The yanagiba was originally made for sashimi, the length of the blade ensuring even, smooth slicing. They are now used more generally as well. These knives are made from high quality, high-carbon steel, in this case Aogami Blue #2. In order to retain their edge and add strength to the blade, they are constructed with a layer of softer iron on the outside of the core.
Yanagi are single-beveled, which means that only one side of the blade edge is sharpened, and the other side is slightly concave in shape. The back side is curved to prevent fish from sticking to the blade. These blades are thicker than the average Western knife, but still considered relatively thin by Japanese standards.
Kitaoka-san has been forging high end kitchen blades for 30 years. Although a relative newcomer to the ancient art of blade and knife making, he has gained a first class reputation among his peers and professional chefs for his skills in forging and shaping wonderful blades in the traditional style.
This is a lovely yanagiba with a beautiful satin finished one sided blade. These knives are finished with a rosewood octagonal Japanese style handle and black pakka wood ferrule. This type of handle creates a knife with overall lightness and a blade-forward balance--just what is needed in a yanagiba. There should be no need for downward pressure as the knife is pulled backwards to make the clean slice. Please note Kitaoka installs the machi on his knives with a gap that is called Tokyo Style. It's not a flaw it's an aesthetic choice based on a traditional way of installing the handles. See photo #2 for a visual.
Steel: Blue #2
Handle: Ho D-shaped
Ferrule: Black Plastic
Handle Install: Exposed Machi (See Photo #2)
5Product Review, February 7, 2014
Posted By: Daniel - verified customer
Great knife! I have little experience at using this kind of knife but I sharped it once and it cuts like a razorblade!
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