Sakimaru • 300 mm • Blue #2 sanmai • Japanese octagonal handle • for both left and right hand use
At the beginning of 2018, I received an application from Jan van As from Amsterdam to develop a tuna knife: not sharpened on one side, but with a double bevel (two-sided). This model (Sakimaru) has been specially developed to fillet tuna, normally sharpened on one side, but in this custom order two-sided (50/50). Why? We in the West are used to double bevel sharpened knives, single-sided knives sometimes want to 'search' with cutting, especially if you are not used to it. And then they often don't go in the direction we want.
Itsuo Doi made this model especially for us and decided to include it directly in his collection. Customized and made in Kanji Blue fin tuna personally. Not only does this make me very proud, but I am also very honored that the idea is being followed. Arigato gozaimasu.
Features of the Homura series
The Homura series are made by Takayuki's well known master blacksmith mr. Itsu Doi. Mr. Doi's recognisable sober style and sanmai Blue #2 steel are his trademarks. The series are unique thanks to there double bevel. The medium heavy wieght blade and the light octagonal handle will bring the balance point more forward compared to a western knife, where the balance is core centered. The blade has a distinquished matte finish.
Blue steel, also known as Aogami/Aoki steel
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 three different grades: super, #1 en #2. Blue steels use a high grade of carbon, chrome and vanadium added in their alloy. Aogami super even added extra tungsten. Aogami super is here " Best of both worlds" Blue #1 is for sharpness, Blue #2 for toughness. Blue steels are mostly seen in deba or usuba knives, white steels often in yanagibas. Aogami super is regarded as one of the best traditional steels by Japanese knifemakers, but difficult to work with. Blue steels are difficult to sharpen on a whetstone, but they remain sharp for a longer period, compared to white steels.
Elwin de Veld about the knives of Sakai Takayuki
We usually start our trips to Japan in Osaka, from where we take a Shinkansen ( a bullet train) to Seki, in Gifu prefecture. We start in Sakai, in south of Osaka, where we always recieve a warm friendly welcome from Aoki san and Ogawa san from Sakai Takayuki. In recent years the customers in our shop have been asking for special Japanese traditionally forged knives: Yanagiba, Sakimura, Kengata: all the names of models which are used in Japanese kitchens for preparing various sorts of fish. Sakai Takayuki is my key which opens the door to the world of traditional Japanese knives and to top it all, their product range is targeted for the western market. For making of the traditional Japanese knives Sakai Takayuki employs the best of the best: Itsuo Doi and Kenji Togashi, among others. The blacksmith Yamatsuke san, with his stable hand on the Kaiten Toshi (Japanese water stone), is a guarantor of an exceptionally sharp finish. Sakai Takayuki buys lots of their steel from the Aichi steel (their headquarters are situated close to Nagoya) and works among other with carbon steel shirogami white and aogami blue. A nice detail: the colours in the names of the steel have nothing to do with the colour of the steel itself- it's just the colour of the packing in which the raw steel is being stored in the factory. The western models are manually finished at the company's quarters in Osaka (sharpening), but largely manufactured in Seki, in Gifu prefecture. The finish and the quality is sublime- just what we can expect from Takayuki.