MADE IN JAPAN kitchen knives are attracting worldwide attention. The sharpness by the artisan techniques polished over the ages attracts the world's famous chefs. What is the difference between Japanese knives and ones born in Europe? Here, we explain the characteristics of Japanese knives.
Japanese sword technology
The number of people who love Japanese knives is increasing all over the world. Its sharpness can be compared to the one of Japanese sword called “Katana”. In fact, Japanese knives are made by making the best use of Katana manufacturing technology.
The sharpness of Katana is also said "the best in the world". The reason why Katana cuts so well is that it is a weapon that specializes in "cutting" rather than "piercing". The Japanese people’s physical structure was not suitable for wielding a heavy and strong sword. In order to defeat the opponent with a single blow, sharpness had come to be critical. This technology was utilized and developed into a Japanese kitchen knife.
Differences between Japanese and Western knives
There are two main methods for manufacturing kitchen knives. Casting and forging. Western knives are made by a casting method in which a melted metal material is poured into a mold. On the other hand, Japanese kitchen knives use forging technology that heats steel and soft iron to a high temperature in a kettle and hits them with a hammer to finish the shape. The former can be mass-produced, but the latter has to go through many manual steps. The blades, carefully finished one by one by craftsmen, boast unparalleled beauty and sharpness.
The big difference between Japanese knives and Western knives is that Western knives are double-edged, while Japanese knives are single-edged. While it is difficult to cut a single-edged blade straight, the cross section of the material can be beautifully finished. It is indispensable for making delicate and gorgeous dishes like Japanese food.
The most widely used kitchen knives in the world are made of stainless steel, which has the advantage of being durable, rust resistant, and easy to handle. In the case of Japanese knives, the traditional manufacturing method is basically to make a combination of steel and iron. It is more difficult to handle than stainless steel knives, but the combination of the two metals makes the knives supple and sharp.
Another characteristic of Japanese knives is that there are a wide variety of knives to suit different purposes. "Beef sword knife" is used to cut meat, "Vegetable cutting knife" is suitable for vegetables, "Deba knife" is used for fish, "Sashimi knife" has an elongated shape and is suitable for cutting sashimi at once, etc. In addition, it is surprising that there are ones for eel, soba, pike conger, sushi, and blowfish. It is said that top-class Japanese cooks have dozens of kitchen knives.
Japanese knives are lifelong
Japanese knives need to be cared for like a sword to maintain their sharpness. It takes time, but if you maintain it carefully, you can continue to use it for the rest of your life. The Japanese have lived with great care for things since ancient times. That sustainable idea is also reflected in a single kitchen knife.
In order to leave the beautiful earth to the next generation, it is important to "use good things to patronize long". In that sense, Japanese knives can fit into the present era.
Japanese knives have excellent sharpness because they are made by a method that follows the tradition of Japanese Katana swords. It looks beautiful and is highly evaluated as a work of art. It is also attractive that you can use it for a long time if you choose a high quality one and take good care of it. Why don't you take this opportunity to find a "lifelong" kitchen knife?