The Tsubaki Blue #2 Tsuchime Funayuki is a new knife from a new young blacksmith (for us), and we are very excited about it. We discovered Mr. Miyazaki recently, and he works from his one-person forge on a small island off the southern coast of Japan close to Nagasaki. Right across the street from his workshop is this beautiful marsh where his father grows these long reeds that he harvests and uses for making traditional thatched roofs on buildings.
Mr. Miyazaki was kind enough to write an explanation of the manufacturing process, which we have translated and included in this product description:
Please let me explain how I produce this knife. I manually insert Hitachi Aogami #2 steel into quality mild soft iron. I carefully made it annealed into the ash of rice straw, which adds carbon powder.
After forging (the steels together), considering the funayuki original character, I hardened it (using) pine charcoal at about 800 degrees centigrade. Then (it is) immediately (quenched) in water at about 28 degrees centigrade to (make) it much tougher.
I ground the blade to be what is called a clamshell finish, to have the cutting feeling lighter and (to make) re-sharpening even easier."
Hamaguri is Japanese for clam or clamshell, and it describes a blade ground with convex radiused bevels. Also called an Appleseed or Moran grind, it is produced by grinding the blade on a slack grinding belt.
This knife is called the Tsubaki Tsuchime, which means "hammered" in Japanese, and the nice finish has a blacksmith feel to it. The custom handle adds to the beauty and utility of the artisan-made blade. The wood is made from Japanese oak with an urushi finish on it. It's made in Kyushu, not too far away from Mr. Miyazaki.
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