm / 113/4 in
    Steel: Blue 1 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ebony
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Yanagiba, cont.
  • K1186 Honyaki
    9 sun / 27 cm / 105/8 in
    Steel: White 2 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1187 Honyaki
    1 shaku / 30 cm / 113/4 in
    Steel: White 2 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
  • K1134 Honyaki
    1.1 shaku / 33 cm / 13 in
    Steel: White 2 HRC: 64-65
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Connector: Water buffalo horn
Santoku
Santoku
  • K1037
    6 sun / 18 cm / 71/8”
    Steel: SK HRC: 61
    Handle: Shitan rosewood
Wa-Gyuto
Wa-Gyuto
  • K1008
    8 sun / 24 cm / 91/2 in
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Double-bevel 50/50
  • K1120
    9 sun / 27 cm / 105/8 in
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Ho (Japanese magnolia)
    Double-bevel 50/50

Western Style Knives

Gyuto
Gyuto
  • K1009
    7 sun / 21 cm / 81/4 in
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Shitan rosewood
    Double-bevel 50/50
  • K1020
    8 sun / 24 cm / 91/2 in
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Shitan rosewood
    Double-bevel 50/50
  • K1021
    9 sun / 27 cm / 105/8 in
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Shitan rosewood
    Double-bevel 50/50
Pretty
Pretty
  • K1128
    5 sun / 15 cm / 57/8”
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Shitan rosewood
  • K1128L Left handed
    5 sun / 15 cm / 57/8”
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Shitan rosewood
  • K1128LS Left handed Stainless
    5 sun / 15 cm / 57/8”
    Steel: VG10 HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Shitan rosewood
Honesuki
Honesuki
  • K1064
    5 sun / 15 cm / 57/8”
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Shitan rosewood
  • K1064L Left handed
    5 sun / 15 cm / 57/8”
    Steel: SK HRC: 62-63
    Handle: Shitan rosewood

Accessories

Knife Care
  • Toishi Naoshi Whetstone repair stone

    K9010
    Toishi Naoshi
    Whetstone repair stone

  • Sabi Tori Rust remover

    K9018
    Sabi Tori
    Rust remover

  • Kyomen Shokunin Polish for mirror finish

    K1035
    Kyomen Shokunin
    Polish for mirror finish

  • Arato Toishi Whetstone #240

    K9022
    Arato Toishi
    Whetstone #240

  • Aka (Naka) Toishi Whetstone #1000

    K9020
    Aka (Naka) Toishi
    Whetstone #1000

  • Shiage Toishi Whetstone #5000

    K9023
    Shiage Toishi
    Whetstone #5000

  • Replacement covers (saya) and handles (mokue) also available.

    Replacement covers (saya)
    and handles (mokue) also
    available.

Tools
  • Hocho Black Bag
    K1149
    Hocho Black Bag
  • Meuchi regular
    K1010
    Meuchi regular
  • Stainless Morihashi
    RK6002S
    Stainless Morihashi
    15cm
    RK6004S
    Stainless Morihashi
    18cm
  • Same Kawa Oroshi
    K1025
    Same Kawa Oroshi S
    8 x 5cm
    K1022
    Same Kawa Oroshi M
    11 x 6.5cm
    K1023
    Same Kawa Oroshi L
    13 x 8.5cm
    K1024
    Same Kawa Oroshi XL
    22 x 10cm
Commentary

How to sharpen Your knives and Tools

BEFORE SHARPENING:
Soak the whetstone in the water before use.

Soak the whetstone in the water before use.
(about 5 minutes)
For safety sharpening of the blade, hold the stone in a wet cloth or otherwise secure as preferred.

SHAPE OF BLADES AND HOW TO SHARPEN THEM:
Double beveled blade

Maintain an angle to the stone while moving the blade over the stone.
After 3 or 4 strokes, flip blade and repeat process on other side.
Alternate equal strokes until sharp.

Single beveled blade

Rest the blade flat on the stone, then angle it to match the bevel. Move the blade across the stone.
After finished bevel side, lay the other side flat on the stone.
Move the blade in the ratio of 20 (bevel side) and 3 (after turned).

SHARPENING DOUBLE BEVELED BLADES:
SHARPENING DOUBLE BEVELED BLADES

Set the blade on stone with the length of the blade at an angle of 45°. to the length of stone, then, maintain an agle 10~20 ‘to the stone while moving the blade firmly and smoothly over the stone until you feel slight burring on other side of the blade.

SHARPENING DOUBLE BEVELED BLADES

When finished one side edge, then turn the blade and set on the stone and repeat the process alternatively.

SHARPENING DOUBLE BEVELED BLADES

When removing burr, set the blade flat on the stone and scrape blade edge lightly to the arrow direction.

AFTER SHARPENING:

After use the whetstone, rinse it and wipe off the residue. Store it protected from direct sunlight.
If a worn stone surface has become concave, it can be corrected using a dressing stone or water-proof sand paper.

ATTENTION:

When sharpening, handle blade carefully to avoid any injury. Do not remain stone soaked after used.

Daisuke Okamoto http://okainaimage.com