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Thread: Why so japanocentric?

  1. #51
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    My opinion why Japanese knives is so popular is sooo many knife cites in Japan, many many blacksmiths, with many generations of knife or swords blacksmithing
    And finally PRICE, You get much more for the money then say US or EU makers please dont take it as offense, but if you want cheap well made knife you get Japanese.

    When US or Eu makers start to make decent handmade knives for about 100 to 200 USD then it will maybe change

    Plus why price is so low on Japanese knives is because of many generations of knife making and they dont have to start from scratch they usually take over from they fathers

  2. #52
    Senior Member Birnando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB1968 View Post
    Great thread, cant wait to see the results of the knifeoff, maybe one of the Aussie forum members can send the winner a bottle of some new world Margaret River Cabernet, we dont make a bad new world shiraz either.
    Australia is a great idea
    It is hard to imagine a neutral ground further away from Mr. Tsourkan and I

    And a bottle of that shiraz wouldn't be wrong, not at all

  3. #53
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    and on wine, france spain and Italy still the best you can get

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkjames View Post
    i think one important fact is, Japan still has a huge knife making industry / culture. Makes the makers compete with each other, which means they have to constantly perfect their steel / techniques.
    I don't see this in European countries.
    To be fair histrionically there has been knife/sword making regions in Europe.

    Solingen, Germany
    Thiers, France
    Toledo, Spain
    Sheffield, UK

    Are they producing the same quantity as Seki? I doubt it. But the culture does exists. Heck before Japanese cutlery was on the scene most of the worlds knives/swords came from these area's. Perhaps the reason for continuous improvement of Japanese makers is of one craftsmen vs corporation. Where a Craftsman can be more responsive to the needs of its customers compared to say a company like Henckels, Shun, Global etc....

  5. #55
    Senior Member pkjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHL View Post
    To be fair histrionically there has been knife/sword making regions in Europe.

    Solingen, Germany
    Thiers, France
    Toledo, Spain
    Sheffield, UK

    Are they producing the same quantity as Seki? I doubt it. But the culture does exists. Heck before Japanese cutlery was on the scene most of the worlds knives/swords came from these area's. Perhaps the reason for continuous improvement of Japanese makers is of one craftsmen vs corporation. Where a Craftsman can be more responsive to the needs of its customers compared to say a company like Henckels, Shun, Global etc....
    that's true, but don't get me wrong. i have an vintage gustav emil ern chopper that i absolutely love. the reality is, the knife making industries in these places are gone don't you think so?

  6. #56
    Senior Member Birnando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHL View Post
    Snip...
    But the culture does exists. Heck before Japanese cutlery was on the scene most of the worlds knives/swords came from these area's. Perhaps the reason for continuous improvement of Japanese makers is of one craftsmen vs corporation. Where a Craftsman can be more responsive to the needs of its customers compared to say a company like Henckels, Shun, Global etc....
    I do believe you are quite right.
    Knifemaking has been around for many centuries all around the globe.
    Europe being but one of those areas.
    As a Norwegian who can trace my kin back to the 11th century by now (still searching..), I have read many a story about great tools in use up here.
    And my simple background/history is nothing compared to the middle- or south of Europe.
    Or North Africa for that matter!
    They seem to go back for milleniums when it comes to developing products that have improved slowly but surely over the centuries.

    The thing about the Japanese, to me, is that they, more than others, have been single minded enough, or isolated if you prefer, to persue perfection on many areas for a very long time.
    The result of that is, imo, that they have developed a unique culture that I would bet a lot of us enjoy parts of today.
    Knifemaking being but one of those.

    As to the Japanese entry of the "scene", I'm not sure what that really means as to the actual quality of cutlery products produced over there, here or anywhere else
    To me, that is more a consequence of ability, or desire, to reach the marketplace as it were.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birnando View Post
    For clarity's sake:

    In approaching Mr. Tsourkan in Pm I offered the following bet:

    Hi Mr. Tsourkan.

    You know the saying, a man is only as good as his word.
    Well, here I am trying to stand by my word.

    I appreciate your reply to my initial post in the thread that lead us to discuss US custom makers.

    I am proposing this:
    How about if I provide a Kato or a Shigefusa to our bet?
    And you provide whatever you consider a match, or even better, a superior product made by a maker of your choice?
    I'm not gonna hold you to the 3 year statement!

    The conditions I would suggest for this bet are these:

    It is to be tested on neutral ground.
    It is to be based on function, not form.

    If that sounds ok to you, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is, to the extent of providing odds of 2 to 1.
    Meaning, I will, if I loose this bet, I will double whatever you put up.
    Within reason, I am not gonna use 10's of thousand on this

    What do you say to a bet of a hundred bucks?
    (feel free to suggest otherwise, up or down)
    I'll double whatever we agree upon should our impartial third party find the custom superior to my Japanese Gyoto?

    Regarding the third party, I would suggest we find someone without a knowledge of KKF, and that is not a US or Norwegian citizen.

    I will, as promised, cover all costs involved in making this work.
    That means shipping, insurance and packaging.

    Let me know what you think.

    Regards
    Bjoernar (birnando)
    Ok...I don't care what you guys do through PM's, but there's to be no more mention of cash or any other bets or I'll lock this down. Got it?
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  8. #58
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    Fwiw, seki is home to more factory production than hand production... Look to other areas in Japan for more hand made work

  9. #59
    Senior Member Birnando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecchef View Post
    Ok...I don't care what you guys do through PM's, but there's to be no more mention of cash or any other bets or I'll lock this down. Got it?
    Got it!
    EOD (in the open forums)

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkjames View Post
    that's true, but don't get me wrong. i have an vintage gustav emil ern chopper that i absolutely love. the reality is, the knife making industries in these places are gone don't you think so?
    Agreed, other then Solingen and to some extent Thiers I don't see any large high quality, reasonable quantity manufacturers , at least from what I can tell anyways.

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