Blacksmith: Nakagawa Blacksmith 中川打刃物
Production area: Sakai-Osaka/ Japan
Steel Type: Honyaki Carbon
Steel: Yasuki White (Shirogami) #3
Sleeve: Snakewood and double octagonal buffalo horn
Total length: 342 mm
Edge length: 200 mm
Handle length at tip: 214 mm
Blade height: 47 mm
Thickness: 3 mm
Handle length: 128 mm
Hand orientation: ambidextrous
Shiraki Knives in Sakai City was one of the best blacksmiths in Japan. Kenichi Shiraki was a famous blacksmith who can make number 1 water-soaked Honyaki (Shiroichi Mizu Honyaki) knives out of white steel. It is said that there are only about four blacksmiths who can make these knives in 2021. This skill is required.
Satoshi Nakagawa studied and made knives there for 16 years. He closed the Shiraki knives after Master Shiraki’s retirement and started the Nakagawa knives in April 2021. It can also make Shiroichi Mizu Honyaki knives, single and double bevel knives, and stainless steel and carbon steel knives. This fact means that he is one of the best blacksmiths in Japan. It inherited 600 years of history and tradition of making Sakai cutlery.
The Honyaki is an iconic knife, it represents the excellence of Japanese craftsmanship. This type of knife is simply the quintessence of Japanese blades.
A kitchen knife in Japan is normally shaped with a systematic combination of soft steel on the outside and a thin layer of hard steel in the center. This technique is commonly referred to as San Mai. More than 90% of knives are made this way. Honyaki represents less than 1% of the knives on the market today!
Unlike San Mai, Honyaki resembles the process of making a samurai blade; it is made from a single steel.
Obviously, we are talking here about excessively rare and expensive knives. Unfortunately, with the cost of steel constantly increasing, and the little room for manoeuvre that craftsmen have to make these works, prices are set accordingly.
To roughly explain the manufacturing process, the blacksmith must shape the blade from extremely hard carbon steel. This piece in itself is already very expensive. He must then proceed to soaking and, during this period, he can not make any mistakes, otherwise the blade breaks immediately and his work is to be completely redone. This combination of specific techniques is mastered only by the oldest and most talented blacksmiths in Japan. These blades, once completed, have incomparable cutting retention and internal stability! The most amazing thing is that the cutting edge is flexible enough to be able to sharpen it.
Beyond the physique and performance, these are the most elegant and aesthetic knives. Real functional collectibles! Performance level, nothing can be compared to honyaki. The sharp edge of these knives remains sharpened for an incomparable period of time. Comfort and precision are also great strengths for these knives.