Yoshikazu Ikeda 240mm gyuto with aogami #1 carbon steel and iron suminagashi cladding. Ebony wood 1/2 octagon handle with buffalo horn ferrule. 395mm overall, height at heel 48mm.
Yoshikazu Ikeda's aogami #1 (blue steel #1) knives sharpen very easily and to a superb, long lasting edge; one of the finest aogami that we have had the pleasure of sharpening. The cladding is iron and mild steel hand-forged in a suminagashi, or 'floating ink' pattern. Each knife is unique in its own way.
Aogami steel is reactive, as is the suminagashi cladding. It should be mentioned that extra care is required, as this knife is not stainless and should be well dried immediately after use. It will develop a dark patina with use, but any orange rust should 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.