Iwami Okamitsu Yanagiba 210mm
Premium YSS Aogami#2 steel and nantetsu soft iron form the 21-centimetre (8¼ inch) blade of this master-forged yanagiba. The handle is robiki magnolia, a wax-finish handle feels great in the hand, a step up from more common raw hounoki and very grippy.
We know what you're thinking - the price is too good to be true. Single bevel Japanese knives usually can't be had for this kind of money. Relax. Iwami Okamitsu Hamono produces high quality hand-forged knives.
It's natural to be a little wary when prices are surprisingly low. The thing to note is that Iwami Okamitsu Hamono is set up differently to most other makers. There are some historical and regional factors - decades of intense local competition, low overheads - but the main reason for the keen prices is that unlike many Japanese bladesmiths the family has a diversified retail business in a high-traffic, easy-access location and is not dependent on knife sales for revenue. Hence their very reasonable prices.
To illustrate, over the course of a relaxed first thirty-minute chat with the principal one Wednesday afternoon we were interrupted four times for the cash register to be rung up. Seller envy! It actually took some convincing (two more visits to Shimane, in fact) for the company to allow us to promote their knives online. Frankly, they don't need to.
But we're glad they have. We are truly excited to introduce customers around the world to a family company that has faithfully served its local community for generations.
|Blade steel:||YSS Aogami#2 | nantetsu|
|Bevel:||Kataha single bevel|
|Blade construction:||Ni-mai awase|
|Left-handed available:||Yes, please see separate listing here|
|Handle:||Rōbiki Hounoki (waxed Magnolia)|
|Weight in hand:||117g|
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