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. What sets this blacksmith apart from any of his contemporaries is his use of the technique known as Nakaniida. This age old process involves 28 steps and is notable in that the blade is hardened 3 times. This entire operation is carried out by Mr. Ishikawa. To add to the originality of his knives, they are all single beveled.
This bunka is made with White #2 carbon steel which receives a soft iron cladding. The rustic nature of these knives is enhanced by leaving the carbon forging scale in place thus creating the finish known as kurouchi. These knives may not be the fit and finish kings that other blacksmiths produce, but Ishikawa-san places value on shape and sharpness more than on visual appeal.
We are very fond of the bunka shape, finding it to be a very versatile knife for many operations on the cutting board. This is an unusual bunka in that it is single-beveled and thus comes with the customary inclusive edge angle of about 15 degrees as opposed to a double edge where the angle is around 30 degrees. This enhances the cutting abilities, makes food release easier, and minimizes wedging. However, it does result in a blade that is restricted to right-handed users. The handle is constructed from walnut and is a traditional octagonal shape.
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