Brand: Hitohira (一片)
Blacksmith: Kikuchiyo 菊 千代
Production area: Sakai-Osaka/ Japan
Type of steel: Stainless steel
Steel: Yasuki Silver #3 (Ginsan), mild stainless steel coating
Handle: cherry wood and octognal ebene ferrule
Total length: 312 mm
Edge length: 158 mm
Handle length at tip: 176 mm
Blade height: 51 mm
Thickness: 2.4 mm
Handle length: 134 mm
Hand orientation: ambidextrous
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.