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Yoshiaki Fujiwara is the brand name under which Kiyoshi Kato produces his renowned knives from a small workshop in Hokuto City. A highly sought after sword smith and knife maker, Mr. Kato is one of only a few smiths who produce blades using extremely traditional methods of forging and quenching/heat treatment during the knife making process. Mr. Kato does employ an A-frame hammer, but only for more basic shaping and straightening tasks. Most of the process is done by hand with a hammer and tree stump which serves as his anvil. The final treatment of the knife is done in the early hours of pre-dawn or late-dusk in order to perfectly judge the color of the steel to determine appropriate hardness. Kato treats his clay-coated blades in a charcoal firepit to minimize impurities associated with other methods, after which they are water quenched.
Mr. Kato’s preferred medium is Shirogami, or white, #2 steel which we offer here on our site. He uses quite a generous amount of core steel in blades that are very thick at the spine. In concert with the traditional methods employed during the forging and treating process, these knives are very hard and very stiff. The grinds are asymmetrical and predominantly convex. Truly unique in geometry and construction, these are some of the best knives at separating ingredients. By no means a laser, Kato’s gyutos are virtually unmatched when going through denser produce like carrots, squash, or the center of onions. Chopping is fluid and the weight of these knives is more than happy to do the work for you. As mentioned above, Yoshiaki Fujiwara knives are exceptionally hard and many compare certain characteristics of them to honyaki constructed blades. As such, one should not confuse these with “workhorse” or rough and tumble blades. If due care and fastidious technique are not applied while using them they will micro-chip.
This 210mm gyuto is an exceptional knife. Because of the knife’s constitution, it is want for comparison to much larger knives. Indeed, there aren’t many ingredients this knife is not equipped to handle with ease. The only limitations this particular format has is blade length, but if one is looking for one of the best shorter gyutos on the market, or prefers 210mm blades, this is one of the better knives available. As a final note, the white #2 steel is clad in thinner layers of soft iron, making it moderately to lightly reactive for this type of cladding.
Weight: 7.2 ounces
Blade Length: 206 mm (8.2")
Overall Length: 355 mm (14")
Thickness at Heel: 4.5 mm
Blade Height: 46.5 mm
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