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Thread: Traditional Korean knife

  1. #1
    TimoNieminen's Avatar
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    Traditional Korean knife

    So, I happened to find an old traditional-style Korean kitchen knife, and bought it. It's the top one:

    Have yet to clean & use. The handle is approximately round, but natural wood and not straight. It fits my hand well. Middle-aged Koreans describe it as "a knife like my grandmother used".

    The bottom knife is modern, one of the number of traditional-style knives inspired by the hugely successful Korean historical drama Dae Jang Geum, about the life of a royal cook: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dae_Jang_Geum

  2. #2
    I watched the show a few times in a Hanoi hotel a year or so ago.
    I then picked up a knife exactly like I had seen on the TV show at a local American cutlery show last fall. The seller asked me if I knew what it was and I told him "yes, Korean." He seemed to be surprised that anyone but him had an idea where the knife came from. A little rough but the shape does work good as a meat cutter.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Scrap's Avatar
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    Awesome post, I'd actually been curious for a while as to what was traditionally used in Korea but could never find anything. Any one have any idea if someone out there is still producing something like this?

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  5. #5
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    There is ebayseller called ocpungang..He has a lot of this stuff for Sale.

  6. #6
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    Ocpundang, sorry

  7. #7
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    Although I have Korean background I know little about traditional knives in Korea...
    The "Namwon" made knives seem to be the only traditional style knives available at least from overseas. FYI, Namwon is a town name located in South-West of Korean peninsula and there are a few different blacksmiths make these sorts of knives there.

    I read from somewhere that the knives with raised tip in DaeJangGeum has the profile mainly used in Seoul area. The closest thing to that raised tip korean-style knife I could find on the web is actually on Jon's website here. I don't know what inspired Hide-san to make one like this but he might be a fan of DaeJangGeum too? Or there may be a similar profile traditional knife in Japan too.

    I know there is this artisan Ju Yong-Bu who has been forging knives for more than 60 years and I think he is the first and the only government-certified master craftman in knife making but not sure if he makes any traditional style rustic knives. His knives are branded as "YongHo (dragon and tiger)". This is a pic of his Japanese single-bevels:

  8. #8
    Senior Member Scrap's Avatar
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    Awesome, the directions are much appreciated, and it seems those just so happen to be in my whimsy buy price range. may have to check out this series for some ideas, I've been wanting to learn more Korean food anyway.

  9. #9
    Nice find! I've been to Korea twice and couldn't find any. Everyone I know there cuts everything with scissors....

    Going back in a few months and this time will get out of Seoul and see Busan and jeju as well, so I'll keep my eyes peeled.

  10. #10
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    Have you checked the place called Knife Gallery in Insadong, Seoul?
    Although I've never been there, the owner said to me he's got a few antique Korean kitchen knives which are not open to public yet. I believe he is the one who gave advice to the DaeJangGeum production team on the shape/profile of the knives used in the show.

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