Itsuo Doi grew up in a blacksmith shop in Sakai where he worked under the tutelage of his famous father, Keijiro Doi. He worked alongside his father for almost 50 years until the patriarch retired. Their shop has produced blades for chefs and collectors worldwide for almost a century. Keijiro-san gained acclaim through his perfection of a very difficult low temperature forging technique known as yakidoshi and was a pioneer of forging Ao-ko No. 2 (Blue Steel), which was previously thought to be impossible.
One of the most iconic knives in the Japanese kitchen world is the deba. The deba originated during the Edo period, in the city of Sakai. It was designed to behead and fillet fish. Its robust construction and blade thickness are mated to a more obtuse angle on the back of the heel. This allows the user to cut off the heads of fish without damage to the flesh. The rest of the blade is then used to ride against the fish bones, separating out the fillet.
The core steel of this fine blade is the ever popular Hitachi Blue #2 high carbon alloy. It is clad with a softer iron to protect the core and make sharpening easier. The cladding is applied in the ni-mai style where the cladding is only placed on the cutting edge side. The cladding has been highly polished above the shinogi, and transforms into a really well done brushed satin finish which highlights the polished Blue steel edge. A simple and classic octagonal handle adds to the fine aesthetic of this piece of functional art.
Location: Sakai, Japan
Blacksmith: Itsuo Doi
Construction: Japanese Traditional Single Bevel Grind, Hammer Forged
Cladding: Soft Iron
Finish: Mirror Polish
Edge Steel: Blue #2
Weight: 7.7 ounces
Blade Length: 171 mm
Total Length: 310 mm
Spine Thickness at Base: 6 mm
Blade Height: 50 mm
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