Blacksmith: Kisuke Manaka 航空券
Production area: Sanmu-shi, Chiba/ Japan
Steel Type: Carbon Steel (Oxidisable)
Steel: Yasuki Shirogami #2, covered with soft iron
Sleeve: Hinoki and Buffalo Horn
Total length: 395 mm
Edge length: 245 mm
Handle length at tip: 259 mm
Blade height: 51 mm
Thickness: 2 mm
Handle length: 136 mm
Hand orientation: ambidextrous
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.
Since its creation in 1872, Manaka Hamono, a historical blacksmith, has been making Japanese swords. To satisfy the needs of the current era, kitchen knives and agricultural tools have been manufactured since the beginning of the fourth generation. Manaka Hamono has strived to preserve the ancient way of forging welding with quenching (Mizu) without using materials of convenience. Although it is said that it is barely possible to weld stainless steel with this technique, Kisuke Manaka is one of the few blacksmiths who has skills to do so.
Generally, welding different types of stainless steels is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Welding by the forge can be done under machine management system in a high-temperature oven, as its melting temperature is very high. In addition, the temperature range in which a blacksmith can operate is very limited.
Kisuke Manaka having traditional facilities, managed to hand weld the different types of stainless steels by doing research and development of certain metals, which is literally a miracle of skills. He makes all his knives and handles to measure, performing almost all the forging processes by hand until the sharpening finish.
We can feel that his heart and soul is governed in every knife he produces.