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Yoshimitsu Kajiya / Nagasaki

Ide san, Yoshimitsu Kajiya
Ide san. The guy knows how to take a good promo image.

Aptitude, skill, creativity, enthusiasm. Youth! Or perhaps Ide san is one of the seeming immortals we sometimes encounter, whose appearance belies the wisdom and experience of their years. Ages weren't mentioned in our first conversation, but the knives we laid hands on almost glow with the deep experience of their creator. 

Yoshimitsu Kajiya was established by Ide san's grandfather in 1937, in the tight-knit blacksmith community on the Shimabara peninsula in Nagasaki prefecture. A forging hotspot, you might say. Focusing on cooking knives, Ide san also produces an impressive array of garden tools, camping tools and farming implements.

We mustn't finish without acknowledging the spark and creativity of Ide san's better half, Ide san. Mrs Ide's contributions to the business are everywhere, in product design and execution, in marketing, in being particularly nice to itinerant knife merchants roaming the country in search of great products. It's so satisfying to find more.