View Full Version : japanese knife identification

11-23-2012, 07:18 AM
hi, I recently came across a 2 Japanese deba knifes and 2 what looks like petty knifes. They are in bad shape and I was wondering if anyone could identify them. I'd like to know if it would be worth it to restore them. The wood handles are splitting from the tang expanding from corrosion and needs to be replaced, the edge have chips in them and will need to be removed. I have a 7" deba, 6" deba, and a two 4 3/4 inch petty knifes, looks like pairing knifes. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

7" Deba

6" Deba

petty knives

11-23-2012, 08:27 AM
the two on the bottom almost look like honesukis.

11-23-2012, 12:23 PM
Welcome Quark!

11-23-2012, 01:20 PM
checked with sara on this this morning...
cant read the top one (just too difficult to read due to fading and style)
the second one could be kikuhide (but not 100% sure)
the pettys are kikufusa

11-23-2012, 02:08 PM
the last photo, I'm really not so sure about. I can be sure about the first ("kiku) and the last two chracters ("tokusei" specially made), but the second character is really tough to identify.

11-23-2012, 02:18 PM
I think petty - 菊秀特製 - Kikuhide special make.
Second deba - 菊一 - Kikuichi
I can only recognize on the first one 登録 - registration, but I can't read firm name.

11-23-2012, 07:08 PM
great! starting to narrow down things now. I'm pretty clueless to japanese characters. Looks like some great suggestion, but I'm a bit confused. It seems like the petty knives are kikuhide knifes or kikufusa? I found a small red box that says kikuhide, nothing really fits except the pettys. Wondering if its kikuhide then? As for the 6" deba, kikuhide, or kikuichi? I've had a friend say its probably kikuichi, as it has the character for number 1, that line going across on the bottom. First knife, still pretty clueless on. In either case, would these knifes be worth putting some work on? or are they cheap run of the mill for Japanese knifes? I'm basically looking at removing all the rust, and replacing the handles. Basically getting them back into working order.

also, where can I find replacement handles? I've seen some around but they are mostly custom made, fancy ones. Just looking at something functional.

Thanks for the help, and I really appreciate it.

11-23-2012, 07:53 PM
As to whether they are worth messing with, put them to the stones and see how the steel feels. If it is nice and hard, there you go!

11-23-2012, 11:39 PM
Check Maxim for nice inexpensive handles ready to install...

11-24-2012, 05:25 PM
i think your kikuichi deba is pretty old - metal ferrule was more common in older times in Japan. The first knife that I can't identify is also interesting - I think the style used for the logo is very cool.... the font has similar feel to it when you think about really neat and cool English cursive letters. I wish I had better pen ship to write and read old Japanese writing/fonts.

12-26-2012, 06:03 AM
Sorry for not replying sooner but I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the help. I've been able to get the knifes in working order, replaced the handles with an old mop handle, shaped and sanded. Filed a new tip on both of the debas and got a new hair shaving edge on them. I'm still getting used to using the deba on cutting down 5-30lb tunas, I like the smaller 6" deba, and the 7" feels clumsy and not very balanced. I can't feel where the blade tip is cutting and in turn, wasting more flesh than I want to. I've attached some pictures of the deba in case anyone is interested.

I'd like to ask for further assistance though, I found another knife, looks like a 8" or 200mm yanagiba, same manufacture as the 6" deba, Kikuichi I believe, however, this knife was hardly used and there are markings on the handles that are visible. Not sure what they say, but maybe it can give further information if anyone is able to help. Before using it, I'll need to try and straighten the blade out first, but should be fun. Much appreciate it. Thanks.




12-26-2012, 04:13 PM
Yes, they seems to be kikuichi knives. The one with the burnt logo on the handle also says Nara(Nara prefecture) kikuichi.

12-27-2012, 07:40 AM
奈良 - Nara (city ​​where the firm is located).
Company's full name - 菊一文珠四郎包永
Kikuichi 菊一 Monjyu 文珠 Shiro 四郎 Kanenaga 包永. Kikuichi means "first chrysanthemum," and Monjyu the Buddha that Shiro Kanenaga worshipped in his hometown of Nara.