Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Buying Japanese Knives in Japan

Asian

  • Please log in to reply
162 replies to this topic

#91 budrichard

budrichard
  • participating member
  • 1,703 posts

Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:17 PM

Posted Image

From top to bottom:

Wusthof 32cm Slicing knife
Hamono double sided
Shiraki Yanagi
Commercial Sashimi knife

Edited by budrichard, 23 January 2006 - 02:20 PM.


#92 NickLam

NickLam
  • participating member
  • 143 posts
  • Location:Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 04 April 2006 - 12:04 PM

I am not really a knife person and don't want (and can't afford to) spend a lot of money on knives.

I just found this set of 6 knives made here in Japan for an unbelievable price.
I have really wanted a sashimi knife and shellfish knife for a while now. The price in US $ is $190 but the Japanese site gives a price of 15,000 yen (about $130), this almost seems too cheap.....

I have never owned a Japanese knife before.. :sad:

View Post



Torakris,

Watanabe san makes really great knives and his service is 2nd to none. He custom made 2 knives for me about 3 years ago. A white steel deba and yanagiba. As he was trying to add knife engraving to his repertoire then, I told him to do whatever etchings he wanted on the deba and it blew me away. His knives are excellent in quality and make and many knife nuts at the Knife Forums recommend him.

Late last year, I needed a kasutera knife and asked him to make a special sujihiki. It would've cost me a bomb and made him quite a bit of dosh, but he refused coz he knew my usage purpose and didn't want me to be disappointed with its performance. Instead, he recommended Masahiro's knives. He knew I knew that the sujihiki could perform the job, but just slightly not as well as a real kasutera knife. Yet, he still turned me down! I respect him for that.

My honyaki usuba which I got at an incredibly low price from Mizuno-san at Mizuno Tanrenjho is 'blackened' in vinegar. You could do that to the knives to help protect against rust, though tomato cutting will give it an awesome greyish/bluish/blackish hue as well as offer a bit of protection against rust.

Other than the pesky rust problems.......Japanese knives are awesome. Alternatively, there are a few manufacturers that use Molybdenum or VG-10 stainless steels for their Japanese knives. Global Pro, Hattori and Shun (US Owned). I'm partial to Global Pros and Hattori KD's....though Shun makes a really nice damascus cleaver but the balance is not as good. There's also a powdered steel called Cowry-X but perhaps the performance, hardness and price is more suitable to knife nuts.

The downside to Japanese stainless knives is that they are very hard, around 56 to 62 rockwell hardness, depending on brands. This usually means having to use ceramic or diamond steels.

However, if you are looking at purchasing a sashimi knife, you won't need a steel. However, you will need a very fine waterstone to sharpen it. Sharpening in itself is another challenge, but its learnt easily. I use a 3000 and 8000 grit stone. The key is to sharpen it even before it has a chance to get dull by the slightest bit. Its really a 2 minute job, with 20mins spent soaking the waterstone beforehand.

If anyone else is interested in Japanese knives but don't know where to get good ones or get them cheaper from a reliable source, check out http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/

Koki is an amazing guy who has bent over backwards many many many many times for lots of us gaijin knife nuts, to the extent that some unreasonable ones get him to hand choose $50 knives. The prices are much cheaper than anywhere and I've compared several prices from them and from Japan.....only a $5 to $10 difference.

Check out their specials.....it always makes me reach for my credit card before having to slap myself back to reality.

Hope this helps!

#93 Chad

Chad
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,295 posts
  • Location:Wichita, KS

Posted 04 April 2006 - 12:38 PM

The second is more of a concern.  Traditional Japanese knives are made from carbon steel or a carbon derivative.  According to Chad's knife clinic, the high acidity of fruits, vegitables, and other sources in a kitchen can cause micro-rusting and will eat away at the blade's edge.  However, is this really a problem or any seriousness?  Many Japanese and non-Japanese chefs must use carbon I am sure.

So what I am asking is, anyone here who has used carbon steel Japanese knives please let me know how they preformed for you.  I'm primarily interested in how they preformed in the professional kitchen environment, because that's where my knives will be, but all experiences are welcomed.

View Post

Hi itch. Indeed many Japanese and non-Japanese chefs use carbon knives. Japanese carbon knives tend to be much harder (62-63 on the Rockwell C scale) than their western counterparts (54-58 Rockwell C). That allows them to be thinner and sharpened to a more acute angle. I have two carbon knives a Korin shiro-ko honkasumi usuba (usuba=single bevel vegetable knife; shiro-ko = Hitachi #1 white steel, honkasumi = high grade kasumi construction which is a hard carbon core forge-welded to a softer outer steel for strength and ductility) and a Murray Carter nakiri (double bevel vegetable knife). Both are wonderful and cut like crazy. They also require a fussy level of maintenance. Many chefs and knife enthusiasts are willing to make that tradeoff to get the performance of these knives. But you do have to rinse them after cutting acidic foods, dry them immediately after washing and maintain the edges on waterstones nearly daily to keep them in peak condition.

Carbon knives will develop a patina with use. Many chefs will actually force the patina by leaving the knife in stuck in a potato overnight. The patina is a benign form of rust that helps keep more aggressive forms of rust from attacking the knife. Having a patina on the knife means that it won't look as clean as a stainless knife. It is perfectly safe, however, and, as far as I've been able to determine, perfectly acceptable to health inspectors for use in a commercial kitchen.

Hope this helps.

Take care,
Chad
Chad Ward
An Edge in the Kitchen
William Morrow Cookbooks
www.chadwrites.com

#94 Chad

Chad
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,295 posts
  • Location:Wichita, KS

Posted 04 April 2006 - 12:40 PM

Or you could just read Nick's post above mine, which is more complete and thorough! :biggrin:

Chad
Chad Ward
An Edge in the Kitchen
William Morrow Cookbooks
www.chadwrites.com

#95 Chad

Chad
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 1,295 posts
  • Location:Wichita, KS

Posted 04 April 2006 - 12:43 PM

I am not really a knife person and don't want (and can't afford to) spend a lot of money on knives.

I just found this set of 6 knives made here in Japan for an unbelievable price.
I have really wanted a sashimi knife and shellfish knife for a while now. The price in US $ is $190 but the Japanese site gives a price of 15,000 yen (about $130), this almost seems too cheap.....

I have never owned a Japanese knife before.. :sad:

View Post

Kristen, I also have a custom Watanabe wa-gyuto. I love it. Fit and finish are excellent, the blade geometry is amazing and it cuts extremely well. Shin is a good guy to deal with. I'd say go for it.

Take care,
Chad
Chad Ward
An Edge in the Kitchen
William Morrow Cookbooks
www.chadwrites.com

#96 NickLam

NickLam
  • participating member
  • 143 posts
  • Location:Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 08 April 2006 - 01:29 AM

Chad's the man when it comes to knives.........ahahah certified Knife Nut that is. In case the rest of you don't know yet.....he is currently writing the ultimate book on kitchen knives. The only problem is.....I want the book NOW!

Cheers Chad, keep up the great work.

#97 Culinista

Culinista
  • participating member
  • 352 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted 11 April 2006 - 12:44 PM

sorry if I'm reviving an old topic...but I just returned from Japan on a quest of finding knives.

One obstacle I ran into: finding export knives.  Apparently they don't sell export knives (duh on my part) someone had asked me to find them a "Kasumi" brand knive (not the knive-making process; the brand). When I asked about this, the guy said "never heard of this brand". And when I said it was sold in North America, he said, "we don't sell exports here in Japan, they are second-rate stuff, so we ship them overseas."  :sad: I don't have the nerve to tell the person who wanted this knive what they said....

I was able to get my hands on a Misono UX10 for 30% less than US price...but I'm wondering if they're secretly laughing at me because this model is also for "export"...sigh..I guess at least I got what I went for.  I also swiped a Kyocera ceramic for only $30 US!! Now that's a deal! :biggrin:

View Post



goyatofu...

Welcome back!

You need to be aware that it's common for some brands to be made by other people. It's the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) business process where the actual manufacturing is outsourced to another company. That's probably the case with Kasumi. "Kasumi" is just a brand (probably owned by a non-Japanese co) and the maker will be someone else, which is why when you mention "Kasumi" they aren't familiar with it.

But it's interesting what the person said about export knives, though I'm skeptical if it's true that these are 2nd rate stuff. This would amount to "dumping".

As for the Misono UX-10, I know that it's also sold locally in Japan (obviously, since you managed to buy it there) so I don't think your model is for export only. Also Misono itself is a manufacturer based in Seki.

View Post


These are super old posts, but I wanted to add what I learned in the process of doing a short piece on Global knives recently for Newsweek Japan. A lot of the brands marketed as being "Japanese" in the West are actually hybrid knives, like Kasumi. They are made by Japanese manufacturers but are not truly traditional Japanese knives. They are completely different products aimed at adapting Japanese knivemaking ideas to the specific demands of the Western market. It doesn't make much sense to look for these in Japan, although they probably are available somewhere.

For a variety of reasons already mentioned in other posts, custom-made, high-performance traditonal Japanese knives stay almost exclusively in Japan, but these are like exotic sports cars. Few people period have them. The basic traditional Japanese knife, still a superior mass market product even compared to the best German and French knives, has found little commercial success in the West because of maintenance issues, cost, differences in Western and Japanese cutting habits, and even health regulations in some areas that forbid wood and carbon steel. Japanese knife manufacturers (I'm not talking about the artisans here) decided to develop knives for Western cooks as well as hassled home cooks who didn't want to deal with rusty knives anymore.

There are different degrees of hybrid. The Global is one of the most radically non-traditional, while others like Shun can get quite close to the traditional knives. The main points of difference are the type of metal used, whether the blade is sharpened on one side or two, the size and material of the handle, and the shape of the blade.

That said, most Japanese and Western knife snobs do sniff at these knives, which usually sacrifice edge performance for ease of maintenance, sharpening, or Western-style cutting. Quite frankly, I think some of them in Western knife emporia are vastly overpriced for their quality--they are cashing in on the samurai sword cache. Then again, hybrids are by definition mass-market and made for export and ease of use. With so many different cooks out there, there is a knife to fit everyone. Torakris, these might be the knives for you! The hybrids are a step up from Wustofs in edge performance and should be perfect for a Westerner cooking in Japan. :biggrin:

If you're hardcore and want to try a traditional knife, Budrichard's advice to start learning on a modest one is right on. You must learn to sharpen it on 3 whetstones and keep it oiled. Aritsugu in Kyoto is an excellent source for good quality knives that a novice doesn't have to be afraid to use, and the manager is very friendly to foreign and first-time buyers. I think their products are also available online and in Takashimaya in Tokyo. Since the knife should fit the cook, I figure I have a ways to go before my skills warrant a honyaki knife. :raz:

#98 NickLam

NickLam
  • participating member
  • 143 posts
  • Location:Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 12 April 2006 - 09:03 AM

Hi Culinista,

I'm a Global Knife fan and have been for a couple of years. Is there any way to get my hands on the article you are writing? Will it be published in a normal newsweek edition that I can get here in Thailand?

Love them Globals but I'm not sure about one thing though......other than the hand polished edge and the V edge in the pros, what other difference is there between the normal Globals and the Global Pros?

Is the RC for the pros a bit harder? Different steel alloy? I know the normal Globals use Molybdenum, but how bout the Pros?

#99 ray goud

ray goud
  • participating member
  • 275 posts
  • Location:seymour, ct

Posted 17 April 2006 - 06:30 PM

I'd like to add a dimension not covered yet:
I am a cabinet/furniture maker, and two of my most prized tools are Japanese dovetail chisels using "blue steel". They are three-piece laminates of stainless on the outside and high-carbon blue steel in the center. I bought them razor sharp, and after more than five years of hand-chopping (cutting) dovetail joints THEY ARE STILL RAZOR SHARP! And that type of use involves striking with a mallet for almost every cut. A couple of years ago Fine Woodworking magazine tested chisels and found that the "blue steel" japanese chisels overall were the toughest and sharpest they tried.
One of my tool suppliers is Japan Woodworker in California and I just purchased two blue steel knives from them, a santoku and a fruit knife. Again, razor sharp, and they are laminated with stainless outside and high-carbon blue steel in the middle layer. I have large hands and the handles fit pretty well (riveted handles). I intend to use them almost exclusively (in the kitchen) and will report back with my observations. An immediate note, though, is that they cost a small fraction of what a damascus knife costs. And I know enough metallurgy to not assume that damascus is automatically better.
Ray

#100 ray goud

ray goud
  • participating member
  • 275 posts
  • Location:seymour, ct

Posted 26 May 2006 - 06:24 PM

It's been more than a month since I got my two relatively inexpensive Japanese knives, and I can put in my first report:
On the down side, it's a bit of a drag to have to remember to oil the blades after use (I don't like to leave dirty knives for the next time).
On the up side, they are breathtakingly sharp, and are staying that way, without resharpening or using a steel. An unexpected plus is the fact that the food does not move when cut, because the blades are so thin and the bevel angles are so shallow.
More reports to follow.
Ray

#101 RB2

RB2
  • participating member
  • 25 posts

Posted 24 October 2006 - 01:08 PM

I have 3 knives that I got from Aritsugu in Kyoto that I would highly recommend. They stay razor sharp, and they were a steal for what I would pay for them in the U.S., where they are difficult to procure.

Also, while there they told us that the Aritsugu dealer at Tsujiki Market was not the same knives, it is a member of the family that branched out.

#102 orangeman747

orangeman747
  • participating member
  • 80 posts

Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:01 PM

I will be in Tokyo and Kyoto, the Kiso Valley and Takayama in the upcoming month. I am VERY interested in purchasing japanese knives.

Any suggestions as to where I can purchase knives in Japan/ is the selection any different from what I would find in the US?

Thank you all so much.

#103 JasonTrue

JasonTrue
  • participating member
  • 858 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:26 PM

The restaurant supply district Kappabashi-doori near Asakusa has a number of small shops that offer Japanese cutlery. They can offer some good deals, though the prices are likely higher than you're used to paying even for brand-name knives.

Because knife terminology is specialized, most Japanese won't be able to translate most of the information about the knives you'll see meaningfully.

If you don't have help from a Japanese person who knows something about cutlery, you might have better luck in a department store like Takashimaya where staff will be able to explain the basic purpose of each knife and what's good about the offerings from different companies. Usually the kitchenware sections are in the upper floors of most department stores, but they have signs in English in the elevators.

The selection is certainly different... Historically Japanese knives were designed for a slightly different cutting motion than European knives, though that may not matter much anymore. Also, you'll probably only find knives designed for things like cutting soba or udon in Japan.

You'll probably find more carbon steel in the restaurant supply shops, and more stainless steel in department stores.

Brand-name products, including those made by Japanese companies, tend to use imported steel from prestigious areas (Germany, for example) with shapes conventional for Japanese uses. Some have wooden handles and are all-metal.

Osaka, a relatively quick train ride from Kyoto, has a restaurant supply district as well that's worth checking out. And often cheaper than Tokyo's, as I recall.

If memory serves, Takayama has at least one or two shops selling handcrafted knives, but I can't say exactly where I found them.

I will be in Tokyo and Kyoto, the Kiso Valley and Takayama in the upcoming month. I am VERY interested in purchasing japanese knives.

Any suggestions as to where I can purchase knives in Japan/ is the selection any different from what I would find in the US?

Thank you all so much.

View Post


Jason Truesdell
Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

#104 Palladion

Palladion
  • participating member
  • 151 posts
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 24 July 2007 - 09:49 PM

The restaurant supply district Kappabashi-doori near Asakusa has a number of small shops that offer Japanese cutlery. They can offer some good deals, though the prices are likely higher than you're used to paying even for brand-name knives.


Really? I thought that the knife stores in Kappabashi offered a discount off of retail price.

Kappabashi has a couple of specialty knife stores, though they're off one of the side streets -- they're not on the main street. My favorite was Union Commerce. It's not a large shop, but it's full of knives, and almost all of them are sitting there where you can pick them up and see how they feel in your hand (or at least that's how the shop was set up when I was there from 2003-2005). I'd likely return there if I wanted to buy another knife in Japan. Admittedly, I didn't look at any of the knife displays in the large department stores. Those might be a better option if you don't speak Japanese.

At the time, I didn't know all that much about Japanese knives, their uses, or how they differ from Western knives. I recommend learning all of this, so that you can appreciate the differences between the various knives that you'll see. Korin is a good place to start, if you don't already know a lot about Japanese knives. There are also numerous threads here on eGullet.

Alex

#105 JasonTrue

JasonTrue
  • participating member
  • 858 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 24 July 2007 - 10:30 PM

If the shop is selling knives that are available at retail stores, that may be the case, however, I don't think any of them were priced as low as the typical semi-fancy specialty knives available in the US (Henckels and the like).

If you look at artisan knives made in the US, the price points are probably similar enough.

I also seem to recall seeing a lot more carbon steel knives made by hand than you'd normally find at most other shops, which made things more expensive.

Really? I thought that the knife stores in Kappabashi offered a discount off of retail price.

View Post


Jason Truesdell
Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

#106 shinju

shinju
  • participating member
  • 198 posts
  • Location:Mountain View CA

Posted 25 July 2007 - 02:46 AM

At the time, I didn't know all that much about Japanese knives, their uses, or how they differ from Western knives. I recommend learning all of this, so that you can appreciate the differences between the various knives that you'll see. Korin is a good place to start, if you don't already know a lot about Japanese knives. There are also numerous threads here on eGullet.

View Post


The Korin site is very nice - lots of good info there - thanks. I purchased my yanagi from Kappabashi almost a decade ago for use in slicing fish. At the time, I was looking at knives around $150 and found it there that I like very much.

#107 Palladion

Palladion
  • participating member
  • 151 posts
  • Location:Chicago, IL

Posted 25 July 2007 - 06:32 AM

Ah, I see. My recollection was that the shop I went to had a wide range of knives, from specialty custom knives (including custom Kappabashi-branded knives) to all or most of the major Japanese brands, including Misono, Global, Masamoto, and the like. Heck, they even carried Henckels and Wustoff.

But yes, Japanese knives can be more expensive than Western knives -- they tend to use better, harder steel. Also, Henckels and Wustoff have created lower-priced lines of knives which aren't necessarily up to the same quality as their normal product lines. I don't remember if the shop carried mid-price Japanese knives, though (say, under ¥6000 for a gyutou). For those knives, a department store might be a better option.


If the shop is selling knives that are available at retail stores, that may be the case, however, I don't think any of them were priced as low as the typical semi-fancy specialty knives available in the US (Henckels and the like).

If you look at artisan knives made in the US, the price points are probably similar enough.

I also seem to recall seeing a lot more carbon steel knives made by hand than you'd normally find at most other shops, which made things more expensive.

Really? I thought that the knife stores in Kappabashi offered a discount off of retail price.

View Post

View Post



#108 dharold

dharold
  • participating member
  • 52 posts
  • Location:Stevenage, UK

Posted 25 July 2007 - 07:56 AM

At the risk of lowering the tone, I've found Tokyu Hands rather useful for knives at decent prices, especially Kyocera's ceramic ones, though they carry several other big brands. Of course it's not as upmarket as going to a specialist and my needs are quite mainstream. Anyway, it's worth a trip to the store to check out the cookery section for bargains and oddments.
Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

#109 _john

_john
  • participating member
  • 564 posts
  • Location:Tennoji, Osaka, Japan

Posted 25 July 2007 - 05:50 PM

I second a quick trip to Osaka. The cooking district here is called Doguyasuji and it is close to one of the city's large food markets Kuromon Ichiba. There is one shop that sells nothing but knives which has an amazing selection and some prices that rival compact cars. There are also some large "we-sell-everything" supply stores there with more reasonable prices and some good knives. These are shops for professionals and even if you speak Japanese and know about Japanese knives the staff can be quite cold in my opinion.

#110 Ohba

Ohba
  • participating member
  • 242 posts

Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:55 PM

Just a couple of extra things - though I know nothing about knives:

I think there IS a knife shop in the main Kappabashi street.

Kappabashi aside, you can find Japanese knives just about anywhere in Japan, small towns included. Try department stores, hardware stores, and even supermarkets.

It wasn't clear in your first post what you're after: modern/traditional, cheap/expensive, professional/home user, all-purpose knife/sashimi blade. Hard even to hazard a guess as to what you'd find in the US. More information on those kinds of things can be a lot of help to anyone who wants to answer. There's been a Japanese knife thread on the Gullet which had a load of information. It would be a good starting point.

Edited by Ohba, 25 July 2007 - 09:51 PM.


#111 Bigfoot

Bigfoot
  • participating member
  • 69 posts
  • Location:San Francisco

Posted 28 July 2007 - 09:11 PM

If you go to the restaurant supply district in Osaka (and Tokyo, to a lesser extent), the prices are negotiable if you play your cards right. I've negotiated for knives in both districts much like you can negotiate in the Osaka electronics district: ask a clerk how much each product will be, show them that you'll pay in cash (important for a stronger bargaining position), and wait for them to pull out the calculator and figure out your discount. If you make faces at their first offer and act hesitant, sometimes they'll reduce the price even further (it helps a lot if you can speak Japanese and sweet talk them, of course, but I bet you can act this out effectively).

#112 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 12 September 2007 - 09:56 PM

Last night, I finally made up my mind to buy a good knife. I searched and searched, and decided to buy a Global Santoku (7,000 yen excluding consumption tax), and ordered it. Can't wait to try it out!

#113 budrichard

budrichard
  • participating member
  • 1,703 posts

Posted 13 September 2007 - 01:33 PM

Shosui Takeda of Takeda Hamono http://www.shop.niim...en/index_e.html comes to the Chicago Custom Knife Show each year. As a Custom Knife collector, I enjoy working with the maker rather than the simple act of acquisition.
My Honyaki pictured above while a very nice knife and an example of Japanese exquiste craftsmanship, is too expensive to have a complete collection made for me.
Takeda Hamono knives while a composite construction, are as sharp as any knife I have ever used and the Aogami AS may well be the sharpest steel I have had in a knife.

Posted Image

The Yanagabi pictured is 30 cm and while not as finally crafted as the Honyaki pictured, was about 1/8 of the cost. Shosui delivered it to me at last years show. At this years show, I took delivery of the Nakiribocho and Debabocho pictured, that i had ordered earlier this year. I had made a Nabe and layered the botom of the bowl with Masutake mushroom slices. My wife asked how i was able to get the slices so thin. It was easy with the Nakiribocho.
Shosui is dedicated to his craft and pays particular attention to sharpaning and stones. The device pictured has two different grits and is very useful for every day tuning of blades. The wood extension is to guard your wrist during sharpening.
The blades do require more care than stainless, but a little vegetable oil after use suffices.-Dick

#114 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 15 September 2007 - 03:39 AM

My Global santoku arrived today. Well, not the greatest knife in the world, but I find it satisfactory for an amateur cook like me. I made squid sashimi with it for the very first time, which is something I couldn't do with my previous knife. Now, I'm thinking about getting a deba. I'd like to learn how to fillet fish.

#115 budrichard

budrichard
  • participating member
  • 1,703 posts

Posted 15 September 2007 - 12:38 PM

Shizuo Tsuji's book "Japanese Cooking-A Simple Art", has an excellent section on filleting using a deba. Note that the Japanese methods are derived using a deba which is a non flexible blade and certain methods cut both the rib bones and flesh away from the backbone and then the rib bones are removed in a seperate step. Western flexible filleting blades allow one to run the blade over the contour of the ribs and remove the flesh without any bones. So the knife you choose determines the techniques you use.-Dick

#116 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 16 September 2007 - 12:12 AM

Shizuo Tsuji's book "Japanese Cooking-A Simple Art", has an excellent section on filleting using a deba. Note that the Japanese methods are derived using a deba which is a non flexible blade and certain methods cut both the rib bones and flesh away from the backbone and then the rib bones are removed in a seperate step. Western flexible filleting blades allow one to run the blade over the contour of the ribs and remove the flesh without any bones. So the knife you choose determines the techniques you use.-Dick

View Post

Thanks for your suggestion, budrichard. I think I'll start with a deba in a price range of 2,000 to 3,000 yen and master how to fillet fish in a Japanese way.

#117 _john

_john
  • participating member
  • 564 posts
  • Location:Tennoji, Osaka, Japan

Posted 15 November 2007 - 06:53 AM

I took a trip to Sakai recently and visited Sakai Hamono Edged Tools Museum. here are my pictures for everyone. There is a museum with hundreds of knives which all have unique names and purposes. There is also a store where various knife makes in the Sakai area have individual showcases to sell their knives. They also sell some other edged tools such as scissors and whetstones. On certain days there are demonstrations where I think you can make your own knife. Check out some of the prices at the end. f.y.i. 100¥ is about $1, 10,000¥=~$100

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image



#118 helenjp

helenjp
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,231 posts

Posted 15 November 2007 - 08:08 AM

I bought my "good" knives in Sakai, and can't think of a better place to go shopping!

What a huge display - was there much (any) labeling and documentation available in English?

#119 Hiroyuki

Hiroyuki
  • participating member
  • 5,124 posts
  • Location:Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, Niigata, Japan

Posted 15 November 2007 - 03:12 PM

Thanks for sharing your outstanding photos, John! The omagurokiri (large tuna cutter), shown in the first and second photos, is just amazing!

Helen, there are other good places too, like Sanjo city in Niigata. I'd like to visit there some day and post lots of photos here, when and if I have the time... :sad:

#120 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 15 November 2007 - 04:02 PM

Man! Had I known that was there, I'd have gone when I took the TOEFL test in Sakai last year. Sakai is such a PITA for me to get to, so it would have been the perfect chance!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Asian