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Customfan

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Are there any "antique" japanese kitchen knives that have elaborate handles? or is this a "new" phenomenon?

Does anyone have any "very old" japanese knives that we can Look at? or know of any sites (colectors that have/use them)? :sumo:
 

Dave Martell

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All of the older Japanese knives that I have seen have ho wood handles and steel ferrules, nothing fancy really. I'm sure that I've only seen a sliver of a slice of what's out there though.
 

Andy777

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I have a Sugimoto cleaver that was made shortly after WWII when they switched to knives from swords. It is so old that none of the current sugimoto employees were around when it was made (and I think they told me the oldest one there had been there since 1950 something. It's pretty badass and an awesome piece of history. I'll take some pics. Oh and now that I'm done bragging about my cool knife, yes it is plain with a rat tail tange and round wooden handle. :biggrin2:
 

JBroida

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yeah... old knives tend to have very simple handles with the exception of some extremely EXTREMELY expensive ones

some of them also have metal ferrules depending on who made them and when
 

Eamon Burke

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They all look like **** :)
http://page7.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/g84690182

Get Marko to pimp you japanese knives. Then they turn hot :)
HAHAHA Chrome translated that page and the name of the knife was translated "Ebony feet burning a plate of fish slicer".:lol2::lol2:

I find it interesting that none of them have special woods. What do the crappy ones look like? How come nobody ever made a pretty knife handle, and if they did, why didn't anyone keep it?:confused:
 

Customfan

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:cool2:That sounds like an awesome Cleaver, can't wait to see those photos, if it isn't too much to ask, where did you acquire such treasure?

So we can attribute embellishment to our times (With such very rare exceptions? As Jon says) Do you know where we can glance at more of these old beauties Jon? I guess handles were not as important back then...
 

JBroida

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:cool2:That sounds like an awesome Cleaver, can't wait to see those photos, if it isn't too much to ask, where did you acquire such treasure?

So we can attribute embellishment to our times (With such very rare exceptions? As Jon says) Do you know where we can glance at these old beauties Jon? Museums perhaps? Private collections?
i havent really ever seen those knives in museums... mostly in private collections of chefs or families of chefs and from a few knifemakers
 

Customfan

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Jon... Maybe you can help me with this... Samurai sword makers took tamahagane to make steel, did they use lesser quality (Non samurai grade) for their kitchen knives or is it the same quality for honyaki and other kitchen K.?.... Have things changed from back then to now?

I remember seeing a documentary on how Swords were made (High Carbon and lower carbon content jacket that would shrink to accomplish the curvature and such) and Tamahagane experts played an important role in the end product... I was curious on how different swords are from kitchen knives and how they have evolved..

I ask this because I don't know and am curious about the topic.. Thanks!
 

JBroida

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sword makers are sword makers... knife makers are knife makers... its pretty different. I have a very talented and well respected sword maker friend in Japan who takes pleasure in reminding me of this. Many knife makers claim to come from swordmakers, but for the most part this is just marketing. The knifemakers today dont make swords... they are knifemakers.

That being said, i'm not sure i'm qualified to answer this question. It would depend a lot on what timeframe we are taking about as well.

how old of knives are you wondering about?
 

Customfan

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:thumbsup2:I believe you pretty much answered my question! I guess Pre-industrial Japan, no specific era or Shogunate. Lets say before the Tokugawa era for consideration sake (before the 17th. century).

Just curiosity Jon.... I just think this topic is interesting as hell!! knowing what I know now.. I guess we need to veer towards..

a) Has it always been a separate clan? Swormakers and Knifemakers (As it is now)?
b) "If" at some point they were the same... Did they use different source for steel? Distinction?

What do you think?
 

JBroida

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:thumbsup2:I believe you pretty much answered my question! I guess Pre-industrial Japan, no specific era or Shogunate. Lets say before the Tokugawa era for consideration sake (before the 17th. century).

Just curiosity Jon.... I just think this topic is interesting as hell!! knowing what I know now.. I guess we need to veer towards..

a) Has it always been a separate clan? Swormakers and Knifemakers (As it is now)?
b) "If" at some point they were the same... Did they use different source for steel? Distinction?

What do you think?
can i take this conversation to PM with you?
 

Andy777

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Here are the promised pics:







I picked this up on eBay a while back for $80. I was at Disneyland and at night back at the hotel I was checking knives on eBay, I saw it and thought the kanji looked like Sugimoto, but it's so old it's a little different than it is now (and I know absolutely nothing about kanji), so I emailed the pics to Sugimoto and heard back from them after the auction had ended with no bids. Luckily the guy posted it in his eBay store. The dude is this one GIANT A-Hole who sells a lot of older carbon knives on eBay. He is ALWAYS over priced and ALWAYS lying about the origin of his knives etc, always says stuff about how it's the sharpest knife he's ever come across when really it's all beat to hell and dull as a butter knife (if you shop knives on eBay you know the guy I'm talking about - I can't remember his username since it's been ages since I prowled eBay a lot.) Anyway, he thought it was Chinese made and if it were it would have been overpriced about five times over (like all his knives) but lucky for me he's an idiot and it was the equivalent of a Sugimoto #3 which is about $350 new let alone a 60 year old antique. It was a great personal victory. :biggrin2:
 

steeley

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WOW good call by you to send a photo.:cooking:
 

sashae

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Not antique but reasonably old... purchased by my wife's folks when they lived in Japan in the 80s. Unfortunately the tip got nipped off during a move... no idea who the maker is.









 

Noodle Soup

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I don't read Japanese but the knife looks like a couple of low end Masamotos I bought off Korin maybe 10-12 years ago.
 

ecchef

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You're talking about Ralph1396, Andy? He's definitely full of crap, but he does come up with some interesting pieces from time to time.

Nice cleaver.
 

ecchef

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Not antique but reasonably old... purchased by my wife's folks when they lived in Japan in the 80s. Unfortunately the tip got nipped off during a move... no idea who the maker is.









The kanji & hiragana look weird. :cheeky:
 

Andy777

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You're talking about Ralph1396, Andy? He's definitely full of crap, but he does come up with some interesting pieces from time to time.

Nice cleaver.
Hahahaha yeah, that's the guy. :biggrin2:
 

Mattias504

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I have a pretty old deba that I won off of eBay from a Hawaiian estate sale. Its very old, white steel and has a ho wood handle with a brass ferrule. It is at work right now so I can't take a pic of it but I might have one lying around somewhere. Lemme look for it.
 
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