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Unshu Yukimitsu Hamono Kataha Yanagiba 205mm Octagonal Hiba

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Product Description

Blade steel: YSS Aogami#2 | nantetsu
Bevel: Kataha single bevel
Blade construction: Kasumi
Handle: Aomori Hiba (Thujopsis)
Ferrule: Sui-gyu (Water Buffalo horn)
Blade length: 205mm (190mm chin to tip)
Blade width: 33mm
Blade spine: 3.5mm at neck
Handle length: 134mm
Handle thickness: 21x17mm
Weight in hand: 110g
Please note, this knife is a hand-forged item and there
may be 
minor variations in measurements and finish.

All Unshu Yukimitsu Hamono blades are beautifully finished and this 190mm (7.5") yanagiba is no exception. In this case the Aogami#2/yasuhagane blade is attached to a very pretty octagonal handle in hiba wood, a slow-growing conifer sourced from northernmost Honshu. Hiba is not a particularly rare timber but it is rare to see such a valuable wood used in Japanese knife handles. Supply of these handles is limited and this combination is not likely to be offered for long.

The history of this maker reaches back to the late Edo era. It started as a family concern producing edge tools in the mid 1830's in what was Izumo Province. Okuizumo where the Kusunoki family still lives is the true heartland of Japanese tatara culture. 

Footnote: The Tatara is the traditional furnace for producing tamahagane jewel steel from iron sand, which is plentiful in the Chugoku region of West Japan. This iron sand is of similar chemical composition to the iron sand found across the Japan Sea on the Korean Peninsula. Some historians posit that this technology, used in Japan's earliest steelmaking, was imported from there into ancient Iwami and Izumo Provinces. The word 'tatara' is derived from the name (title?) of a local noblewoman, Hime-tatara-isuzu-no-hime-no-mikoto, the consort to Japan's first emperor Jinmu. Deep history.

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