Blacksmith and Rioter: Shoichi Hashimoto 造形刃物作家
Production area: Hiroshima/ Japan
Type of steel: Carbon steel (oxidizable)
Steel: Yasuki, Shirogami #2 and Aogami #2
Sleeve: Snakewood and double octagonal buffalo horn
Total length: 390 mm
Edge length: 241 mm
Handle length at tip: 255 mm
Blade height: 55 mm
Thickness: 3.9 mm
Handle length: 140 mm
Hand orientation: ambidextrous
Shoichi Hashimoto calls himself a “knife modeler” (造形刃物作家). You may be wondering what does it eat in winter a knife modeler? Once you’ve gone through some of his work, it suddenly makes sense: Shoichi is an artist, a sculptor and a cutler. Shoichi always designs his work from scratch, then makes all the necessary components, forges the damascus steel himself and even sharpens the knife: a 100% work of one man.
Born in Hiroshima City in 1982, Shoichi graduated in Design and Modeling from Hiroshima City University and went on to work as a research assistant in metal arts and design.
Under the guidance of his master Takanori Mikami, Shoichi actively made incredibly beautiful Damned Knives and has won numerous awards over the years.
You may be wondering why I never heard of Hashimoto. Interestingly, he’s a guy who still uses an old “Flip Flop” phone, takes orders by fax and communicates by e-mail. As a result, it is not present on social networks and is not very present online (contrary to the trend of social networks).
Shoichi is often at knife shows, including the Seki Knife Show, the Tokyo Knife Show, and even the New York Custom Knife Show. So next time, if you see Shoichi at a knife show, take a look at his work and say hello.
While its design is certainly breathtaking, its forging skills are also very high. Its signature blue/white 72-layer core is made by forging Aogami #2 and Shirogami steel together #2. As you may know, blue and white steel have different heat treatment temperature ranges and the overlap area is very narrow. Shoichi is able to heat perfectly process the core of 72 layers in this narrow region, resulting in a blue/white damascus hard steel that, in my opinion, “the Kireaji (切れ味, peak feel) is second to none”.
Some of Shoichi’s works cannot be described other than as “extravagants”. Being able to come up with such bold designs is one thing, running it with such a high level of detail and finish is simply stunning.
This work is probably a more beautiful piece that I received at the shop! It is simply stunning!