Living in central Tokyo I cycle around extensively and see a lot interesting things. Many years ago I spotted a small knife shop in Asakusabashi that looked interesting, but couldn't go in because it was closed due to holidays. It's tucked in a little out of the way spot so I forgot about it for several years, but during my research into Kato-san (Fujiwara Yoshiaki) recently it flashed back up on my radar. Again, on several attempts I had problems with it being closed due to various reasons, but today I was finally able to go in. The name of the shop is Morihei which may already be familiar to some of you (Maxim?). What looked like a small unassuming shop from the outside gave way to a much bigger store inside. After looking around and talking with a female staff member for 10-15 minutes and telling her about my interest in kitchen knives, straight razors and my ongoing martial arts studies, she asked me to wait a minute. Shortly she returned with the Morihei president, Mr. Oguro. We began to talk a bit and he seemed to take a liking to me and invited me upstairs. All I can say is WOW! I am not (yet) a Japanese natural stone guy, but what an amazing collection!! After showing me that, he brought me into his private office and proceeded to go into is vault and bring out an amazing very wide beveled yanagiba that he explained was made by Kato Kiyoshi-san's father. I'm kicking myself now that I didn't think to take any photos of the knife. In my defense, I was caught up in the moment and a bit surprised at the amazing hospitality Oguro-san displayed.
After talking a bit more, and returning to the first floor, I had to run. Before I left, Oguro-san asked if we could take a photo together, and then invited me back to do some sharpening with him, an offer I definitely intend to take him up on! Here are a few photos from the visit, please pardon my winter city cycling attire :