View Full Version : 庖丁塚 (Hochozuka), Mound of Knives

07-18-2012, 03:16 PM
I wanted to share something very cultural and touching, relating to kitchen knives....

We have man-made mounds of knives in Japan. These mounds, or tsuka, are also referred to as tombs, and tsuka are not limited to deify humans/ancestors, but much more inclusive. For instance, a hochozuka is dedicated to kitchen knives - to thank worn-out knives, to pray for better knive/cooking skills, etc. It's been also said that in old times people reused or recycled swords which are believed to have "spirit" in them, thus spirit needed burial mounds.

I thought about sharing these photos and knowledge... It's very refreshing to have this type of emotional connection to one's tools, especially because we live in the society filled with disposable goods. I believe everything need to be appreciated like these kitchen knives in these hochozuka.



Jonathan and I actually looked at this one:





I think we also have mounds of dolls and scissors, etc in Japan.

07-18-2012, 03:21 PM
wow. Neat. That is all I really can say. It is leaving me speechless, with a ton of heart felt awe.

Eamon Burke
07-18-2012, 04:24 PM
Wait, so there are knives under those things? Or are they just to commemorate the knives?

07-18-2012, 04:58 PM
Most of them, I believe, have knives inside or under the mounds (I'd be very surprised if there weren't any under them). These mounds are usually supported by Shinto shrines, chefs' associations, restaurants, individual chefs, etc.

Eamon Burke
07-18-2012, 05:23 PM
That is awesome.

07-18-2012, 05:25 PM
Very interesting.

07-18-2012, 05:57 PM
So that's where all the "vintage" Japanese blades are -not on Ebay. I think it's nice to see the spiritual connection to the tools and knives. If the knife becomes an extension of you............

07-18-2012, 07:24 PM
I will continue to search out for this type of interesting things to share with you guys :) !

07-18-2012, 11:54 PM
Looks like Steeley has some competition. Great post, look forward to more like this.

07-19-2012, 12:47 AM
Thank you Sara for your posts . if it is a competition Sara won hands down .
and i don't look that good in a dress ....
Sara is a fresh breath of air around here and i look forward to her post and embarrassingly funny pictures of Jon.

07-19-2012, 02:17 AM
.... I will try taking embarrassing photos of Jon. That will be the most spectacular contribution that I can make for a knife community.

07-19-2012, 03:19 AM
LOL :p

Like Steely I am always looking for the history behind my interests. Thanks Sara for some interesing info :) keep it comming

07-19-2012, 04:45 AM
Thanks for posting.

Theres just one thing I dont really understand.
If they were recycling swords, why dont recycle old worn-out knives?

07-19-2012, 01:49 PM
I love learning history too :) I majored in American Studies as an undergrad, and Journalism in graduate school. I'll keep looking so I can share more historical findings about knives :)

07-19-2012, 01:52 PM
Thanks for posting.

Theres just one thing I dont really understand.
If they were recycling swords, why dont recycle old worn-out knives?

There are some craftsmen making knives from worn-out knives, but this is more for fun and for a personal(or communal) project than for commercial reasons... For the most part, I think recycling knives is not very cost effective, and the end result is somewhat unpredictable.