|Interview With Kosuke|
Here is an interview with Kosuke Kawamura conducted in 2010. This picture is of the staff and Kosuke is the one on the bottom right.
Mark: Tell us about the history of your company?
1932 "KAWAMURA TEISHICHI Shoten" founded
small company of manufacturing and wholesale by peddling
1945 stop the business because of the war
the building was burned down by an air raid
1948 reopen the business
1969 "KAWAMURA Shoten Co." established
1973 The building of head office constructed
1990 named "KANESHIGE Cutlery Co."
2006 "KONOSUKE" founded and open the website
Mark:How has the business changed over the years?
Kosuke: Until 2005, our customers (distributors) are only in Japan.
After 1990, we've had a hard time as the economy in Japan went down. After opening the website in 2006, the customer of foreign countries have started to ask us about our knives. In 2008, we have the first distributor in foreign country (Denmark). After the end of 2009, we have several distributors in North America. You were our first U.S. distributor.
Mark: Sakai has been known as a center for hand made knives. How is this changing?
Kosuke: The total sales in Japan has been going down for a long time, so the workman quits his job one by one without teaching his skill to younger man. We're doing our best to keep these craftsmanship in Sakai.
Mark: How many people work in your company?
Kosuke: 5 people (including me).
Mark: Do you like working with your family in the same business?
Kosuke: Yes, I do. I'm proud of our family business which continues such a long time.
Mark: In the Japanese market what the best selling type of knife?
Kosuke: For general people ; Santoku
For professionals ; Yanagiba
Mark: What do you like to do when you are not working?
Kosuke: I like driving and traveling, and snowboarding.
Mark: How about your father? Does he have any hobbies?
Kosuke: He likes to make bugs (grasshopper) with a hemp palm leaf.
http://www.fine-osaka.jp/fine/66/66.htm (at the bottom)
Mark: What's your favorite steel to use in your knives?
Kosuke: White #1. The sharpness is excellent!
Kosuke: Mark: How hard is it to answer technical questions in English? Do you spend a lot of your day answering emails?
Kosuke: The customers knows a lot about the knives, so the level of their question is so high!
Sometimes it is very difficult to explain even in Japanese, so it takes a lot of time to do in English.
However we're very happy that many people want to know about the knife made in Sakai.