SHOJIRO Craftsman Knives
Stainless steel is the standard material for household knives because of its reasonable price and resistance to rust. In response to this, “Seijiro Samurai Crafts” has been making knives by handing iron for six generations. With appropriate care, you can continue to use it for decades while maintaining a sharp sharpness, and it feels like you're “cutting” the food without having to use unnecessary power. If you take care of this knife, you will pass it on to your children, and with care, for generations.
Their studio has evolved from Edo sword smiths to the 6th generation
Shojiro's workshop is located near Narita Airport. Originally there was a workshop in Arakawa-ku, Tokyo, they moved in 1963 in search of a better environment for production away from large crowds as the constant banging to sharpen blades bothers neighbors in urban areas.
Shojiro's predecessor was a swordsmith of the Edo period, as do many fire craftsmen. Yoichiro's father, Shojiro, who inherited the technology, started making cutting knives and gradually developed into kitchen knives. Yoichiro studied under his father from 1968 and became the fifth generation since 1989.)
Overview and history of all-fired knives:
Shojiro has been designated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as a traditional craftsman for “Kuchichi”.
Shojiro's knives are made with a method called “Sohoku-zukuri”, which was used to make Japanese swords during the Edo period. There are only a few nation-wide of all-fire-made knives that show traces of manual work. The reason why craftsmen and workshops gathered mainly in Tokyo and Chiba originally was the rise of the samurai class during the Edo period and the demand for swords. In the Edo period, blade forgers were also making daily necessities such as knives and razor blades alongside the main business, but after the Abandonment of Swords Act in 1876, these craftsmen shifted their focus to more household and commercial knives.
Traditional fire-making process:
- Fire making, combining metal and folding it then heating and hammering: Fire making requires experience to learn every process, but this is the most difficult and most difficult task. By heating the steel and pounding it out, returning it to fire and repeating the same work, the steel is pounded out twice as long as its intended size. High-carbon steel and the higher-carbon cast-iron are then forged in alternating layers. The cast-iron is heated, quenched in water, and then broken into small pieces to help free it from slag. The steel is then forged into a single plate, and the pieces of cast-iron are piled on top, and the whole thing is forge welded into a single billet, which is called the age-kitae process. The billet is then elongated, cut, folded, and forge welded again. The steel can be folded transversely, (from front to back), or longitudinally, (from side to side). Often both folding directions are used to produce the desired grain pattern.
- Grinder: finishing to shape the blade
- Quenching: Carbon steel is put into a pine charcoal kettle that has been heated to about 780 degrees and turned red. The carbon gas discharged from pine charcoal increases the carbon content of steel and leads to a dense and strong blade. Japanese sword smithing has been used since ancient times, and the use of 100% pine charcoal in this process is a condition of traditional crafts.
- Tempering: Quickly removing the blade from the pine charcoal kettle and quench with oil stored in a bucket. Soaking in oil for 15 to 30 seconds stabilizes the carbon density and improves the sharpness. Quenching and tempering are the most important processes for strengthening the blade.
- Distortion removal
- Cutting the steel with a grinder
- Refine with a cloth buff and further polish with insect wax. The insects used cover their body surface with waxy substances to protect them from moisture. Polishing the blade using this high-grade material, the surface shines like a mirror and at the same time increases the water resistance, making it more resistant to rust.
- Pattern holder: The material is mostly bamboo, rattan or wood.
- Complete with a grinding wheel
- Finally it is either finished or a bamboo handle is attached. All the bamboo is picked locally and polished.
Shojiro, forges the strength of the blade itself by repeating the work of extending the steel that is originally thick and thinning it using the technique of combining two pieces of cutting blades. In the case of a flat knife such as a kitchen knife, adjust the position of the carbon steel with a shoe hammer to make an approximate shape, and fine-tune with a hammer. By continuing this work, the shape of the thick plate-like carbon steel turns into a sharp blade that cuts the object with a slight force while being thin. His knives are unique because they have a gentle bend in the handle to cutting to the shape of your hand. A truly exceptional knife which makes cooking enjoyable.
Custom-made products can be made freely according to the height and hand size of the ordering customer, and the meat knives that can be used with a curve will not be wasted. These special orders can take years to receive. Please come to our store and experience of these very special knives.