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Hitohira Tanaka Mosuke Aogami #1 Yanagiba 270mm Ho


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Brand: Hitohira ひとひら (一片)
Blacksmith: Tanaka 田中打刃物製作所
Production area: Sakai-Osaka/ Japan
Profile: Yanagiba
Size: 270mm
Type of steel: Carbon steel (oxidizable)
Steel: Yasuki Blue (Aogami) #1, Soft Iron Clad
Handle: Ho wood and octognal buffalo horn ferrule
Total length: 413 mm
Edge length: 262 mm
Handle length at tip: 274 mm
Blade height: 33 mm
Thickness: 3.7 mm
Handle length: 140 mm
Weight: 173g
Hand orientation: right-handed
Emouleur: Mosuke


Considered one of the best blacksmiths in the region, Yoshikazu Tanaka has been a blacksmith for more than half a century. He now works with his son and an apprentice. He is a traditionalist, but he is always looking to improve his process and his skills. He uses the traditional method of soaking with pine charcoal and then uses straw ash. It’s a very old way of making knives. He does not use a thermometer for soaking, he manually calculates the temperature of the steel by examining its color. Tanaka-san is always looking to improve. It uses a temperature-controlled oven for soaking, which only a few blacksmiths in the area use. He and his team only forge 30 knives a day between the three of them. For reference, some blacksmiths forge up to 100 blades in a single day. The reason he forged only thirty of them is that he takes his time, forging carefully at very low temperatures. At low temperatures, steel does not stretch as fast, but it will retain much better steel granulometry. Stretching the granulometry will make the steel britter, which it strives to avoid. It frequently moves the steel inside and outside the oven to check the color, and then when the whole blade is of a specific shade of color, it soaks the steel in water. The water temple (Mizu) is the most difficult to achieve and requires a very careful handling.