Blacksmith: Jiro Nakagawa 次郎
Production area: Nagano/ Japan
Type of steel: Carbon steel (Oxydable)
Steel: Yasuki White (Shirogami) #1, plated with soft iron
Channel: Taihei Tagayasan and octogean buffalo horn
Total length: 400 mm
Edge length: 242 mm
Handle length at tip: 257 mm
Blade height: 57 mm
Handle length: 144 mm
Hand orientation: ambidextrous
Date of manufacture: October 2021
*AVAILABLE ONLY IN STORE
Jiro-san is a blacksmith and knife maker from the Nagano region. He makes these knives from A to Z alone, which means that every part of the knife was handmade by Jiro-san from start to finish. For those who do not realize the extent of his work, the amount of blade that can be produced by a good quality Japanese industrial manufacturer can reach 10,000 per year. As long as he has a maximum capacity of twenty knives per month! For this reason, the number of knives on the market is limited.
He has been a blacksmith for 20 years, but no one has noticed how amazing his work is. When it was discovered by Hokuto Aizawa (President of Hitohira), it was surprising that no one has found it yet.
Each knife comes with handwritten paper, noting the serial number, profile, type of steel, type of handle, size and date of manufacture. There is also a serial number on the blade of all his knives, it is located on the tongue of the Japanese handle knife and at the back of the western handle knife. Each knife is sharpened by hand using an ancient Japanese Sabre polishing technique. You can see the detailed character of the soft steel on each knife. The unique design of its blades makes sharpening much easier and more efficient. All the blades are completed by Ushigumori, (Natural Stone of the Ohira Mine) this gives a hazy and contrasting rendering. ⠀
Most knives with the Warikomi forge type contain only 50-70% hard steel inside. However Jiro puts 90% using his own technique. Even if there is hard steel on the inside, the hardness of the steel is sometimes different between the outside and the inside of the layers because many blacksmiths do not have the dexterity and skills to achieve a uniform temper. The result is not visible in appearance but well after several years of use. The majority of knives end up dulling very quickly over the years especially if you don’t master the art of waterstone sharpening. It’s quite the opposite with Jiro’s blades, when you go to sharpen your knife it improved over time. This is the primary characteristic that makes the difference between a good knife and an exceptional knife! Please do not judge a knife because of its appearance, seek the advice of a professional!
If you are one of the lucky ones who will enjoy these expensive feel free to take a picture and identify Jiro on instragram (@jiro2310). He is very friendly and available to receive your feedback.
Enjoy your Jiro knife!
Only two materials, steel and ferrite, are used in the traditional Japanese manufacturing method called Warikomi. The specific steel and ferrite used are selected according to the purpose of each individual blade.
The ferrite is divided and then heated and inserted into the steel blade. The Blacksmith refines and forms the construction of the San Mai with the Ferrite. Thanks to additional refining, the materials will be solidly assembled.
In order to unify the irregularity formed in the particles during the stages and create a functional shape, The blacksmith heats the blade until it reaches 760-800 degrees. Then the blade is cooled slowly in a “Warabai” for a day.
According to the blacksmith, he employs one of the two methods of tempering Mizu (Water) Abura (Oil). After heating the knife to an optimal temperature of 790 to 830 degrees Celsius, it quickly places the knife in water or oil to cool it quickly. This allows the steel particles to tighten and creates an extremely hard structure. The process of maintaining temperature during the soaking of a red-heated knife requires years of experimentation and dexterity. Water soaking is the most difficult to achieve, it requires additional expertise and makes the knife even more efficient. The dip can fail if the timing is not run to the nearest second, which means that the process is a serious feat to accomplish.