Mitsuaki Takada/ Ashi Hamono

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Sakai has really been at the forefront for new ways to make exciting prototypes in the world of handmade knives. From the starting philosophy’s from the likes of Konosuke, Hitohira, Shiraki Hamono, and Ashi Hamono- in the 2010s we really started to see the fruits of their work develop some the best knives the word has ever seen.

I think one thing that helps aid the rapid development and growth of these new trends is the fact that the end product- the knife, has two people putting a very big influence on it.

The Blacksmith and The Sharpener

Because there are so many combinations of forger and finisher, you can find so much variation. It becomes very addictive as a collector. Not only do you set out to buy, for example, a Yoshikazu Tanaka knife, but once you’ve acquired one you realize- oh! I love this Konosuke Fujiyama, but what is the FT and the FM!?!? Hitohira has Tanaka Kyuzo knives and Tanaka Yohei Knives!? Etc etc…

One of the biggest stars entering the 2020s is Mitsuaki Takada. Takada has developed so much notoriety from his work with Hitohira, and briefly (along with this decade’s other big breakout sharpener, Naohito Myojin) took over Morihiro’s sharpening duties for the Konosuke Fujiyama*** that he was able to start his company - Takada no Hamono.

***supposedly. It’s not official, but I would be shocked if the Konosuke FT was not the precursor to the Takada no Hamono Suiboku. I’ve never encountered such a unique knife have a carbon copy like that and not be the same guy responsible.***

Takada no Hamono has really taken off in the last year with the Suiboku series becoming arguably the most sought after knife out of Sakai (the Fujiyama still probably holds the title). Ever since using my first Suiboku i be been fascinated by his work. I’m not usually a fan of laser grinds (I prefer an upper midweight grind) but his work has such amazing balance and release. I enjoy his work so much I’ve started a collection within my own knife collection.

66C9633A-2791-41C3-BBE7-EA454A22816B.jpeg

Takada’s counterpart Miyojin apprenticeship has been well documented under Fujiyama’s Morihiro, however all I know about Takada is that he worked with Ashi Hamono for over a decade.

Does anyone have any examples of his work with Ashi? Or know anything more about Ashi Hamono to add to this?
 
I don't think he had any named work with Ashi or anything, but I assume he would've worked on the normal lines. I also assume that like everyone else, the work coming out of his workshop includes work done by apprentices/employees as well.
 
And while it seems unglamorous compared to the Suiboku, you can try to compare apples to apples.
Reika white #2 240mm is 425, Ginga white #2 240mm is 265 (via Carbon). What you get for 160 more is forging from Tanaka's shop, a fancier handle, and a fancier finish (not as fancy as the Suiboku, but definitely a step up from the Ashi knives)
 
And while it seems unglamorous compared to the Suiboku, you can try to compare apples to apples.
Reika white #2 240mm is 425, Ginga white #2 240mm is 265 (via Carbon). What you get for 160 more is forging from Tanaka's shop, a fancier handle, and a fancier finish (not as fancy as the Suiboku, but definitely a step up from the Ashi knives)
Ya I def plan on adding a Reika at some point. Honyaki in the works as well.

How do you order from Tanaka’s shop? I just saw a Takada finished Tanaka with extra height
 
Oh I just might that the Takada comes from Tanaka (at least for some of them)
Takada Blue #1 knives are forged by Y Tanaka, AFAIK. At least the Suibokus are. Mine was purchased off the BST from a guy who bought it direct from him in Japan and he confirmed it as true. Craig at CKC said the same of the Suibokus he sells. Have to assume it’s the same across the board. The Ginsan Suibokus are forged by Nakagawa I’m pretty sure. Don’t know about the White #2 ones.
 
Sakai has really been at the forefront for new ways to make exciting prototypes in the world of handmade knives. From the starting philosophy’s from the likes of Konosuke, Hitohira, Shiraki Hamono, and Ashi Hamono- in the 2010s we really started to see the fruits of their work develop some the best knives the word has ever seen.

I think one thing that helps aid the rapid development and growth of these new trends is the fact that the end product- the knife, has two people putting a very big influence on it.

The Blacksmith and The Sharpener

Because there are so many combinations of forger and finisher, you can find so much variation. It becomes very addictive as a collector. Not only do you set out to buy, for example, a Yoshikazu Tanaka knife, but once you’ve acquired one you realize- oh! I love this Konosuke Fujiyama, but what is the FT and the FM!?!? Hitohira has Tanaka Kyuzo knives and Tanaka Yohei Knives!? Etc etc…

One of the biggest stars entering the 2020s is Mitsuaki Takada. Takada has developed so much notoriety from his work with Hitohira, and briefly (along with this decade’s other big breakout sharpener, Naohito Myojin) took over Morihiro’s sharpening duties for the Konosuke Fujiyama*** that he was able to start his company - Takada no Hamono.

***supposedly. It’s not official, but I would be shocked if the Konosuke FT was not the precursor to the Takada no Hamono Suiboku. I’ve never encountered such a unique knife have a carbon copy like that and not be the same guy responsible.***

Takada no Hamono has really taken off in the last year with the Suiboku series becoming arguably the most sought after knife out of Sakai (the Fujiyama still probably holds the title). Ever since using my first Suiboku i be been fascinated by his work. I’m not usually a fan of laser grinds (I prefer an upper midweight grind) but his work has such amazing balance and release. I enjoy his work so much I’ve started a collection within my own knife collection.

View attachment 182290
Takada’s counterpart Miyojin apprenticeship has been well documented under Fujiyama’s Morihiro, however all I know about Takada is that he worked with Ashi Hamono for over a decade.

Does anyone have any examples of his work with Ashi? Or know anything more about Ashi Hamono to add to this?
Incredible collection 🙏
 
Takada Blue #1 knives are forged by Y Tanaka, AFAIK. At least the Suibokus are. Mine was purchased off the BST from a guy who bought it direct from him in Japan and he confirmed it as true. Craig at CKC said the same of the Suibokus he sells. Have to assume it’s the same across the board. The Ginsan Suibokus are forged by Nakagawa I’m pretty sure. Don’t know about the White #2 ones.
He responded to a commenter on one of my IG posts, I’ll try to find it- white 2 Suiboku are both Tanaka and Nakagawa.

You can tell who forged a Suiboku by looking and the cladding. Tanaka’s cladding has more ripple and clouds while Nakagawa’s looks super iridescent.
 
Besides his sharpening duties as I recall he used to do customer service for foreign customers when Ashi was still making customs and doing individual sales. That was around 2010 I think. His English is pretty good by industry standards. He is not a “customer is always right“ kinda guy though.
 

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