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Santoku K-tip • 180 mm • White #2 • Japanese wa handle • Walnut • for both right and left hand use
These Kuro series are workhorses. In weight a little heavier than your average Japanese knife, but a pleasure to work with. Completely carbon finish, with the dark Kurouchi finish on the blade. Dry after use and store in a dry place.
Kurouchi is not a type of knife but rather a traditional, rustic finish. Kurouchi roughly translates as blacksmith’s finish. Kurouchi knives retain the scaly residue left from the forging process. The finish reduces reactivity on carbon steel knives, lowers the cost of production, and gives the knife a very characterful, rustic look prized by many knife enthusiasts.
This traditional steel is not named after its colour, but named after the colour of its paper wrapping, in which it is stored in the Hitachi steel factory in Japan. There are 3 grades of Shirogami white steel: #1,#2 & #3. From these 3, #1 contains the highest amount of carbon and #3 the lowest. Generally we say at our knifeshop, grade #1 can be made extremely sharp, but will be a little more fragile as #3. While #3 is a little softer, also easier to resharpen, but has less edge retention. Grade #1 & #2 is most common in white steels. White steel is a refined steel with a low percentage of iron, loved by many, as it is relatively easy to maintain. In practice it can be maintained with a whetstone and in a short amount of time it will become very sharp. This does not mean that these knives never have to be resharpened by a professional, even all knives in Japan need to be refurbished at a certain moment. This Shirogami steel is embraced by sushi chefs who demand extreme sharpness of their knives. White steel oxidates relatively quick and therefore needs to be maintained more often, but on the other hand you will get all benefits of this beautiful steel characteristics.
When Hiro came to my shop in 2014, he was the first Japanese representative I was honored to welcome. I've invited a small group of chefs and what followed was the first knife session. Ever since I invite the knife makers more often and I try to build a bridge between the makers and the end users. Each brand has its story, its vision and its method which is not directly visible in a knife but is great to tell. I still do believe that you have to feel a knife, you have to become one with it, or the way Japanese would say "You have to find your soul in a knife". I've heard this often in Japan and Hiro told me about Hocho Zuka: a small Japanese tempel a chef can visit to ask for his good fortune. He can also thank for the knives he uses. The chef promises then to study harder and to become even beter in the culinary arts. With this in the back of your mind and knowing that Kikuichi exists already for more than 700 years you do look differently at the Kikuichi knife. Honour, respect and dedication.