August 3, 2009

What Has Become of My Shigefusa Nakiri/重房菜切りはどうなったか

Maybe you want to know that, and here is my answer: It still cuts as good as new although it has gotten a little rusty (due to lack of proper maintenance).
This is where I store my Shigefusa, together with my other knives (except my Global santoku): Knife rack on the inside of the door of the storage space under the sink

As I said above, it has gotten a little rusty.

The tomatoes that I grow myself can have bruises such as this:

I really like the way my Shigefusa nakiri goes right in where I want it to.

Ugly photo? Who else but me would like to take a photo of these and show it to you?


Towkay said...


That is not your fault, the stains are not rust, as far as I can tell from the picture. The "spicy" swedish steel is super-reactive to acidic foods (like tomatoes!), my blade turned blue after slicing a pineapple, then settled into a darker color, it is just forming a layer of ferric salts otherwise known as seasoning.

I immediately wash and dry my knife after each use and rub with food grade mineral oil (essentially the same thing as choji oil!). So I am 100% sure there is no rust, yet the cutting edge has the same stains as your blade!

The stains add to the charm of the rustic finish, they'll probably be really easy to polish out if you need to show it off.

You're right, the cuts are very clean, like a surgeon's scalpel. When I use it for vegetables, I am not used to eating the same foods because of the smooth edges of the food.

By the way, I am enjoying the youtube videos from this nagoya restaurant , check it out if you haven't already!

Hiroyuki said...

Towkay: Thanks, it's good to know that it's not rust. If it really gets rusty, I think I'll use an eraser-like product, like this:

Thanks for the link. I know that chef (Kazuya-san?). I watched one of his videos
to prepare squids the other day, which is going to be the subject of my next entry here.

Towkay said...


Why use an eraser when you can polish with a 10K waterstone? It's too fine to take much metal off, so I think you are pretty safe in using it, even if you make mistakes, or just bring it back to yoshizawa's.

I want to eat at Kazuya's! There website is really interesting, they have a wine and food club of some kind. The guy is so passionate about food, it is amazing. In his narration, he gets all excited about putting the finishing touches, and then devours it the next second, saying oishi.

Hiroyuki said...

Towkay: No particular reason, simply because Kawaguchi Kanamono Ten recommends that particular eraser-like product on their website.

Club of some kind? Yes, it's a bring your own sake style party, given four to ten times a year, according to their website. The fee is very reasonable, 5,000 to 10,000 yen depending on the ingredients. I wish I had such a restaurant like this near by!

As for the next knife I may buy, I'm leaning towards Watanabe, because their knives are much, much cheaper. Besides, their lifetime guarantee and free sharpening service are too good to pass up!

Towkay said...


Looking into getting a custom built honyaki deba from watanabe-san myself,

Anyway, i was looking into more info on sanjo city. there are some exciting news to share,

It seems that Iwasaki shigeyoshi, shigefusa's sensei, is still active in community events and social work, and gives a workshop at the Sanjo Kaji Shudan once a month to lay people. I found some pictures of people making their own petty knives and have iwasaki-san gift them their own "mei" to inscribe on the knife.

Hiroyuki said...

Towkay: There is a group called (Echigo) Sanjo Kaji Shudan, and Shigeyoshi Iwasaki is the head instructor of the group. The group was formed in 1993, and according to
they started a monthly(?) six-course blacksmith workshop for the general public in May 1993.
The permanent facility, called Sanjo Kaji Dojo, was built in Sanjo in 2005.
In this facility, the group offers two courses on a regular basis, knife sharpening and wakugi zukuri (Japanese nail making).
A guy talks about his experience in the latter course in his blog:

According to
They also offer two 2-day courses, introductory and elementary courses, twice a year (for 21,000 and 23,000 yen, respectively).

Nevertheless, I don't know for sure if Shigayoshi Iwasaki himself gives a workshop. As you may know, he is in bad health, and his disciple, Ryoichi Mizuochi, now makes kiridashi and other tools in Sanjo Seisakusho.

Hiroyuki said...

Towakay: Have you checked out this video:
Introductory course, held in October, 2008

Towkay said...


It'll take me some time to digest our excellent detective work! One thing is becoming clear to me, iwasaki-san has taken great pains to ensure that Sanjo stays a small traditional smithy village instead of becoming a big corporate center like Sakai (or the rest of Japan for that matter!).

To state the obvious, I am very interested in planning a trip to Japan and to sign up for the course! I am not going to have time until late next year at the earliest. My daughter is still very young, and my schedule at the hospital is booked solid. But one can hope!

Hiroyuki said...

According to
it was Noboru Yamamura, President of Yamamura Seisakusho, who came up with the idea of the group, Sanjo Kaji Shudan. After the burst of the economic bubble, local manufacturers started to produce cheap products in large quantities, and Yamamura held a study meeting, inviting local manufacturers, hoping that they could "understand cutlery even a little". Afterwards, the Kaji Shudan was formed and the Kaji Dojo was started to make ordinary people familiar with cutlery.

Signing up for the course?! You really must make plans well in advance to make that happen. You must first take the introductory (nyumon) course, and this course is limited to twenty people. If more people apply for the course, participants will be chosen by lottery. Only those who have taken the introductory course can take the elementary (shoku) course.

Hiroyuki said...

Correction: Not elementary (shoku) course but elementary (shokyu) course.