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Japanese Knives Blacksmiths, Sharpeners, Regions, and Resellers

Foreword

Each blacksmith below is unique and may not fit the mold of the region they are located from. Similarly, some blacksmiths will have individual lines with unique qualities. It is important to do some research into the blacksmith and the line/style of knife you are looking at before jumping to the conclusion it will be a “standard Sanjo” knife – for instance.

I have done my best to include next to Blacksmiths the names of their workshop if it is not clearly associated with them, or the pseudonym Hitohira sells them under.

Sakai Blacksmiths

Sakai knives have a reputation of being thin, having a lightweight design, and a thin spine with a nice distal taper. The fit and finish of Sakai knives tends to be better than other regions, and the knives tend to have light convex or flat grinds with cladding, often of the soft-iron variety. Additionally, most Sakai knives have their length measured from the edge of the machi/tang, which means a Sakai knife will often times be 10-15cm shorter than described or as measured by other regions.

  • Chongqing Kasahara
  • Eiichiro Honjo
  • Eimei Yamamoto
  • Enami Tadashi
  • Giichi Tanaka
  • Haruma
  • Hiroshi Ashi
  • Hirotsugu Tosa
  • Isao Nishimura
  • Itsuo Doi
  • Jyun Mizuno (Mizuno Tanrenjo)
  • Kenichi Shiraki [白木 健] (Shiraki Hamono)
  • Kenji Togashi
  • Kiyoshi Matsuo
  • Koichi Morimoto
  • Mamoru Morimoto
  • Mitsuo Yamazuka
  • Mizuno Akiharu (Mizuno Tanrenjo)
  • Mizuno Yasuyuki (Mizuno Tanrenjo)
  • Muko Yoneo
  • Naotake Yamazuka
  • Noriyuki Togashi
  • Okishiba Masakuni
  • Ryoichi Ikeda
  • Satoshi Nakagawa (Kikuchiyo) (Nakagawa Hamono)
  • Shinichiro Yamamoto
  • Shotaro Nomura
  • Tatsuo Ikeda
  • Tomoo Ishizaki
  • Tomoyuki Amioka
  • Yamatsuka Shougo
  • Yasuhiro Hirakawa
  • Yoshikazu Ikeda
  • Yoshikazu Tanaka (Tanaka Hamono)
  • Yukinori Oda

Echizen (Takefu Village) Blacksmiths

Echizen knives have a reputation for more flashy finishes, with little to no distal taper and commonly hollow grinds. The finishes offered are often unique methods of hammering resulting in interesting patterns above the shinogi line. It is much more common for Echizen knives to be clad in stainless-steel, though of course soft iron can still be found. Following the finish aesthetic, often the handles are often less traditional or classic in-style often times going for blingy color or uniqueness instead.

  • Hideo Kitaoka
  • Hideo Takamura (Takamura Hamono)
  • Hiroshi Kato (Kintaro)
  • Isamu Takamura (Takamura Hamono)
  • Katsushige Anryu
  • Katsuyasu Kamo
  • Katsuyasu Kamo
  • Kazuo Nomura
  • Kazuyoshi Honda
  • Makoto Kurosaki
  • Masanobu Okada
  • Masutani Kunio
  • Nao Yamamoto
  • Shigeki Tanaka
  • Shiro Kamo
  • Shungo Ogata
  • Takeshi Saji
  • Takumi Ikeda
  • Terakazu Takamura (Takamura Hamono)
  • Yoshihiro Yauji
  • Yoshimi Kato (Kintaro)
  • Yu Kurosaki

Sanjo Blacksmiths

Sanjo knives have a reputation for being more rustic, robust, and heavier. Additionally, these knives often feature an extreme distal taper, starting with the spine being very thick and finishing at the same width as a typical Sakai tip width. Many Sanjo knives are ground with a convexity to a much more dramatic degree than standard Sakai knives.

  • Izuka-san (Shigefusa)
  • Kawamura Hocho Seisakujo
  • Kazuomi Yamamoto (Yoshikane Hamono)
  • Kouiti Turumaki (Munetoshi)
  • Masashi Yamamoto
  • Mutsumi Hinoura
  • Naoki Mazaki
  • Osamu Takeishi (Heiji)
  • Shinichi Watanabe
  • Shuji Toyama
  • Tomoo Matsumura
  • Toshihiro Wakui
  • Tsukasa Hinoura

Tosa Blacksmiths

Tosa knives have a reputation similar to Sanjo knives but focused much more on being price efficient with simple grinds. The distal taper will not be as pronounced and the fit and finish will be lower than the other major regions.

  • Kosuke Muneishi
  • Kyohei Shindo
  • Makoto Tadokoro
  • Michikuni Tokaji
  • Suzuki-san (Tosaichi Hamono)
  • Tsutomu Kajiwara

Other Regional Blacksmiths

Goto Islands

  • Miyazaki Kajiya

Hirosaki

  • Tsuyoshi Yoshizawa [吉澤 剛] (Nigara Hamono)
  • Go Yoshizawa (Nigara Hamono)

Hiroshima

  • Shoichi Hashimoto

Hokuto

  • Kiyoshi Kato (Yoshiaki Fujiwara)

Kamamoto

  • Fukushima-san

Kami

  • Michio Ishikawa

Karatsu

  • Yoneo Mukou (Genkai Masakuni)
  • Toshiyuki Mukou (Genkai Masakuni)

Kashiwa

  • Yoshito Yamakawa

Kasukabe

  • Kisuke Manaka (Manaka Hamono)

Kochi

  • Takeo Murata

Kumamoto Prefecture

  • Yukihiro Sakai (Hinokuni)
  • Daisuke Nishida

Kyoto

  • Yoshisada Kyoyuki
  • Taichiro Yamaguchi

Matsuyama

  • Okimitu Shirataka

Miki

  • Miki Hamono (Takehiro)

Nagano

  • Jiro Nakagawa

Nagasaki

  • Tanaka Kama Kogyo
  • Junichi Ide
  • Katsuto Tanaka

Niigata

  • Atsushi Hosokawa (Gihei)
  • Bei-san (Kanji-Bei)
  • Chuichiro Sone (Tadafusa)

Niimi

  • Shosui Takeda

Saga Prefecture

  • Osamu Yoshida (Yoshida Hamono)

Seki

  • Yoshinori Seto
  • Kanehide Bessaku
  • Hiroo Itou

Tokyo

  • Teruyasu Fujiwara

Toyama

  • Nobuo Hanaki
  • Yame
  • Yasuaki Taira

Yatsushiro

  • Tsunehiro Moritaka (Moritaka Hamono)

Yusuhara

  • Ken Kageura

Sharpeners

  • Ashi Hamono (Gesshin Ginga)
  • Kei Kobayashi (Kobayshi Knives)
  • Makato Kurosaki
  • Mitsuaki Takada (Yohei) (Takada no Hamono)
  • Morihiro (Kambei)
  • Myojin Naohito
  • Yauchi Tsuyoshi (Kyuzo)

Sales House/Resellers/Mass Producers

  • Baba Hamono
    • Kagekiyo
  • Hatsukokoro
  • Hitohira
  • Jikko
  • Kanehide
  • Konosuke
  • MAC Knife
  • Masakane
  • Masazumi
  • Morihei Hisamoto
  • Naozumi
  • Sakai Kikumori
  • Sakai Takayuki
  • Seki Kanetsugu
  • Tagai
  • Tojiro
  • Tosa
  • Yoshihiro