Tanaka Kama Kogyo Bunka-bocho 170mm Shirogami #1
We'll admit it was tempting to label Tanaka san's smart bunka-bocho a 'damascus' knife, with all the mystery and romance that little marketing slip-of-the-tongue implies.
Trouble is, there are steel purists in Japan who don't really go along with the idea of a tasō-kō ('multi-layer') blade being labelled 'damascus' (we have the strong impression Tanaka san is one).
For one thing this fine bunka blade is forged from Yasugihagane - Shirogami#1 - and not subcontinental wootz. Then there's the fact nobody in the world actually knows how to forge a true damascus blade...
So it's a tasō-kō bunka, and that's OK. You get the beauty of 7-fold steel with those delicate flowing lines, you get the food release benefits, you get the wonderful cutting feel of one of Japan's most lauded cutlery steels. You get a tall-ish black-forged all-rounder of moderate length for everyday use, with easy sharpening and a long-life edge. In this case you also get a beautiful sandalwood handle, it looks the business and will last pretty much forever. All good, just don't mention the 'D' word.
Matsubara knives are characterized by a slender spine; this means they're comparatively light for their length and profile. Traditional lightness in combination with Tanaka Kama Kogyo's high-grade handles, quality steels and Japanese sharpness adds up to a lot of cutting pleasure in the kitchen.
|Blade steel:||YSS Shirogami#1 | nantetsu|
|Bevel:||Ryōba double bevel|
|Blade construction:||Tasō-kō multilayer|
|Ferrule:||Suigyu (water buffalo horn)|
|Handle thickness:||26mm x 19mm|
|Weight in hand:||135g
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