Mutsumi Hinoura is a fourth generation Echigo forge-smith and his family has over 100 years of history and experience in the knife making arts. Mutsumi Hinoura’s work is full of passion and he is regarded as one of most talented Japanese forge-smiths within his age group. He spent over a decade rigorously training under the highly acclaimed traditional forge-smith Tsukasa Hinoura, who is the third generation Hinoura family forge-smith.
We highly respect the craftsmanship and spirit of both Tsukasa and Mutsumi; both of them are committed to finding their own unique way to best express their skill and passion for knife making.
It was about six years ago that I first saw one of Mutsumi Hinoura’s handmade hammer-forged Kurouchi (“Black forged”) knives. I was impressed by the powerful appearance of his knives and I thought that they clearly reflected his personality and spirit. He takes particular care with the fine details of his knives and each of them has a nicely rounded finger choil, a finely polished blade edge and a beautiful authentic Kurouchi (“Black forged”) surface finish.
Today, some six years after I first encountered Mutsumi Hinoura’s impressive traditional hammer-forged knives, we are proud to introduce his work to our customers.
The concept behind the collaborative knives that we have produced with Mutsumi Hinoura was simple: We both wanted to to produce superbly sharp, highly practical and aesthetically attractive high-carbon steel knives that would satisfy the needs and desires of knife enthusiasts who love high-carbon steel knives.
We have noted that there is quite a large demand for carbon steel knives among knife enthusiasts and culinary professionals. In addition, many of them prefer to use knives featuring White Steel because this high purity Japanese steel not only provides remarkable cutting performance, but is also relatively easy to resharpen.
Consequently, we requested that Mutsumi Hinoura use White Steel No.1 for the core blade steel. It is sandwiched with outer layers of soft stainless steel and is decorated with a unique hammer-textured surface finish called Tsuchime in Japanese. The laminated construction means that only the high-carbon steel blade core is likely to discolor or rust, since the outer layers of soft stainless steel are corrosion-resistant and easy to maintain. The layers of soft stainless steel also improve the blade’s resistance to impact and bending forces. White Steel No.1 is made by further refining White Steel No.2 and adding more Carbon. The extra Carbon allows it to achieve a slightly higher HRc. than White Steel No.2. It can be sharpened to an exceedingly fine edge, has very good edge retention and is easy to re-sharpen.
We selected a comfortable ‘D-shaped’ charred Chestnut Wood Handle that beautifully compliments the Kurouchi blade to complete the knife. Charred chestnut wood handles have been used in Japan for centuries because they offer a secure grip even when your hands are wet.
These finely made traditional hammer-forged knives by Mutsumi Hinoura are our latest recommendation for carbon steel lovers. We are very happy that we can finally offer them to our customers!