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Lurkernomore

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Hi, another barbarian living in Japan checking in. I have been at it since 2011 when I bought my first knife in Kyoto. Since then I have missed out on almost everything on the export market but ended up with lots of Usuba. I learnt to sharpen and to care for carbon steel, how not to mirror polish and what’s to be expected and what isn’t all while destroying a few Usuba. Money well spent. That’s about it, looking forward to commenting.
 
Welcome. So which usuba's are your favorites so far? Is there any good info on usuba usage available in Japan beyond the usual youtube videos?
 
I learnt to sharpen and to care for carbon steel, how not to mirror polish and what’s to be expected and what isn’t all while destroying a few Usuba.
From the sound of that, maybe you could write some kind of guide to sharpening a usuba?! That would be a nice addition to the Sharpening Station. Usubas are not represented here that often, which is a shame because they are great knives (based on the impression of a specimen I was allowed to work with).
 
Welcome. So which usuba's are your favorites so far? Is there any good info on usuba usage available in Japan beyond the usual youtube videos?
I started out with all the Kyoto shops. The best ones in Kyoto so far were shigeharu (made to order) and kikuichimonji. Shigeharu is eighty years old now and slowly but surely his grinds are getting funkier. His urasuki game is still on point though.

Kikuichimonji are old school and the finish is nicer than that of Aritsugu knives.
Yoshisada was mostly junk to be honest but reasonably priced.
I got another extremely nice knife at Kosaka hamono, it’s an oem kikumori.

Anyway, after a while I discovered Sakai, and Kyoto didn’t quite cut it anymore. Some of the nicest usuba I’ve handled so far were by kouhou, izumimasa (Masamoto basically), kikumori, and suishin. Takayuki is nice as well mostly if you buy the expensive lines.
 
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