Brand: Hitohira ひ片 ‘ひ’
Blacksmith: Kikuchiyo 菊代
Production area: Sakai-Osaka / Japan
Size: 240 mm
Type of steel: carbon steel (Oxydable)
Steel: Yasuki White (Shirogami) – 2
Handle: octagonal laque
Total length: 390 mm
Length of edge: 226 mm
Length of handle at tip: 243 mm
Blade height: 46 mm
Thick: 2.6 mm
Length of handle: 146 mm
Hand orientation: ambidextrous
Come with Saya specially designed for this knife.
In the early 2000s, Kikuchiyo was invited by Sakai’s master craftsman to join them as a blacksmith. The art of forging is physical, the harsh work environment of fire and iron weighs heavily on the body and many of the masters’ abilities begin to fade in their forties and fifties. As Kikuchiyo began earlier in life, he acquired most of the knowledge and skills of fine forging and tempering, before his physical abilities deteriorated.
Kikuchiyo has proactively experimented with new steels that are not usually used by the Sakai blacksmith, steels like stainless steel. His experience and skills have made his Ginsan knives (Silver 3) popular among Japanese chefs, with many saying, “If you use Kikuchiyo’s Ginsan once, you’ll never replace him.” Kikuchiyo is also known for its fine Honyaki dip, its beautiful Hamon and hardness only achievable by experienced masters who reach the right temperature. His Honyaki is supported by many Sakai sharpeners and finishers, professionals who know what makes a good kitchen knife. When Kikuchiyo became a blacksmith, he dreamed of succeeding and becoming a great man. He continues to develop his skills as a craftsman, modeling each of his knives on the image of his master’s forge.
Kambei is more than a master grinder, his work extends the individuality of a blacksmith and increases its value and performance, offering a great experience to the user.
In the past, the main purpose of the seed was simply to make a clean edge. Beauty and geometry were not as important as they are today. Kambei has taken sharpening to the next level, encompassing shape and sharpness, polishing the choil and spine while maintaining a fine edge and a precise Shinogi line for single and double bevel knives. This is a difficult technique because forged steels have many shapes and characteristics, Kambei is probably one of the only sharpeners in the world capable of systematically sharpening forged knives according to this standard.
Kambei is respected and supported by many blacksmiths and cutlers in Japan. Although he has been working since the 1980s, he teaches his own techniques to many famous grinders. He is considered by many as a master, he always has the feeling of proving his skills and creating new techniques, each knife is a new challenge to which he devotes himself.