330mm yanagi in water quench "mizu-honyaki" shirogami #2 with octagonal ebony wood handle and water buffalo horn ferrule. 485mm overall, height at heel 38mm, 304 grams.
Master craftsman Yoshikazu Ikeda differentially heat treated single steel “honyaki” (true forged) from Sakai-City Osaka. Yoshikazu Ikeda’s honyaki blades are a single piece of white steel, hand forged with a proprietary clay blend along the spine and tang, which make for a harder edge and tough softer body. Honyaki forging is very difficult to master, and Ikeda-san’s knives are both beautiful and practical performers. They have great edge life and toughness, paired with a smooth, silky feeling when sharpening. White #2 (more carbon than #3) is used in Ikeda-san's water quenched honyaki knives. Shirogami #3 (less carbon than #2) oil quench will have less edge life than water but will still have an excellent edge life due to heat treatment. Oil quench honyaki makes for tougher, more chip and crack resistant blades while water quench honyaki will generally have longer edge life when mistreatment is avoided. These knives are ideal for the professional or sushi chef looking for a traditional, Japanese single bevel slicer, who can care for a reactive knife, and enjoys sharpening on whetstones.
Shirogami is highly reactive carbon steel. It should be mentioned that extra care is required, as the knife is not stainless and should be dried immediately after use.
Yoshikazu Ikeda is one of the finest smiths in Sakai. We hesitate to use superlatives like ‘best’ or ‘finest’, as they can become easily meaningless if overused. Ikeda-san has been making knives and swords for over 40 years since his early 20's. Ikeda-san became officially recognized as a ‘dentoukougeishi’, a traditional craftsman officially recognized by the Japanese government. Since 2001 he has been the chairman of the association of dentoukougeishi. He forges knives for a select few brands as their top-shelf knives, and we are honored to be able to get them in our shop made-to-order for us.