| UP!! April 8th Just Arrived !!
Master Nagao Masterpiece of Honyaki White Steel #2 Gyuto and Sujihiki
Master Futoshi Nagao, the owner of Hiromoto company has now turned to 75
He is one of famous and great experienced craftsmen in Seki City Japan.
Our office is very
close to Hiromoto company, therefore, I often have a chance to see his knife
making processes and listen to his knife making history and policy. It is always exciting for me to learn many
things from experienced craftsmen. In fact, Master Nagao is one of our favorite
and respected craftsmen. Many of our customers are fans of his knives,
especially Hiromoto Aogami Super Series knives that are popular
Carbon steel knives among serious users and professionals.
regret that he does not have a son or an apprentice who continues Hiromoto
company’s business. 75 years old of experienced Craftsman Master Nagao is
starting to reduce his working recently and he has already discontinued some
models because of his old age.
However, Master Nagao is very passionate craftsman yet who is very aggressive
for challenging the new methods to seek and achieve something better. For example, he has been still learning and
trying his best to create the Superb Honyaki knives with White Steel #2.. By reducing his main jobs, he said he can now
spend more times and concentrate to make what he has been dreaming. We totally
understand he is a true craftsman who loves knife making, and believe his fine
works remain forever.
Master Nagao continues
making popular Carbon steel knives “Hiromoto Aogami Super Series” and beautiful
Damascus knives “Tenmi Jyuraku Damascus Series” until he will be
completely retired (until he can continue making knives and keep his good
health for knife making). We really wish
his good health and good life, and more of our customers enjoy the outstanding
performance of Hiromoto knives.
day in the year 2013, when I visited Hiromoto Company, Mr. Nagao was
concentrating to producing Honyaki Gyuto. At that time, it seems he was feeling
very well because he finally found the best method for the Honyaki making
process after a lot of trial&error. (he has been trying Honyaki Gyuto for
over 30 years now). I totally respect his passion and effort for making knives
and I also realized how deep and how difficult the knife making is, even over
50 years of experience craftsman still struggles, trying to find something.
Now in April 2014, we have just received a great news from
Master Nagao that his masterpieces of
Honyaki White Steel #2 kitchen knives are finally coming up. This is the moment
we have been waiting for long, so I hastened to visit his workshop to see them.
Master Nagao explains the Honyaki is the Japan’s original kitchen knife from long time ago, producing in same methods of Japanese sword (Katana) making. As you know, Japanese swords are made in unique and traditional methods, that creates an amazing cutting performance as well as a beauty of its appearance. Master Nagao believes the ancient Japanese craftsmen and forge-smiths had to find out their own ways and ideas to make better swords and edged tools, as it was difficult to get any knowledge from the abroad due to the isolated small island. The result was the something special and unique in their characteristics and performances that are different from European and Western
Knives. Honyaki knife is a good example of the Japan’s original produced with
traditional and unique methods.
Honyaki knife is made of a solid one-piece steel material. For quenching
Master Nagao sticks to the water quenching to maximize the steel’s
characteristics and remarkable cutting performance. He believes the Water
Quenching is the best way to stabilize the precise chemical organization of the
steel for durability with sharper edge and longer edge retention. However, it
is a very difficult process that requires special technique and skill. Even
with his long experience and skilled Master Craftsman, he says he sometimes
fails, if not concentrated with his all nerves. He showed me some of the failed
Honyaki blades with cracking..
Master Nagao has been searching the best result of the Water Quenching
with lots of struggling and trial&errors, and finally found the importance
of a proper temperature of the water and subtle amount of clay put on the
blade to adjust the hardness of each part of the blade. He also studied
and obtained the best quality clay to be used for Honyaki Water Quenching.
This clay process is called “Tsuchi-Oki” as seen on the Japanese sword
making, and features beautiful “Hamon” patterns near edge. I realized how
important every detailed Honyaki process is and admire his pursuit mind
to create the finest Honyaki blades.
Master Nagao has a long time experience with Hitachi White Steel #2 (Shiro-Ko
#2) and he believes it is one of the most practical Carbon Steel material.
It is a pure Carbon steel material that makes remarkable cutting performance
and ease of re-sharpening. Many years ago, Master Nagao had special order
request from Japan’s oldest hotel “Teikoku Hotel’ (Imperial Hotel in Tokyo).
Mr. Murakami, a head chef of the hotel asked him to make best Honyaki Gyuto
knives using Hitachi White Steel #2. This was a start of the struggling and
hard work for Master Nagao to study Honyaki process. After a lot of
trials&errors and many years of practicing and researching, Master Nagao has
finally came up with his original Honyaki White Steel #2 Gyuto that made Mr.
Murakami happy and satisfaction.
Many people are still not familiar with
Honyaki blades because of its high price range or some people hesitate to own
and use Honyaki which is often told to be more difficult to re-sharpen or using
for its high hardness. However, Master Nagao says good Honyaki knives are the
most practical Carbon steel knives with easier re-sharpening than you think,
and will serve you years of outstanding cutting performance and durability with
Long experienced and great craftsman, Master Nagao has been working hard
to turn out fine line of his original Japanese Hocho (kitchen knives) for
decades. He says this Honyaki line is his culmination products from his
long careers, and is preparing to retire sooner or later for his age. I
know the Honyaki knives were one of the goals he wanted to achieve, but
do hope it will not be his final masterpiece.
We are proud to introduce Master Nagao and Japan’s Original Kitchen knives “Honyaki White Steel #2 Gyuto and Sujihiki”. Now Available!