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Bunka (tall 60 mm) • 180 mm • white #2 • Japanese wa • kurouchi • for both left and right hand use
The 80 mm Takayuki tall bunka! It’s a 180 mm all round knife, perfect for all those of you who like some serious blade height. Forged from white #2 steel by the renowned Togashi workshop and Takayuki has come up with a special Fuji shaped stamp to indicate that. An easy to care Kurouchi finish and an octagonal yew wood handle make a stylish yet very traditional knife.
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 than #3. While #3 is a little softer, it's also easier to resharpen, but has less edge retention. Grades #1 & #2 are most common among 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.
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.