On our recent business trip to Takefu City, Fukui Prefecture, which is a traditional knife making district that is famous for its “Echizen Uchi-Hamono” (“Hammer forged knives”), we found a workshop that was making an interesting and unusual type of Japanese traditional-style knives with fine craftsmanship. We had the pleasure of meeting with the owner, Master Shimada, whose long-established workshops specialize in the production of single bevel edged Japanese traditional-style forged knives.
Master Shimada was kind enough to show us around the factory operation and their products. He explained to us very clearly, that his basic knife making philosophy was to produce the most practical and functional knives possible, and that he tries to produce knives that have fine cutting performance, but are also easy to re-sharpen.
Accordingly, he believes that his selection of blade steel is one of the most important decisions that he makes during knife making. His preferred choice of steel is the highly popular Shirogami No.2 (“White Steel No.2”). This Japanese high carbon steel is very pure, and it is commonly chosen for making blades that require excellent edge sharpness and edge retention, that are also easy to sharpen. We agreed to use this steel for our new range of Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan Kurouchi Series of single bevel knives, which have a White Steel No.2 blade core that is forge welded with wrought iron.
This is our first chance to introduce traditional-style Kurouchi (Literally, “Black-forged”) Japanese knives to you, but to make our knives even more unique we also chose to use a Tsuchime (“Hammered pattern”) texture. We believe this range of competitively priced and unique looking Japanese traditional-style knives will be a popular addition to our JCK Original “Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan” brand.
At first glance, I was very impressed with the unique Kurouchi (“Black-forged”) finish of these blades and its beautiful color gradation. The Kurouchi finished section of the blade (See Top-half) also has a unique Tsuchime (“Hammered pattern”) texture. It contrasts beautifully with the cloudy grey colored Kasumi finished upper blade bevel and the shining silver of the polished cutting edge.
We offer you a choice of two different types of handle: A traditional ‘D-shaped’ handle in magnolia wood with a water buffalo horn ferrule or, alternatively, a ‘D-shaped’ handle in dark-red sandalwood with a black pakkawood ferrule that nicely complements the Kurouchi blade.
We recommend this economical range of Japanese traditional-style single bevel edged knives (Especially the Yanagiba and Deba.) to those customers who have never used this type of knife before, but would like to test how efficiently they will perform for them. They are a great choice for experienced users and professional chefs who would like something that has a unique and different appearance to the knives that are commonly sold.
Due to many requests, we have happy to announce the introduction of a number of double beveled edge fine Kurouchi knives, including Wa Petty, Wa Santoku, Nakiri, and Wa Gyuto.
Each Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan Kurouchi Series knife is individually made using traditional Japanese hand forging methods. The knives use the ancient Tan-Setsu method of laminating a bar of Nan-tetsu (Soft iron) to a smaller piece of Hagane (Core blade steel). The smith then uses a series of traditional hand hammering processes to shape the blade and to improve the microstructure of the steel, which results in improved edge sharpness and edge retention.
Kurouchi (“Black-forged”) blades are a true reflection of authentic Japanese tastes and historic Japanese forging traditions. Unlike the neat appearance of a polished blade, Kurouchi blades have the honest appearance and ‘soul’ of a traditionally forged knife.