Kuwahara Kaji Kobo・Nagasaki Gunkanjima Petty Knife 135mm
Kuwahara san's kurouchi bannou-bocho is forged, shaped and sharpened in meditative fashion by the man himself, quenched in the natural mineral-laden well water of Kayaki-cho.
The carbon steel hagane core extends some 70% of the blade width. Plenty of room to whittle it back with sharpening over the next couple of decades and retain a keen edge. The beautifully rendered kurouchi finish is complemented by the rosewood handle - one of the most comfortable you'll find.
This patented handle is worth highlighting. These are unique to Kuwahara san's knives, constructed of three woods - polished rosewood outer, hounoki (magnolia) core and eco-friendly wood-ply ferrule. Kuwahara san is ahead of his time - water buffalo horn ferrules are to be phased out in coming years.
It's not just about the materials - it's about an attention to detail, method and tradition that delivers a kitchen knife of uncommon sharpness, user-focused form and forget-about-it edge retention; one that's comfortable in hand and a joy to use.
Let's unpack the product name. The township of Kayaki-cho has a long association with the nearby island of Hashima, also widely known as Gunkanjima. They shared the local stage in Japan's 19th century industrial development and knife makers in the area long utilized the high-grade coking coal extracted from Mitsubishi's undersea Hashima mine. It's an appropriate marketing association, hence 'Nagasaki Gunkanjima Petty'.
One more point of historical interest - the ㊉ mark on Kuwahara san's blades is the crest of the powerful Shimazu clan, feudal lords of the lands of Satsuma. Satsuma officials granted Kuwahara san's grandfather use of the crest on his blades, allowing it to be used in perpetuity as a mark of trust and excellence.
|Blade steel:||Yasugihagane | nantetsu|
|Bevel:||Ryōba double bevel|
|Blade construction:||Sanmai tri-layer|
|Left-handed available:||Handle and blade suit both hands|
|Handle:||Octagonal shitan (sandalwood)|
|Weight in hand:||79g|
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