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Bram
07-08-2013, 02:30 PM
For those of you who have some experience with the 2 general usuba types, I'm wondering which you prefer? Seems the kama-type is the more popular and perhaps useful with the tip, but as a frequent tip-chipper I'm kind of drawn to the higashi. I know I've read somewhere before about the intention of the design I but can't remember the details, so I'm also wondering if anyone has found the squarish corner tip of the higashi useful in ways the kama wouldn't be? Of course the advantage of the pointyness of the kama tip is obvious with regard to garnis-cutting.

ThEoRy
07-08-2013, 07:51 PM
I think the square ones are for scooping product. What do I know?

eshua
07-08-2013, 08:03 PM
Kamagata better for chopping negi. Regular square better for spinning kappa. Difference seems small. Get one you love.

Sarge
07-08-2013, 11:00 PM
Two things I think you mean Kamagata and Azumagata. As Hishigata is a reference to the sword tip or Mukimono, of which Kamagata could also be included. (if I'm wrong on that my apologies) I personally own a Kamagata usuba and can say the functional tip is nice, but really from what I have experienced there isn't too much difference if you are just planning on katsurimuki and regular veg cutting the square tip will do just fine. For more detailed work and slightly decorative things the Kamagata would probably be a better fit.

keithsaltydog
07-09-2013, 01:15 AM
I got the Kamagata cus I liked the look better:whistling:

Bram
07-09-2013, 02:31 AM
I tend to like the look of the higashi better - though not all, depends on the maker. Not if they're too square. I love the look of the Shig version, and the kama as well. If I can borrow a vendor's photo - I don't know why a usuba would be photographed with sushi beside it, but certainly looks a cool blade here:

http://www.epicureanedge.com/pics/86659_1_n.jpg


I think the square ones are for scooping product. What do I know?

It's a good point. I hadn't thought of that. Yeah, probably a bit better.


Kamagata better for chopping negi. Regular square better for spinning kappa.

Thanks, eshua. Didn't get this at first, but turns out he means katsuramuki. Yes, I can imagine that too - due to the geometry.


Two things I think you mean Kamagata and Azumagata. As Hishigata is a reference to the sword tip or Mukimono, of which Kamagata could also be included.

Actually, I think with the squarish-tipped azumagata/higashigata I think it's an example of different makers using a couple of different names for the same thing. Higashigata 東型 just means eastern-type, which is logical as it originated in Kanto. ;)

JBroida
07-09-2013, 03:27 AM
the history of the shapes is a bit different, as is the way the used to be used. Because of the tip on the kamagata usuba, chefs can use it for regular usuba work and mukimono (design work), and tend to do so. In kanto, chefs that do mukimono tend to use a mukimono bocho as well. Of course, at the best restaurants and with the most skilled chefs, they still tend to use the most task specific knife (but, not always).

maxim
07-09-2013, 03:48 AM
Is it not something regional ??
I dont think there is any real purpose between this 2 but i might be wrong .

JBroida
07-09-2013, 03:57 AM
there's a bit more history to it than just that... i'm in a rush right now, but if i can remember tonight, i will explain in more depth. It will also clear up the difference between takobiki and yanagiba.

JBroida
07-09-2013, 10:22 AM
so here we go... in the kanto region, back in the day they used to sit while cutting, making their cutting boards higher relative to their bodies. This necessitated the use of flater edged knives (takobiki, higashi-gata usuba, etc), as well as the lack of a sharp tip, which would be useless and problematic from this position. In the Kansai region, chefs stood while cutting, this making the curved profile of yanagiba more useful than takobiki. Likewise, the tip of the kamagata usuba is easier to use from a standing position than a sitting position. Moreover, the home of kaiseki ryori is kyoto. In this kind of cuisine, mukimono (decorative cutting technique) is often seen. The tip of the kamagata usuba is very useful when doing this kind of detail-oriented cutting. Mukimono bocho is also sometimes used, but it seems to be a bit more common in the kanto region, as the higashigata-usuba doesnt have a functional tip for this kind of thing.

Hope this helps you guys better understand these knives.

Dusty
07-09-2013, 10:32 AM
When are you releasing your book Jon?

JBroida
07-09-2013, 10:35 AM
lol... for the time being, its all in my head :P

I guess this is why my inbox is full all of the time ;)

pkjames
07-09-2013, 10:40 AM
tks for the info Jon, you definitely need to compose a book at some point. Just collect you the stuff you have shared would made it really nice:) oh yeah, make sure there's a free DVD comes with the book:wink:

Bram
07-09-2013, 11:16 AM
This definitely connects some of the dots for me, so thanks for this. Hadn't read about the sitting thing before.

Man, so if I go ahead with the higashigata then I have to get a mukimono too. Yet another excuse for a new knife!

Or maybe just get both usuba types... it never ends.

maxim
07-09-2013, 11:17 AM
Jon you should trow that things in the blog every time you make post like that ! :)

JBroida
07-09-2013, 11:24 AM
probably... I'll throw this on my blog shortly

Seth
07-09-2013, 11:36 AM
...Yet another excuse for a new knife!

Or maybe just get both usuba types... it never ends.


That was my solution - buy both shigs. With this maker, the square one is thinner with a bigger bevel and thinner behind the edge. I like the goofy look of the higashigata and it works well for most veg requirements. They are both 210s which is a good size for me. I have a 225 kamagata which I find a bit large.

Bram
07-09-2013, 12:59 PM
That was my solution - buy both shigs. With this maker, the square one is thinner with a bigger bevel and thinner behind the edge. I like the goofy look of the higashigata and it works well for most veg requirements. They are both 210s which is a good size for me. I have a 225 kamagata which I find a bit large.

That's a good advert for the higashi then, I'd say. Surprised to hear it's thinner! On the other hand, I don't think it looks goofy.

210mm - exactly the size I'd had in mind.

Sarge
07-09-2013, 01:35 PM
Bram as a side note are you near the flooding going on up there. I lived in Toronto about 10-12 years ago and for some of that time lived in the Etobicoke area. The photos I'm seeing look really gnar-gnar. Hope you are safe and dry

Bram
07-09-2013, 02:26 PM
Thanks - no, luckily I'm out of the city right now. Sounds horrendous!