Hitohira Togashi Yohei Blue #1 Mizu Honyaki Gyuto 240mm Ebony Handle (#049/ Saya)
Togashi’s smith and sharpener are the duo of Kenji and Kenya, whose selective process of finding suppliers is a testament to their pride and skill. Kenji Togashi-san is one of the few remaining smiths in Sakai who can forge Honyaki blades, a technique referring to differentially tempering blades. This process of creating a hardness gradient in the same steel is notorious for being difficult to master for its metallurgically high stress-inducing quenching process.
Yohei is a pseudonym for a highly renowned sharpener in Sakai city, known for his thin, consistent profile and excellent convex grind (Hamaguri-style). For many years, Yohei apprenticed under a master knifemaker in Sakai before opening up his own workshop in the late 2010’s
Adding to the rarity of this piece is the fact that Blue #1 steel was used, and was quenched during the winter (although there is no stamp on the blade to indicate this quality, it has been verbally confirmed by the maker). The quenching water is not temperature controlled by the smith, meaning the water will be affected by the weather. The water during the winter season is at the lowest temperature creating even more drastic hardening effect than the blades done in other seasons. This creates comparatively harder and more wear resistant blade.
Compared to its cousin White #1 carbon steel, the Blue #1 steel is much more wear resistant and time-consuming to achieve a fine finish. The sharpener / blade-shaper (a craftsperson is in charge of bringing out the character and performance from a forged blade, in this case 'Yohei') in Japan often flat out refuse to accept the commission on the ultra hard, extremely time-consuming and dangerous task of Blue #1 Honyaki blade.
This is one of the reasons why well-shaped (a.k.a high-performing) and finely finished Blue #1 forged Honyaki blades are very hard to find. We hope the lucky owners of these fine blades enjoy the essence of dedication and the performance for years (maybe even a generation or two!) to come.
A chef's knife ('Gyuto' in Japanese) is the most versatile blade that can handle almost anything in the kitchen. Their shape and often generous edge length mean that whether it's cutting small tomatoes or portioning a large roast, you can do it with one blade. Most cooks have multiple chef's knives and it is not hard to justify getting one more when it has so much utility.
Brand: Hitohira ひとひら
Blacksmith: Togashi Blacksmith 富樫打刃物製作所
Producing Area: Sakai-Osaka/ Japan
Steel: Honyaki Yasuki Blue (Aogami) #1
Handle: Taihei Ebony & Buffalo Horn Ferrule Octagonal
Total Length: 388mm
Edge Length: 225mm
Handle to Tip Length: 240mm
Blade Height: 50mm
Handle Length: 146mm
Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
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