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Shigeki Tanaka vs Kazuyuki Tanaka
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Thread: Shigeki Tanaka vs Kazuyuki Tanaka

  1. #1

    Shigeki Tanaka vs Kazuyuki Tanaka

    So I went to EE and bought a 270mm Tanaka suminagashi Yanagiba. I decided to pick up the cheaper Tanaka Kasumi Yanagiba online by Shigeki Tanaka and happened to see the knife I just picked up at EE for a lower price. When I tried to price match, EE told me that the one I bought was from the father (who has since passed away) and is of superior quality, and therefore more expensive. Upon doing some research, I have noticed that the Kanji on my knife is different than that currently circulating around the internet. My knife has three kanji characters and the newer knives have four, although the bottom two kanji all match up. Does anyone know anything about this, or can read kanji? I don't know how to post pics from Tapatalk, but the kanji from each knife can be found at JWW (Japanese Woodworker) and the other from EE (Epicurean Edge).

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    Do you mean This Site Not Allowed Here.com.com? I've heard that CKTG is not looked upon too kindly in these forums.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojo33 View Post
    So I went to EE and bought a 270mm Tanaka suminagashi Yanagiba. I decided to pick up the cheaper Tanaka Kasumi Yanagiba online by Shigeki Tanaka and happened to see the knife I just picked up at EE for a lower price. When I tried to price match, EE told me that the one I bought was from the father (who has since passed away) and is of superior quality, and therefore more expensive. Upon doing some research, I have noticed that the Kanji on my knife is different than that currently circulating around the internet. My knife has three kanji characters and the newer knives have four, although the bottom two kanji all match up. Does anyone know anything about this, or can read kanji? I don't know how to post pics from Tapatalk, but the kanji from each knife can be found at JWW (Japanese Woodworker) and the other from EE (Epicurean Edge).
    What exactly do you want to hear? EE told you the truth. One can argue whatever Shigeki Tanaka's knives are of less quality compared to Kazuyuki, but that's topic for another discussion.
    Do you like how you knife performs? If so, just enjoy using it. If not, then describe what exactly you don't like and you could get some advices of how to fix/improve it.

  5. #5
    What I would like to gain from all this is to know how to differentiate knives made by Shigeki and those made by Kazuyuki.

    As I have searched all over the internet to acquire more knowledge about Tanakas, there has been no differentiation as to which knives people have. EE highly recommends Kazuyuki so I would like to know how to spot them.

    Seeing that you do agree with EE, I assume that you are aware of this as fact? If so, does my Kanji claim have any basis and those with three characters are by Kazuyuki?

    As for performance, I do not know how to maintain single bevel knives. Currently my Suminagashi Tanaka is not "razor sharp" but it performs really well, regardless. I bought the Shigeki Tanaka Kasumi (thinking it was Kazayuki) in order to practice maintaining and sharpening a yanagiba, before doing so on the more expensive one.

    And for those with a suminagashi knife, when sharpening below the shinogi line, does it ultimately ruin the suminagashi finish and reveal the plain steel below?

    Thanks for the input so far.

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    I haven't seen Kazuyki knives in person and only had experience with Shigeki's knives (which I really like so far). The Kanji on Shigeki knives that I've seen had 4 charactes:



    But there's yet another Tanaka maker out there — Hideyuki Tanaka. His signature seems to have only 3 characters:



    I think I've read somewhere on KKF that Shigeki is an older son and Hideyuki is the younger son of Kazuyki.
    So if you compare Kanji from those pictures to your Kazuyki knife, you'd have the idea of how to differentiate them.

    As for the sharpening I'd advice to start another thread just to keep things sane and make sure you've seen great tutorials by Jon http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEBF55079F53216AB

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jojo33 View Post
    What I would like to gain from all this is to know how to differentiate knives made by Shigeki and those made by Kazuyuki.

    As I have searched all over the internet to acquire more knowledge about Tanakas, there has been no differentiation as to which knives people have. EE highly recommends Kazuyuki so I would like to know how to spot them.

    Seeing that you do agree with EE, I assume that you are aware of this as fact? If so, does my Kanji claim have any basis and those with three characters are by Kazuyuki?

    As for performance, I do not know how to maintain single bevel knives. Currently my Suminagashi Tanaka is not "razor sharp" but it performs really well, regardless. I bought the Shigeki Tanaka Kasumi (thinking it was Kazayuki) in order to practice maintaining and sharpening a yanagiba, before doing so on the more expensive one.

    And for those with a suminagashi knife, when sharpening below the shinogi line, does it ultimately ruin the suminagashi finish and reveal the plain steel below?

    Thanks for the input so far.
    No, sharpening will not reveal the "plain" steel, however depending what stones you're using it can make contrast between the 2 steels in the suminigashi less obvious/ defined. You can enhance the contrast with the right progression of stones (finger stones are good for this) etching it will bring out the contrast even more.

    I can't help with differentiating between the knives, but soon it will be very hard to find knives made by kasayuki, they will become collectors items. It is definately a knife to treasure.
    Huw
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

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    Quote Originally Posted by jojo33 View Post
    ...

    And for those with a suminagashi knife, when sharpening below the shinogi line, does it ultimately ruin the suminagashi finish and reveal the plain steel below?

    ...
    There is no "plain steel" below the suminagashi finish. This "ink on water" appearance is the contrast between the two metals making up the pattern welded steel that the jigane, or outer layer of your yanagiba is made from. This effect is produced by polishing with natural stones, and the differing effect of the stones on each of the two metals making up the jigane. Yes, the etching will be subdued somewhat if you use a synthetic stone for sharpening, and will probably no longer be as pronounced, but it is not "ruined" - it can be restored with the proper stone.

    Rick
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

  9. #9
    Senior Member cclin's Avatar
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    what I know is Kazuyuki Tanaka used kanji "誠貴 作"(Tanaka made), Shigeki Tanaka has using both kanji "誠貴 作" & "名匠 誠貴 作"(famous maker Tanaka made) on blade
    Charles ***[All statements I made here only my personal opinion and nothing more!]*** & Please bare with me for my crappy English!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    I want to say Hideyuki is Shigeki San's cousin. I would also say that if you are purchasing a new Kazayuki it must be new old stock as Shigeki had taken over the business a few years before Kazayuki passed. The blades have been coming out with Shigeki signature for at least 5 years now. My ironwood gyuto was a Kazayuki but I've since ground off some cladding on both sides so you can't see the signature any longer. I think there were some glitches in the matrix when Shigeki first took over but that's all long been worked out. His newer stuff is pretty incredible. He actually grinds gyuto much thinner behind the edge than previous models and the single bevel stuff that I've seen is much nicer than before.
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