Once in a while, we are lucky enough to be able to offer a unique and historically significant knife line to our customers. Some of the older blacksmiths who have retired, or are about to go into retirement, make up many of these instances. The knife line we present here is significant in that it is probably the last series of knives being produced using the Nakaniida process. When the blacksmith retires, that will be it. No apprentice. No more Nakaniidas. Unless someone quickly takes up the mantle.
Michio Ishikawa is a 4th generation blacksmith working for Nakaniida Traditional Blades. The workshop is located in the Miyagi Prefecture and has been in operation for over 350 years.
Ishikawa-san uses both Aogami and Shirogami #2 steels for his knives. He makes this knife from Shirogami #2 carbon steel with a soft iron cladding. The nakaniida process involves 28 steps and is notable in that the blade is hardened 3 times. This entire process is carried out by Mr. Ishikawa. To add to the originality of his knives, they are all single beveled. Santokus are rarely made with just one bevel.
Please remember that right-edged single bevel knives are only applicable to right-handed users. They do require an adjustment in both cutting style and sharpening techniques. These are things that can be easily learned with some YouTube videos and a bit of practice! In general, single bevel knives, with their 15-degree inclusive edge, will cut finer than double bevel knives. They will be less likely to wedge and will release food more easily.
Ishikawa-san regards sharpness and forging as more important than fit and finish so you will possibly find some marks or other imperfections present, but these will not impact the cutting ability of these unusual knives. Rather, they add to the handmade quality that each one possesses. This santoku
has been fitted with a lovely custom octagonal handle.
Blacksmith: Mr. Ishikawa
Construction: Hammer Forged, San Mai
Core Steel: White #2
Edge: Asymmetric See Choil Photo
Weight: 5.9 oz/ 168g
Blade Length: 187mm
Overall Length: 325mm
Spine Thickness at Heel: 4.1mm
Blade Height at Heel: 47.7mm
Handle: Custom Octagonal