All Nipponblades knives are made by hand by Hiroshi Katou and Katsushige Anryu. They are both traditional Master blacksmiths who also made knives for the Japanese emperor. The forging of a Japanese kitchen knife is a very delicate technique that can only be exercised by experienced and talented blacksmiths.
After the forging the knife is still dull. The Japanese knife is sharpened by Takayuki Shibata who’s specialised in sharpening. This craftsman executes about 30 steps of sharpening, polishing and correcting. As a final step the handle is connected to the blade. Natural oil is rubbed on the blade to prevent stains. The knife is now ready for use.
“Iron is alive, it can live and it can die depending on the blacksmith”
Knife making is in Anryu san’s blood. His family started as knives makers in the early 1870’s. He started apprenticing as a knife maker under his father, Katsutoshi Anryu, after graduating high school in 1959. He is a fourth generation knife maker and has been working as a blacksmith for well over 50 years. Amazing. Anryu san is always striving to make better knives to please the cook using them.
1933 helped establish Takefu Knife Village
1996 nominated as an Excellent Successor of Traditional Craftsmen
2002 obtained the Certificate of Traditional Craftsmen
2010 award from The Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry
“Making knives is delicate work with many considerations.”
In 1935 Hiroshi Kato san’s father became independent from his Sensei. After finishing high school Kato san began his apprenticeship under his father. It’s amazing that after over 50 years as a knife maker he’s still inspired by thinking of people cooking with his knives. He always considers balance when hammer the steel, keeping in mind where a knife needs to be thin and where it needs to be strong.
1960 began his knife making apprenticeship
1993 helped establish Takefu Knife Village
2008 obtained the Certificate of Traditional Craftsmen
“I want to supply knives that touch people’s hearts.”
Traveling across America is when Shibata san realized his deep love for Japanese craftsmanship. After careful consideration he made the decision to bring hand crafted Japanese knives to the world. Shibata san is seen as one of the top knife sharpeners in Japan and he takes pride in the fact that he hand sharpens each knife before it is sold.