210mm gyuto in shirogami #2 and iron cladding, unhandled. Height at heel 46mm, 142 grams.
From Sakai-City, Osaka, Yoshikazu Ikeda's shirogami knives sharpen with amazing ease to an extremely fine edge; holding it very nicely. The cladding is an iron and mild steel and is hand-forged with a thin edge which cuts incredibly smooth. Shirogami, or white steel, is a very fine grained carbon steel made from a very low contaminate iron. It's loved for its ease of sharpening and ability to take a very fine, razor sharp edge. For these reasons, shirogami knives are a favorite of sushi chefs; in which a very fine finish is essential. Not the easiest steel to forge and temper properly, shirogami done well is a testimony to a smith's skill.
Shirogami is a highly reactive carbon steel, as is iron cladding. It should be mentioned that extra care is required, as the knife is not stainless and should be dried immediately after use. It will develop a dark patina with usage, but any orange rust should be removed with a light abrasive.
Yoshikazu Ikeda is one of the finest smiths in Sakai. We hesitate to use superlatives like 'best' or 'finest', as they can easily become meaningless if overused. Ikeda-san has been making knives and swords for over 40 years since his early 20's. He is formally recognized as a dentoukougeishi; a traditional craftsman that is officially recognized by the Japanese government. He has since 2001 been the chairman of the association of dentoukougeishi. Ikeda-san's blades have an amazing, fine edge formation, edge retention and toughness. It's very difficult to achieve this combination of blade attributes, as even talented smiths have a hard time getting all three. He forges knives for a select few brands, represented as their top shelf knives, and so we are honored to be able to get them made to order for our shop.