We really enjoy working with small shops that produce unusual and interesting knives. Okeya is definitely one company that ticks those boxes. They originally started under the guidance of the current owner’s grandfather, making classic Kogatana style blades. These are knives intended for multi-purpose uses such as cutting, whittling, and kitchen utility knives.
Okeya-san is in his mid-40s, and, together with his son, they have branched out into the big world of Japanese kitchen knives. He told us that his current wish is to expand the business by adding more kitchen knives like gyutos, santokus, and nakiris.
Eel knives come in many different shapes, reflecting the many ways the fish is processed. The Okeya White #2 Eel Knife is a regional rendition of this knife that does not feature the classic pointed tanto tip that Kanto style Unagisaki Hocho knives are famous for. Kansai region chefs cut the eel from the softer side of the fish so that the blade shape does not need a tapered point. This style of knife is known as a Unagisaki Nagoyagata. In this style, the blade is slim and rectangular. The corner is rounded so as not to damage the eel when you fillet it. The handle is relatively long especially compared to Edo style knives.
These knives are made from the ever popular Shirogami #2 steel, better known as White #2. It is hardened to a Rockwell rating of 60 and then clad using the san-mai method of awase. The stainless cladding is given an ornate and good looking finish called tsuchime. Of course, as a carbon steel edged blade, this knife needs careful cleaning and drying after use.
Weight: 2.4 ounces
Blade Length: 107 mm
Total Length: 220 mm
Spine Thickness at Base: 2.9 mm
Blade Height: 25.2 mm