Let's make a kitchen knife in Japan
Not Our Last Trip - So much fun!
We were invited and hosted by Kikuichi to make a knife from start to finish with their master craftsmen in their workshops around Osaka, Japan. We jumped at the chance and are delighted to share the stories and knowhow with you.
Kikuichi started in 1267 and is family owned today. They transitioned from making swords for the emperor to now making amazing kitchen knives by hand (without automation) for cooks around the world. The majority of their knives start in the foundry you see above.
Each is heated, hammered, cut, formed, tumbled and more before it's ready to head to the sharpening shop.
There was so much joy in the forge. We found ourselves wanting to stay. Mr. Enami was knowledgeable, kind, full of joy and we were having a great time.
We learned a great deal in a short amount of time from Mr. Enami and Mr. Ohye.
While knives are being forged their handles are being crafted in a different shop down the street. It's also been run by the same family for multiple generations.
Before assembly, the blades get transferred to the sharpening shop in a different part of town. Mr. Ajioka has been sharpening his craft for 55 years and was recently selected for a prestigious award from the emperor in recognition of his craft, the first of its kind for a knife sharpener. We learned from the very best of the best.
Mr. Ajioka and his team of apprentices.
The knives need handles. They get matched and crafted in this shop.
Final Assembly + Etching
Kikuichi hosted us at their offices and store near Nara Park on our final day. We put the final sharp edges on the knives, etched them and installed a few more handles too.
Not only is the knife making process more vivid now, we also understand how special these tools are and why they're both in demand and hard to keep in stock around the world.
We'll keep doing our best to make these amazing knives available to you. Our suggestion is to get your knives on order or if you find one you like don't hesitate to purchase it. Thanks for joining us on the journey! We're looking forward to what's around the next bend.