About Sakai Jikko
Many of you may not be aware of the brand “Sakai Jikko”, yet is a very well-known brand in the Japan domestic market with a long history of making premium professional kitchen knives in Sakai, Osaka. Established in 1901, it is now in the hands of the 4th generation owner Toshiyuki Jikko.
(Sakai Jikko Logo)
In the past years, they were mainly focused on the domestic market, as a result, many of us have barely heard of them until probably recently, yet, Jikko is among the biggest Sakai knife brands with a full range of single and double bevel knives in varies materials. It has a designer showroom / workshop in Sakai’s main street: Kishu Highway.
(The entrance walk of Sakai Jikko's showroom on Kishu Highway, Sakai)
Upon entering the showroom, there are a few large grinding wheels and sharpening stations, if you are lucky, you can see the them doing some sharpening work.
(Ground floor workshop of Sakai Jikko, compriased of big water grinding wheels and hand sharpening stations)
The upper level is one of the most exquisite showroom of ANY kitchen knife maker in Japan. I was literally blown away by how much attention was paid to create such an impressive Japanese style showroom.
(Upper level, the exquisite showroom of Sakai Jikko)
And of course there are a lot of super nice Jikko knives in there
The Akatsuki 暁（Akatsuki: Dawn）
This is the line I have been waiting for quite a while. The word Akatsuki (暁）translate to “Dawn”, I gave it the name because this is the first light of the day, resembling the first collaboration between Jikko and K&S. It is a line of double bevel White 2 with iron clad knives, which may sound very “ordinary” at first. I had the same feeling until I actually handled the knife. I have happy to say that the concern was gone immediately after I handled and tested the knife. IMO, the blacksmith Ryoichi Ikeda and the sharper Hirosugu Tosa (both are awarded Dentokogeshi) have combined force to create some really impressive work that I have not seen from Sakai for quite a while.
Upon holding the blade, you will immediately notice the level of finish is extremely high for Sakai knives. Firstly, the grinding line is horizontal (which most of us prefer) instead of diagonal pattern that we usually see on Sakai knives.
(Horizontal grinding line)
Not only finished horizontally, the finish is also super fine. I am not saying the finish is reaching the Shigefusa level but as a standard Kasumi finish, they are certainly some of the highest quality blades from Sakai. I have attached a direct comparison of a Mizuno, and you can see how much finer the finishing grit is.
(The grinding mark is almost invisible from the Akatsuki)
Apart from this very high level of finishing, I naturally asked the choil and spine to be finished to a level that I am happy with; and a custom K&S handle is also a must for all of my custom lines. In this case, it is an ebony handle with white spacer is the choice of handle. I really like this design because it is somewhat unique yet without the super high cost of the metal spacer (nickel silver is really hard to deal with!).
The result? A line of seemingly basic knife, with white 2 core and iron clad, is finished to a level that is rarely seen from Sakai.
(Sakai Jikko Akatsuki Gyuto 240mm)
While F&F only tells about how good a knife looks, I believe most of us really care much about is how well it cuts. This is another big selling point that I want to talk about. The sharpener is a top Sakai master, Hirosugu Tosa. He did an exceptional job on this line not only on the look, but more important on the geometry. Take this 240mm Gyuto for example, standard Sakai profile with the edge length at 232mm (overall length 388mm). The spine doesn’t really have much taper until from midpoint of the spine so it is quite rigid, yet it is ridiculously thin at where it needs to be: about 1.0mm to 1.2mm at 1cm behind the edge with a very gentle convex on both sides of the blade (slightly more on the right hand side). IMO, the sharpener Tosa-san had done an exceptional job on this knife.
(Thickness behind the edge)
The Handle and Balance
The handle of choice here is a classic K&S handle design: ebony, single white spacer and black horn ferrule. I personally think it is elegant and quite budget friendly. In case some of you are worried about handle being heavy, I also made a balance point reference. It is at the pinch grip point for the 240mm Gyuto.
(Balance point at where the pinch grip point)
So now you are probably getting quite interested in the Jikko Akatsuki, and naturally wonder how much a knife like this will cost?
The regular price will be AU$429 (US$ 319) shipped but since Jikko is a relatively new brand to the knife community, I will give it an introductory price of AU$389 (US$290). Note: this price will change due to the fluctuation of exchange rate between JPY / AUD and USD.
And, one more thing
I can’t stress how impressed I was when I first tried the knife so I want our KKF members to also try out the new Jikko Akatsuki. For this 240 Gyuto, I will also throw in a K&S custom hardwood saya. The K&S saya is something I have been working for a long long time and is now finally coming. I will have a bit to talk about them later but for now, I can tell you they will be retailed at AU$100, and YES, as a KKF member, you will be getting it for free. Just write down your KKF username when you place the order.
This promotion will end as soon as I ran out of the first batch of 240 Gytuos, and I will then list the rest of the profiles along with a regular pricing. So please make the most out of this
Please click here to view the knife at knivesandstones.com