Unshu Yukimitsu Hamono Bannou Kurouchi Maru 155mm
The bannou is the knife of ten thousand abilities, if you take the kanji characters literally. Call it a bannou or call it a santoku, it doesn't really matter - both names mean the knife is an all-rounder. In any case, this one's a bannou.
Aesthetically the Unshu Yukimitsu Hamono bannou does stand apart. It's the swoopy blade. Created by Mr Kusunoki senior around forty years ago it has been a consistent seller since. There are variations on the theme, a very handsome polished version with the same rounded ('maru') point can be seen here and a version with an angled ('kakudo') point can be seen here.
Generally this knife is a safe bet for users with small hands. Stereotypes aside, that means the handle, weight and length of this bannou are very comfortable for most female users. And yes, even today much of what happens in the Japanese family kitchen is within the sole purview of the woman of the house. It goes a long way to explaining the enduring popularity of this particular knife.
Sharpness plays its part too of course, and this is a quality bannou that's sharp out of the box. Not so relevant here, but the wonderful service Unshu Yukimitsu Hamono offers its customers is another reason owners love these knives. As an example, our friend Sadae has this very knife and she dutifully trots off to Tenmaya department store every April where Mr Kusunoki, visiting from the other side of Honshu, will sharpen her knife for free. For ever. That's how you keep your customers!
Purchase this knife secure in the knowledge that if you ever carry it with you to Shimane in west Japan, Kusunoki san will sharpen it for you for free. Fortunately professional sharpening isn't required, these knives are easy to sharpen with any domestic standard sharpening gear, as long as it's not motorized. For the optimum angle and longevity of the edge use a whetstone: keep the sharpened edge at 1.5mm or so and as shiny as you can make it, and everything will be fine.
Note that this is a fully hand-forged item, crafted by hand and eye. Individual knives may vary slightly in weight and dimensions, but not by any significant measure.
|Blade steel:||YSS Shirogami#1 | nantetsu|
|Bevel:||Ryōba double bevel|
|Left-handed available:||Handle and blade suit both hands|
|Weight in hand:||109g
|Please note, this knife is a hand-forged item and there
may be minor variations in measurements and finish.
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