Jiro Tsuchime Wa Gyuto 240mm Taihei Tagayasan Handle (#386)
Jiro Nakagawa-san (@jiro2310 on Instagram) is a true one-man shokunin that lives alone in the countryside. He sought out skilled craftsmen around Japan including a master sword polisher to learn the techniques of manipulating traditional materials, and have practiced the art of calligraphy for over 20 years to enhance his hand chiseling/engraving. His unique skill sets, humility, and willingness to improve all of his domains as a craftsman make all Jiro forged items worth treasuring for years to come. We are honoured to carry his masterpieces, and cannot wait to see what amazing work he will be putting out in the future.
Jiro’s blades have several unique qualities about them. Start by looking at the blade, each completed with a rustic kurouchi and kasumi finish. Each knife is imbued with a finely finished edge, the result of hand sharpening on Japanese natural stones. All of his White #1 carbon steel knives are water quenched to bolster the hardness in the blade.
As your gaze turns to the Wa-handle, note that they are made from a beautiful dark wood known as Tagayasan (or more generically, ironwood), crafted by Tokyo-based handlemaker Taihei. The name stems from the exceptional hardness, durability and corrosion resistance of the wood, which is commonly used for other purposes such as wooden swords. (Jiro’s blades do have some extra heel height and as a result, are heavier for their size).
Finally, the thick tang and neck are a trademark of Jiro-forged blades, done to provide even weight distribution when in use. The thick tang and neck also serve as proof of Jiro’s hand lamination, rather than the pre-laminated blanks that most smiths use for convenience.
Note: It is important to be careful when working with the tip of the knife, as Jiro prefers to taper his blades very thinly.
As a one-man operation, the number of knives he can produce at a time is very limited and thus, each individual blade we receive from him is revered. One will not easily forget a Jiro blade after seeing one and feeling its presence. Each knife encapsulates Jiro’s craftsman soul and it is impossible not to be moved by one of these. Knife purists looking for a wholly unique blade with ultimate sharpness and fantastic performance, look no further than Jiro-san’s work.
"All things you can see that have different colours on hard steel are called Aike or Goma Hada (Sesame skin) which shows up because some dust gets in during forging, or because of the inconsistency of carbon contents.
Modern knife making often uses higher temperatures to avoid this happening, but it is ideal to use lower temperatures because it keeps more carbon contents inside the steel, rather than burning it away.
If you have ever seen any old knives that were forge-welded/laminated by the blacksmiths themselves instead of using a pre-cladded stock/blade blanks, you can see a lot of Aike. When you weld Jigane and Hagane at the best temperature, there is always some leftover agent for hand-laminating/welding, which shows up as Aike or Goma Hada later.
Please understand that he is not only trying to make a clean surface. Because edge quality is most important for us, his forging/quenching process is made to bring out the best condition of his White #1." - Hokuto Aizawa, President of Hitohira.
Brand: Jiro 次郎
Blacksmith: Jiro Nakagawa 中川 次郎
Producing Area: Nagano/ Japan
Steel: Yasuki White (Shirogami) #1, Soft Iron Clad
Handle: Taihei Tagayasan & Buffalo Horn Ferrule Octagonal
Total Length: 402mm
Edge Length: 241mm
Handle to Tip Length: 260mm
Blade Height: 59mm
Handle Length: 142mm
Hand Orientation: Ambidextrous
Date of manufacture: April 2022