As some of you may know, I recently went back to Japan (again) and visited our vendors to say hello. A part of the trip was accompanied by a good friend of my mother, top chef Lee Ann Wong.
*Please excuse the pictures. I was struggling a little with my new camera.
We visited the Masamoto store near the Sky Tree.
In lou of the sky tree opening, Masamoto released knives with the Sky Tree engraved on the back.
Masamoto's beautifully handmade vegetable cutters.
This is where Mr. Sugai trains for weeks under his grand master Mr. Mizuyama. Mr. Mizuyama has also taught Misono and Masamoto's presidents how to sharpen knives. Mr. Sugai is the only apprentice however to receive such intensive training.
Mr. Sugai sharpening sobakiri-bocho [menkiri / noodle knives]. He has been practicing sharpening menkiri for the past few months. He said it is extremely difficult to put a blade on such a straight edge.
The left is used to straighten a normal knife, the right is for menkiri knives.
His practice knives that were sharpened down to nothing.
We went to Kyoto to visit our sharpening stone vendor. This wall is made out of natural sharpening stone. I asked if he was ever tempted to use them on a rainy day.
Mounds of natural sharpening stones from the vendor's mountain. He has to store them in the basement to keep them in a cool environment.
We visited Sakai City's forger Mr. Ikeda.
Mr. Ikeda putting the bonding adhesive(?) on the soft iron.
Chef Lee Ann cutting out the shape of the blade from the forged knife. [This was of course a practice piece. lol]
Making the blade.
There are more pictures to come! Next one will be mostly food.