Unshu Yukimitsu Hamono Kataha Yanagiba 205mm Octagonal Hiba
|Blade steel:||YSS Aogami#2 | nantetsu|
|Bevel:||Kataha single bevel|
|Handle:||Aomori Hiba (Thujopsis)|
|Ferrule:||Sui-gyu (Water Buffalo horn)|
|Blade length:||205mm (190mm chin to tip)|
|Blade spine:||3.5mm at neck|
|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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