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your taste in handles on Japanese knives - a vote? - Page 2
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Thread: your taste in handles on Japanese knives - a vote?

  1. #11
    I enjoy seeing all the beautiful custom handles that people are making here in the states, but in Japan, unless you are the best chef the world has ever seen, you would be considered foolish if you walked into a restaurant with something flashy and weren't by far the most skilled chef in the restaurant. I purposefully put the plainest handles I can find on my knives to show humbleness when I am working with other people, and this seems customary in most places I've been in Japan. One of the best chefs I ever met had a mirror-finish honyaki with an ebony and silver handle, and he never used it out in front of a customer because he said he wasn't ready to use a tool like that. He had over thirty years of experience. When you meet people like that, who do better work than you do with cheaper tools, it's embarrassing to have more expensive flashy knives. So, for now, although I invested in some serious steel, all the handles are plain magnolia. If I worked in Western restaurants with Western chefs, I might think differently. The culture here is so different that it's not a big deal for people to be different.

  2. #12
    Senior Member shankster's Avatar
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    Plain and simple for me.Whatever the knife came with,although I am particular to rosewood wa handles....

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    ... My personal preference is for handles with 3 elements, i.e. ferrule-spacer-handle or ferrule-handle-end piece and medium strong contrasts in colors and patterns. I really like the beauty of burl pieces, but in most cases I find the combination of two burls too much unless one of them is on the subtle side.

    Stefan
    +1 I just enjoy the beauty of the various burl woods. Ho wood and magnolia wood are just too plain looking.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by shankster View Post
    Plain and simple for me.Whatever the knife came with,although I am particular to rosewood wa handles....
    I also like a plain and simple one.... I love Kokutan (ebony) wa handles.....

  5. #15
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    I like what I like. You like what you like. My taste is the best, because it is my taste.
    Spike C
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  6. #16
    If something is not to my taste, I can only appreciate the craft, but I can't say that I love it or find it awesome.

    I do like busier handles, because to me customs and rehandles are about decorating and personalising something that you treasure. The ornate work speaks to me of a more indulgent kind of item. I enjoy the effort the aesthetics and the effort.

    I will also be the first to admit that some of my favorite handles ae the ones on the high end suisin and masamoto yanis, with the ferrule, silver spacer, wood, spacer, end cap design.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by la2tokyo View Post
    I enjoy seeing all the beautiful custom handles that people are making here in the states, but in Japan, unless you are the best chef the world has ever seen, you would be considered foolish if you walked into a restaurant with something flashy and weren't by far the most skilled chef in the restaurant. I purposefully put the plainest handles I can find on my knives to show humbleness when I am working with other people, and this seems customary in most places I've been in Japan. One of the best chefs I ever met had a mirror-finish honyaki with an ebony and silver handle, and he never used it out in front of a customer because he said he wasn't ready to use a tool like that. He had over thirty years of experience. When you meet people like that, who do better work than you do with cheaper tools, it's embarrassing to have more expensive flashy knives. So, for now, although I invested in some serious steel, all the handles are plain magnolia. If I worked in Western restaurants with Western chefs, I might think differently. The culture here is so different that it's not a big deal for people to be different.

    This is a great post,I love to hear the cultural differences.Thank God my grandparents immigrated to America Bring on the FLASH!!
    I have no problem bustin out a mirror finished honyaki.

  8. #18
    Simple, clean look. Has to be symmetrical and rightly sized to a knife.


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  9. #19
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by la2tokyo View Post
    I enjoy seeing all the beautiful custom handles that people are making here in the states, but in Japan, unless you are the best chef the world has ever seen, you would be considered foolish if you walked into a restaurant with something flashy and weren't by far the most skilled chef in the restaurant. I purposefully put the plainest handles I can find on my knives to show humbleness when I am working with other people, and this seems customary in most places I've been in Japan. One of the best chefs I ever met had a mirror-finish honyaki with an ebony and silver handle, and he never used it out in front of a customer because he said he wasn't ready to use a tool like that. He had over thirty years of experience. When you meet people like that, who do better work than you do with cheaper tools, it's embarrassing to have more expensive flashy knives. So, for now, although I invested in some serious steel, all the handles are plain magnolia. If I worked in Western restaurants with Western chefs, I might think differently. The culture here is so different that it's not a big deal for people to be different.

    出る釘は打たれる。
    Deru kugi wa utareru
    Literally: The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    When I first started in the kitchen I worked for a restaurant that everyone in the back of the house wore polyester hounds tooth pattern pants. If you wore cotton or any other color or pattern pants you were written up. This also showed in the food. Now cooks and chefs wear just about anything for patterns on pants. I look at the handles as the same. That being said I will say that most knives made on the low end are just wood there because it is cheap, and usually in the area. Would I put new shoes on a shige. ? Prob. not.

    That being said I wouldn't mind seeing a handle with my fav. colors mixed in with a burl. Being a royal blue and very dark green I can only see that happening with a dyed beryl. So I guess my vote would be it depends. Great thread.

    Another thought people customize guns, cars, and anything else under the sun so why not?
    Chewie's the man.

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