Home & Design

Nov 30, 2015

Tradition of fine cuts

Japanese blacksmiths have been known around the world for their craftsmanship while forging weapons for armies and specially Samurais. The Katana, the samurai sword of excellence, became the symbol of the expertise needed to craft the finest blades. Today this tradition lives on the japanese cooking knives.

<

Unlike the knives you find in today's retail stores, every Sakai knife is unique. The steel is forged by master blacksmiths which is then shaped and honed with great care to its specialized form. 

The close connection between Japanese food culture and knife making is responsible for the evolution of japanese blades throughout History. Japanese cooking requires great care and focus on details and the cutlery is  of great importance. It takes time and great care to achieve the high quality and standard of a handmade Japanese knife. Knowledge acquired over centuries is at risk of extinction and makers like Sakai are very proud and honored to contribute to the survival of this great tradition. 

The making

Traditional Japanese knife making includes several steps which all require great skills. The smith forging (hizukuri), when the metal is heated an hammered to its shape, the sharpening and honing (hazuke or togi), when the blade gets it sharp edge and finally the hafting (ezuke), when the blade is attached to a haft, or a handle, of magnolia wood.

Today's processes uses the same technique as the masters of old did. Sakai cutlery consists of layers of soft ferrite and hard steel, heated to 1300°C and hammered together. The most difficult aspect of the process is maintaining the heart at the exact temperature; too hot and the blade will chip easily, too cool and the steel and the ferrite will fail to bond properly.

The blade is heated, hammered and cooled in different steps and at different temperatures. Asymmetries are not accepted and the blade is meticulously treated with hammers of different size to make it no less than perfect. It takes long practice and great skill to make an excellent blade.

The blade is then sharpened and any remaining asymmetries removed by using increasingly finer whetstones, giving the edge its right angle and sharpness. The last step is to carefully hammer the blade into a haft of rot-resistant magnolia wood, marked with the manufacturers seal.

Main Products

THE HONYAKI

The Honyaki is the knife that legends and myths are made of. This series of knives is a treasured part of Japanese Cultural heritage. The Honyaki is not intended for the casual chef. This is an object of admiration that represents a long history of Japanese pride and craftsmanship. Encoded in the steel are centuries of experimentation, and a commitment to perfection. The Honyaki is forged from a single piece of steel, using the traditional method of differential hardening and tempering.  The Japanese have developed a method to insulate parts of the knife, so that the metal cools at different rates. There is no room for error, lest the blade be destroyed

There exists a belief that Japanese knives are very hard to sharpen; only in this case, is it true. The edge of the Honyaki is so hard, it will break, chip, or crack if dropped or abused. While the blade is delicate, it is also true that the harder the edge, the longer it maintains its sharpness. Thus, while the Honyaki requires skilled hands, it rewards the individual who treats its blade with respect. 

The Honyaki is an object of skill and accomplishment, beauty, quality, and history.

THE KASUMI 

Like the Honyaki, the Kasumi is part of the Japanese cultural heritage, and is a traditional single bevel knife. Here, form and function dictate beauty. During the forging process, the Kasumi is formed by cold welding (hammering) a softer steel onto the hardened, supporting, high carbon steel edge. This softer steel forms the body and spine of the knife. The Honyaki, is differentially hardened and tempered, whereas the Kasumi's edge is uniformly hardened and tempered. The Honyaki is made from a single type and piece of steel, whereas a Kasumi is made with two different types of steel. Sharpening the Kasumi is easier, because only the cutting edge is high carbon hardened steel. The "Mist" or "fog" refers to the soft sheen where the softer steel meets the highly polished cutting edge. 

More Articles

FeaturedArticles

  • LesMills01

    Helthcare & Wellness

    Jun 1, 2017

    ON THE MOVE OVER 49 YEARS

    Born in 1934, Leslie Roy "Les" Mills was a professional athlete that made a name for himself, having represented New Zealand on the Olympic Games on four occasions and on the British Empire's Commonwealth Games throughout 20 years,...

  • 42-160319-AFRIC-ESIA-070-credit-Deakin-University

    Science & Nature

    Aug 1, 2017

    CLEARDRUM SILK IMPLANT LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY

    Revolutionary techniques are reshaping the world in every area and every subject. When we look around, we see all sorts of proposals and gadgets to fulfil the needs we didn't know were needed.

  • IMG_6941

    Lifestyle & Travel

    Jul 1, 2017

    THE CAVE CITY

    One can almost say it is a "bipolar" city. It is "only" one of the most ancient places inhabited by Man in the world, having its origin even in pre-historic ages. And it's also one of the most preserved ones.


  • 295bda17-c5e4-458f-995f-62c4ac1da40e

    Food & Beverage

    Jul 1, 2017

    EAT INTELIGENTLY

    Foodpairing is a modern scientific method that has been used to figure out which flavours combine better with one another. This method is based on the principle that food combines better when they have certain common key components.

    ...

  • Depositphotos_8485784_xl-2015

    Food & Beverage

    Aug 1, 2017

    SEEDS WITHOUT COPYRIGHT

    The worlds impressive legislative path has come to the most trivial of products: food. Is the latest attempt made by Mankind to take over and control elements of nature.

  • 1986661-eye_1024

    Helthcare & Wellness

    Jul 1, 2017

    SOLUTIONS AT SIGHT

    One of the major causes of adult blindness in humans is the degeneration of photoreceptors in the retina. So far, there is no effective clinical treatment for these retinal disorders. But it seems this is about to change soon.

    ...


  • 1. Alibaba-New-Trade-Platform-in-Russia

    Business & Industry

    Nov 1, 2017

    New Trade Platform in Russia

    The service is already working on test phase and hopefully will be fully operational by the time you read this edition, we're referring to Tmall, a service whose existence dates back to 2010 but that so far had been limited to the...

  • Luxury & Fashion

    Sep 1, 2015

    The Shoe Must Go On

    Tradition at Ludwig Reiter is by no means an end in itself, but it seeks to transform and develop. The Viennese shoemaking tradition combines an uncompromising preservation towards high quality standards, finishing techniques and progressive...

  • 1

    Business & Industry

    May 1, 2015

    Dry babies are happy babies

    The awareness of the necessities of a child led to the consistent innovation and improvement in Dodot diapers, always looking towards the well-being of both children and parents. Today, Dodot products continue to be improved, as they...