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January 19, 2017
Custom Knife Maker Mr. Itou
One day in March, 2014, we had a chance to visit Mr. Itou’s custom knife workshop in Fukui City. As you know, Mr. Itou custom knives are one of our hottest and most demanded knives and many users are enjoying Mr. Itou’s unique and great cutting performance.
At this opportunity, we would like to introduce more about Mr. Itou and how his fine custom knives are made. We hope you will enjoy the Mr. Itou’s special knife world.
Mr. Itou is now 72 years old and is still aggressively making custom knives with his long experiences and skills,
He is not the son of the knife maker’s family nor has been working at other knife maker, but how could he become such a great custom knife maker? This was my first question!
Mr. Itou has been an avid hunter from young age, and has been always seeking for the best practical knives for his hunting. He owned and used many kinds of the knives, but any existing hunting knives could not satisfy his needs for the hunting.
About 30 years ago or so, Mr. Itou decided to make his own knife by himself. Fortunately his living place is very close to Japan’s famous knife making district “Takefu City” for Echizen Traditional Hammer Forging knives. He then started to learn the knife making from the Takefu’s best forge-smith. At that time, Mr. Itou was working as a High School Teacher with a limited time for knife making. However he spent all of spare time (nighttime and weekend) for learning the knife making. Since his young age, Mr. Itou loved any kinds of hand crafting things. Before he started knife making, he already had a professional skill for the custom wood working. His learning speed and talent for knife making were amazing! He was immersed in the knife making to forget time. He really loves the knife making and he has spent all his salary for purchasing the knife making equipment and materials…
Mammoth Molar Tooth Ivory
Mammoth Tusk Ivory Stag
As his knife making technique is incredibly improved, it is getting more fun for him to make knives. After retired the school teacher, he became a full time knife-maker and worked from early morning to a midnight . Mr. Itou really loves the knife making, and is still keeping his passion at his age as one of the leading custom knife makers in Japan.
Forging Process Sharpening Process
Handle Making Process
Mr. Itou’s main policy is the knife should have best cutting performance, and at the same time, the knife should be very practical (not only for looking) with good strength and ease of maintenance.
After a lot of trial and error and researches, Mr. Itou came across with the special Powdered High Speed Tool Steel “R-2” and he has found great potential with R-2 steel which meets for his strong policy about the knife.
Since Mr. Itou has mastered to get the best cutting result of the R-2 steel by forging process, he never try to use other steel to make his knives, even though the R-2 is a difficult steel to work with. From this information, we totally understand Mr. Itou’s strong policy about the knife came true with the R-2 steel and Mr. Itou has very much confidence with the R-2 steel and his knife.
It has passed over 10 years, since we started to introduce and sell Mr. Itou R-2 Custom Damascus kitchen knives. There are now many users of Mr. Itou Custom Knives and we received so many positive responses and very happy messages from them.
I realized this result came from of course Mr. Itou’s fine works and great effort with his spirit and love of the knife making. He always seeks new handle material for making unique and unexsiting knives which no one try to make or no one can not have the idea. Also he has strong policy (he would like to make best cutting performance of practical knives). We certainly believe his challenging spirit and love of the knife making have achieved today’s Mr. Itou fine custom knives and the success.
Mr. Itou is 72 years old experienced custom knife maker. But his legendary knife making and challenging sprit will continue to create another unique, beautiful and great practical custom knives for future and for you.
In closing this time of story, Mr. Itou has special message to users of his knives. He would like you to enjoy his knives for long time in your life with your favor. With proper care, it should be serving you for a long time as your best cooking companion, but if any damages or inconveniences happened, he is ready to repair it at his minimum cost. We work with Mr. Itou together for you.
We thank you very much for Mr. Itou. It was a great day to be able to see all about our special custom craftsman.
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