Urushi saya for Santoku 175 mm • magnolia painted with an urushi lacquer
Urushi lacquering is a technique done by a few selected craftsmen in the region of Echizen. The Urushi tree, which grows in this region, produces a few milliliters of epoxy/ lacquer a year. By warming up the lacquer and colouring it, it can be used for lacquering. The lacquering has to be done in a protected environment, as the urushi lacquer can cause an allergic reaction. The best painting quality can be reached by using soft baby hair on the brush. Echizen is famous for this craft and Ryusen uses this skill with much respect in their sayas.
Elwin de Veld about RYUSEN knives:
When I started sharpening knives, I sometimes got hold of a very special model, probably imported by a customer themselves. A Ryusen knife was one of them. To precisely measure the quality of steel, there is no better measure than the actual manual sharpening of a knife: Ryusen belongs to the absolute top in the world of handmade Japanese kitchen knives.
Until some time ago, Ryusen made various models on OEM base in Echizen, but recently they focus entirely on their own company. Ryusen has spent a lot of time researching in the field of manufacturing (forging, hardening, grinding and finishing), as well as receiving feedback from the professional end user. Their dedication, perseverance and only settling for the very best ensure that every knife is perfectly finished and meets the highest requirements of a completely handmade chef's knife. The complete process from forging to the design of the box is carried out by Ryusen in-house. I am very proud to be an importer and a reliable distributor for Ryusen.