Yoshikazu Ikeda 240mm gyuto. Oil quenched honyaki shirogami #3 steel blade. Octagonal ebony wood handle with bone spacer and buffalo horn ferrule. 237 grams, 230mm tip to heel, 243mm tip to machi, 49mm wide at heel, tapering from 3mm thick spine at heel, 385mm overall.
Yoshikazu Ikeda’s honyaki (true forged) blades are a single piece of shirogami (white steel), heat treated with a proprietary clay blend along the spine and tang, which make for a harder edge and tough softer body. Ikeda-san’s oil honyaki are both beautiful and practical performers. They have great edge life and toughness, paired with a smooth, silky feeling when sharpening. Using Shirogami #3, which has a lower carbon content along with oil quenching makes for tougher, crack resistant blades. Shirogami is reactive carbon steel, dry immediately after use to avoid rust. It will patina with normal use. Rust can be removed with a light abrasive.
Yoshikazu Ikeda is one of the finest smiths in Sakai City, Osaka, and while we hesitate to use superlatives like 'best' or 'finest', as they can easily become meaningless if overused, in this case it’s true. Ikeda-san has been making knives and swords for over 40 years since his early 20's. He is a ‘dentoukougeishi’; a traditional craftsman that is officially recognized by the Japanese government, and since 2001 he has been the chairman of the association of dentoukougeishi. Ikeda-san's blades have excellent 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 we are honored to be able to get them made to order for our shop.