View Full Version : "Prestigious" japanese knives/makers?

11-30-2012, 06:41 PM
I recently got a coupon for Williams-Sonoma and figured I'd have a look at their website to see if there was anything interesting. What I found was not interesting in the "hey, I'd like one of those!" way, but rather interesting in the "well what the heck do they mean by that?" way. Namely the following line taken from the Masahiro section of their website:

"Widely considered to be one of the three most presitigious knife makers in all of Japan, the Masahiro Company creates knives with professional-level performance in mind."

Now my first thoughts were "Masahiro, really?" and "Well who the heck does their marketing person think are the other two most prestigious?" Trivialities like that aside though, it did get me wondering what the Japanese make of things like this. Do they view things like knives as "prestige" items in the same way that we do in the west? I feel like Japanese culture would allow for pride in the creation of a high-quality product but not necessarily drive toward the element of public recognition that "prestige" entails, but maybe I'm wrong about this? How does the concept of prestige play out in the Japanese mentality?

And to end things on a fun note, who would YOU consider "prestigious" knifemakers?

11-30-2012, 06:43 PM
Im not Japanese, Im a Takeda diehard.

11-30-2012, 06:48 PM
I think Nenohi and Mizuno Tanrenjo would rank high on the list--but I'm not an expert on Japanese culture.

Andrew H
11-30-2012, 06:48 PM
Masamoto, Shigefusa, Heiji. Obviously Masamoto isn't the same scale that Shigefusa / Heiji are but they get some real respect.

Von blewitt
11-30-2012, 06:58 PM
Tsukasa, Shigefusa, Nenohi

11-30-2012, 06:58 PM

11-30-2012, 07:55 PM
Neat question. Best Japanese knife from an American consumer's perspective may not be the same as from a Japanese consumer's perspective.


11-30-2012, 08:02 PM
Neat question. Best Japanese knife from an American consumer's perspective may not be the same as from a Japanese consumer's perspective.



11-30-2012, 08:04 PM
I would imagine Aritsugu is a big one.

11-30-2012, 08:11 PM
Care to elaborate Jon? Sounds interesting

11-30-2012, 08:22 PM
It is the Japanes way of saying 'I may very well be the best, but I will not cause controversy or disharmony among the other makers by saying so' :D

11-30-2012, 08:30 PM
a lot of the companies we know and love here are not well known in japan and are primarily geared towards foreign markets. Prestigious is a vague terms. If you want to know what most chefs are thinking about, its usually masamoto or aritsugu. If you want to know what chefs think are the best knives, it depends on the region you are in and which knifemaker that chef has a relationship with (some chefs love suisin, gesshin hide, nenohi, shigefusa, etc.). If you want to know what has the biggest bling factor and makes people think you have money, thats a whole other story.

Salty dog
11-30-2012, 10:48 PM

11-30-2012, 11:26 PM
Pardon my ignorance on that maker's mark but that is.....who?

12-01-2012, 01:10 AM

12-01-2012, 01:13 AM
yes, Salty has the biggest dong.

12-01-2012, 02:46 AM
I hope this doesn't elicit a photo contest:zipper: Unless it's knives, or food :chef2:

Andrew H
12-01-2012, 02:47 AM
yes, Salty has the biggest dong.

Had* :lol2:

Cutty Sharp
12-01-2012, 05:52 AM
Kiya, like Aritsugu, seems big enough that you find it in some of the dept. stores.

Salty dog
12-01-2012, 06:14 AM
Had* :lol2:

True nuf,#2 son has left the fold but #1 son remains in hiding.

12-01-2012, 12:28 PM
+1 on what Jon said, Many do not even know Shigefusa and small makers in Japan, in Japan Shigefusa mostly sell his knives like other brand to different shops.
Most Honyakis considered as very high end thought

12-01-2012, 01:08 PM
Would Mac and Konosuke be examples of brands designed for export?

Cutty Sharp
12-01-2012, 04:43 PM
Well, I don't know about Mac, but I've never seen a Konosuke in Japan.

12-01-2012, 07:43 PM
mac exists in japan but is more prevalent in the US... konosuke is not a brand sold domestically in japan

Keith Sinclair
12-02-2012, 12:05 AM
I got my second yanagiba fr. A-Frames here.Aritsugu BS 270.He pulled out couple Shigefusa,Yanagiba and Gyuto superb knives a little out of my price range.At the time the Aritsugu yanagi was the most I ever spent on a knife.