Oboro Honyaki Gyuto 240mm Taihei Quince/ Ebony Handle (#2)
Part No. DTA-011-FA240
Craftsmen are working on limited time and budget, especially making kitchen knife because of a tool that needs to be used, so they use only 70 - 80% of their ability for most of their work to matches users budget.
Oboro project was founded by 4 important elements of Sakai’s fine kitchen knife making which is a blacksmith, sharpener, handle maker and finisher. We gave them enough time and budget to see what is their maximum ability for kitchen knife making.
Because it takes a long time to produce, we able to make only a few knives on each season, also we will make knife differently for each batch.
1st batch 2019 winter is using Yasuki white #2, water quenched at winter season when water is enough cold to make the best knife, we made heel height 50mm+ which is higher than most of Kikuchiyo knives, special designed Hamon only for Oboro is polished and sharpened by the most talented Sakai’s kitchen knife sharpener Kambei, we used fine polished ebony and quince with double buffalo horn custom made by Taihei which made only for Oboro series, finished by Kakuyoshi. Only two available.
Almost 2 decades ago, at just 18 years of age, Kikuchiyo was invited to join Sakai’s master craftsman. Here he learned the skills of a blacksmith, gaining knowledge and honing techniques of fine forging and quenching.
The art of Japanese blacksmithing is a physical craft, the rough working environment of fire and iron takes a toll on the body and many of the masters' abilities begin to wane. Kikuchiyo has been lucky enough to start earlier in life, affording him the extended experience and quality of craftsmanship that makes a master, complimented with the physical abilities of his relative youth.
Whilst becoming a master, Kikuchiyo proactively experimented with new steels not generally used by Sakai’s blacksmith, steels such as stainless. His experience and skill have made his Ginsan (Silver 3) knives popular among Japanese cuisine chef’s, many stating “If you use Kikuchiyo’s Ginsan once, you will never replace it”.
Kikuchiyo is known for his fine Honyaki quenching, producing beautiful Hamon and accurate hardness, only achievable by experienced masters of heat treating steel. This work is renowned by many of Sakai’s sharpeners and finishers, some of the most experienced in identifying what makes a good kitchen knife.
As a teenager, Kikuchiyo’s path was unclear but he dreamt of success and becoming a great man. He continues to strive to become the best craftsman he can, modelling each of his knives on the image of his master’s forge.
When Kambei sharpens the kitchen knife, it gives extra value on steel, extends blacksmith’s individuality and gives great experience for users.
When he just get in Saka’s kitchen knife sharpening industry, it was only because of curiosity, but he became master of sharpener who represent Sakai’s kitchen knife sharpening.
Previously, basic Sakai’s kitchen knives sharpening’s main focus was just to make edge sharp, the beauty of shapes was not very important which is really important for a such as a custom knife. But Kambei brings that Sakai’s knife sharpenings to the next level, which makes users to happy for using also having it. Polishing choil and spine nicely but still keep an edge pretty thin and sharp with right Shinogi line for both of single and double bevel.
That is pretty challenging technique because forged steel are changing shape and each one has a different character, Kambei probably is one of the only people who are able to sharpen forged knife this level consistently in the world.
Working since the 1980s as a sharpener, teaching his own technique to many different area’s sharpeners who famous for kitchen knife making these days. Supported by many blacksmith and finisher.
Many people call him as “master” but he is still proving his skills and making a new technique, it gives a great experience to have a knife to many users today.
Many people have strict standards on the handles because it is almost only parts that touch to your skin. But also it is just a “parts” of the kitchen knife, so people do not pay enough attention for quality. However, Taihei who is 3 generation of handle maker shows a strong commitment to his handle making.
He still remembers when he was a kid, his grandfather was making handles by cutting wood and buffalo horn with the saws, these memories let him decide to carry the tradition from his father to the next generation, it was the year 1992.
Because of the handle is not the main part of the kitchen knives, the most of makers are trying to make it cost down by making the ferrule at a different place and shape the handle by machine, join two parts together. However, Taihei is still cutting each part of handles by hand from one piece of materials, he understands each woods and horns difference for each time. That understanding makes handle more durable than mass-making handles because he making handle differently depends on the part of materials which you can only understand the difference by your hand.
Beside making traditional Ho magnolia wood, he also challenging to work with much different wood which had different weight, fineness and character from all over the world. “If people have been using that wood for a long time, there is the reason that you don’t understand in 10 to 20 years,” he said. He still respects tradition but challenging to new materials focusing looks and functionality.
Blacksmith forge and quench the steels, sharpener sharpens it and handle maker makes a handle for it.
Sakai’s kitchen knives are made by 3 main elements working separately, and finisher is another element that bundles all these 3 elements to work perfectly for each other.
Design the rough sketch of the knife, put the knife into the handle and make a final sharpening on the stone, all these works are done by finisher which makes the quality of Sakai’s kitchen knife different depends on it.
When Kakuyoshi growing up, kitchen knife industry was not familiar for him, but he gots in the knife world for some reason. Beginning of his career, he saw the antiquated way of working people in the industry, the gap between seller and maker, also how craftsmen are used by makers or sellers.
While when he trains polishing under the sharpener, Kakuyoshi himself getting understand thinking and stance of craftsmen that how pure attitude for knife making and huge knowledge created long experiences they have, so he decided to make kitchen knife that able to exploit their ability.
The knives come from his idea and knowledge, these kitchen knives made “Sakai Kitchen Knife” world famous and bring knife making to next level, but he is still making a new knives that brings tradition to next generation with modern technic.
Brand: Oboro 朧
Smith: Kikuchiyo 菊千代
Producing Area: Sakai-Osaka/ Japan
Steel Type: Carbon Steel
Steel: Honyaki Yasuki White (Shirogami) #2
Handle: Taihei Quince/ Ebony & Double Buffalo Horn Ferrule Octagonal
Total Length: 392mm
Edge Length: 228mm
Handle to Tip Length: 244mm
Blade Height: 52mm
Handle Length: 148mm
Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
Sharpener: Kambei 勘兵衛
Handle Maker: Taihei 太平
Finisher: Kakuyoshi 角吉
Might available on our partners website:
Tosho Knife Arts (Toronto, Canada)
Ai & Om Knives (Vancouver, Canada)
Professional Tooling (Australia)
*Measurement and photos are from sample I picked up randomly, please understand that each item(s) has unique profile because of handmade.
*We are selling at the shop and website same time. If you puchase item(s) when sold in store, this might be out of stock.
*We might have this item(s) in stock, even if it says "Sold Out". Please feel free to contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or using contact form below.
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- For PRE-ORDER items, we will email you if the expected wait for your order is longer than one month.
- Colour and shape can differ between the photo and actual product due to the camera and lighting. Also, you may see a difference in colour due to the oil applied to protect from rust.
- Please note that some of the shown images are display products and can look different from the actual product.
- The products are handmade, therefore each one is unique in colour especially when it comes to wooden, horn and born parts, please let us know if you would like to purchase in a specific colour. Each product’s weight, pattern, and size can also differ slightly.
- If you are left-handed and have a special order for final edge, please let us know.
- Please do not use the knife in a twisting motion.
- Please use the correct knife when cutting bone, frozen or hard items.
- Please use a soft plastic or wooden cutting board to protect the blade’s edge.
- Please don't heat or cool rapidly as it may change the structure of the steel.
- Please don't hesitate to contact us for further enquiries.