What Are Japanese Kitchen Knives? As with many parts of Japanese life; Japanese Kitchen knives have a history in terms of the traditional methods that they are made and the duties that they are used for. Japanese kitchen knives are specially crafted in order to produce a high quality tool to make your tasks in the kitchen easy; they have been made in the same way for many centuries, with the same craftsmanship as a Katana sword. When it comes to the Japanese Kitchen, some of the varieties from Japan that are most commonly used for various tasks in the kitchen include santoku hocho which is an all purpose utility knife, nakirii bocho or usuba hocho which are vegetable knives and the deba bocho which is a kitchen cleaver. Types Of Japanese Kitchen Knives Traditionally, all Japanese kitchen knives were made from the same carbon steel as Katana – which are Japanese swords traditionally favoured by the Samurai from the 12th century onwards. The higher quality san mai style knives are similar to katana, as they have a brittle but hard carbon steel inner core, coated in softer steel, so that the harder steel is only exposed on the cutting edge of the blade. Many Japanese kitchen knives are now stainless steel, and the san mai technique is used to protect against corrosion. The most common methods of making Japanese Kitchen Knives are: - Honyaki – knives forged with just one material or ‘true forged’. These are often made from blue or white steel which tends to be top grade and specific to knife making. - Kasumi – made from two materials in the way that Katana are. This involves hagane, or high carbon steel (usually blue or white steel) forged together with soft iron or jigane. These tend to have a blade of similar quality to that of honyaki knives. This style however makes these knives more forgiving and easier to maintain than a Honyaki knife. - San Mai – are knives made from hagane steel forming the edge of the blade and iron or stainless steel forming a jacket on the edge. This is so as to produce a great cutting blade that will be kept free from corrosion. In a professional Japanese kitchen blades tend to be kept free of corrosion as they are sharpened daily. Japanese Kitchen Knives at The Japanese Shop The Japanese Shop have a fantastic selection of Japanese knives that are ideal for use either in a home kitchen or a professional kitchen. Made in the style of katana, they offer brilliant cutting power as well as being well balanced, making them a revelation and once you sample the joys of using a Japanese Kitchen knife you won’t want to go back to ordinary knives. One innovative device is that of the Japanese kitchen scissors and knife, which offers the cutting blades of a knife, and also allows you to detach the knife element thus making it a truly versatile tool.