The Akitada Hon Kasumi Series is Mizuno Tanrenjo’s range of high-grade Shiro-ko #2 (White steel No.2) Hon Kasumi Japanese traditional-style knives. The word Kasumi means “haze” or “mist” and is a reference to the hazy appearance of the soft iron layer of these laminated knives. The word Hon means “true” or “real” and reflects the fact that these knives are made to a higher standard than Kasumi knives. When compared with the Kasumi knife-making process, the production of Hon Kasumi knives requires several extra steps be carried out during the forging, quenching, sharpening and finishing stages of production and requires a higher level of craftsmanship. Mizuno’s Akitada Hon Kasumi Series knives are completely hand sharpened, polished and finished by especially skilled artisans, which results in extra edge sharpness and a more refined level of finish.
Although they are commonly referred to as ‘Kasumi knives’, this name only really refers to the hazy appearance of their finish. The more technically correct name for this type of knife is either “Awase”, which both refer to the process of forge-welding the two different materials - Jigane(Edge steel) and Hagane (Soft iron backing) - together by hammer. Most Japanese traditional-style knives use this two-layer construction because it is less difficult than making Honyaki knives, which use what is commonly called a ‘one-piece construction’ (i.e. Solid Hagane). Laminated knives offer three distinct advantages when compared to Honyaki knives: i) They are cheaper to produce; ii) They are easier to sharpen, due to the softness of the soft iron; and iii) they are less fragile and therefore less likely to be damaged by the use of poor or improper technique. These assets make them particularly suitable for users who in the process of learning how to use traditional single-bevel knives.
Mizuno Tanrenjo Akitada Hon Kasumi knives are made with soft iron and Hitachi Shirogami #2 (White Steel No.2) which is heat-treated to HRc. 62-63. Shirogami #2 is a high carbon Japanese steel that is renowned for its purity and is easy to sharpen to a very fine edge that can also retain its sharpness for a long time. In fact, many professionals prefer it to other steels because of these desirable traits.
The Akitada Hon Kasumi Series are authentic Japanese traditional-style knives that are made by Japan’s historic and reliable Master forge-smiths, Mizuno Tanrenjo. We highly recommend these professional-grade knives to beginners, intermediate, or advanced users who have a passion for using Japanese traditional-style knives.