Following in the footsteps of an illustrious father is never an easy thing to do, but blacksmiths have done this for generations and it is a situation in which most seem to flourish and grow. Yoshimi Kato apprenticed under his father, Hiroshi Kato, for many years before recently taking the reins of the business. He has continued to make knives for several leading brands including Masakage and Kanehiro.
He also makes several types of knives under the family name of Kato. The santoku
featured here is one of his creations featuring the popular stainless steel known as VG-10. This is one of the most popular stainless steels used by Japanese knife makers. Knives made with this alloy possess very good edge retention while having wear and corrosion resistant properties sought after by many chefs.
The Kato Nashiji Suminagashi Santoku is fairly average in its dimensions but not in its looks or performance. The inner core of VG-10 has an outer layer of a damascus stainless steel applied in the san-mai fashion. The inner core is revealed under the damascus which then transforms to a great looking nashiji (pear skin) finish. Very unusual and very striking. The addition of some finely crafted kanji and a traditional octagonal rosewood/pakka wood handle complete this very attractive package.
Blacksmith: Yoshimi Kato
Location: Echizen Japan
Construction: San Mai
Method: Hammer Forged
Core Edge Steel: VG-10
Cladding: Nashiji/Damascus Stainless
Engraving: Hand Engraved
Edge Grind: Even (See Choil Shot)
Handle: Walnut Octagonal
Ferrule: Black Pakka Wood
Weight: 4.5 ozs/ 130g
Blade Length: 171 mm
Total Length: 311 mm
Spine Thickness at Heel: 3.0 mm
Blade Height at Heel: 46.1 mm