Takahashi Kajiya Fruit Knife with 'mingei' hand-carved handle 110mm
Takahashi Kajiya is located in Izumo, an area in modern-day Shimane Prefecture long associated with steel production in Japan. Behind the Takahashi family home are the remnants of a forge that dates back to the Muromachi period, sometime around the fifteenth century.
Mr Takahashi values the old ways and he crafts his knives accordingly, hammering them out entirely by hand on his anvil. All his knives are distinctive but the fruit knife is one of his more idiosyncratic knives, perfect for cutting fruit at the table.
Japanese rarely eat fruit as it comes - most likely it will be carefully peeled, pitted, cut into attractive pieces and served with helpful little toothpicks. Seems like a lot of work. Unless you have the right knife for it, of course.
Blade construction is warikomi, similar to a Japanese sword but here locally sourced Yasuhagane steel is the bread in a very thin shirogami#2 steel sandwich. Sharpening is straightforward, lie it flat on the whetstone and go. You'll want to do that because Takahashi san's blade work doesn't extend to final sharpening.
Note that the carbon steel is not rust resistant so normal wiping and drying rules for Japanese knives apply here also. On the copper ferrule, it will retain its original character and won't turn green, if that thought has crossed your mind.
As a hand-worked knife individual examples will vary in finish and very slightly in size. This handle is supremely comfortable! One knowledgeable purchaser suggested we describe it as "a functional hand-made knife without any fit and finish but with a great archaic character." So we have.
|Blade steel:||YSS Shirogami #2 | nantetsu|
|Bevel:||Ryōba double bevel|
|Left-handed available:||Handle and blade suit both hands|
|Weight in hand:||60g
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