Nagura ID

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captaincaed

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Hey all!
I'm learning about nagura, but I don't really know what I have here. Bought from a local hardware selling Japanese woodworking supplies. They don’t have the same kanji pattern I’m accustomed to seeing on razor nagura. I suspect they’re not terribly high quality, but I like how they add refined teeth to a kitchen knife when combined with a soft 4k stone.

Any idea how they’re classified? Would these be suitable to start a razor progression? Thanks!

EB09567A-672E-4671-BC39-A78996F08657.jpeg
 
I'm no expert on razor sharpening, not even remotely so.

But you wrote that you like the Naguras that they add refined teeth to a kitchen knife....aren't teeth/bite the last thing you want to create on a razor-edge?! I'm imagining a shave with a razor with bite....scary!
 
The one on the right looks like a standard-ish type nagura. The left looks almost like a tomo nagura, or off cut base stone nagura. I'd be interested if anyone knows if the Kanji is actual wording or just a companies mark?

I have 2 I bought from 'an old Barber's lot' both don't look like Asano nagura, the razor ones. I was messing around with them for a while then chucked them in a box... Ones white with a half faded stamp, the others marked mejiro but it's a dark blue/green color...
 
I'm no expert on razor sharpening, not even remotely so.

But you wrote that you like the Naguras that they add refined teeth to a kitchen knife....aren't teeth/bite the last thing you want to create on a razor-edge?! I'm imagining a shave with a razor with bite....scary!
Oh for sure that’s not where I’d stop! Thinking more for bevel setting, initial work.
 
Oh that's a good sign...
Thats just a font, I wouldn't write the stone off because of that. It's a common font used in signature stamps and I've seen some very good artists use it, so don't give up on it just cause of that. I would focus more on the kanji. I can read two, maybe 3, but they're kind of hard for me to tell what they are because of the font. Maybe someone more familiar with it can read them
 
I can't help with the kanji I'm afraid, and I'm at a similarly early stage of using / learning about nagura, so take the following with a massive fistful of salt - my understanding of things may be wildly misinformed / incorrect...

They most certainly look like Mikawa Shiro Nagura to me. I'd be quite surprised if they weren't.

They are soaking stones. 10 - 30 mins.

After doing that you can get quite a good idea of their 'grit' level by looking at scratch patterns on the bevels of san mai knives. And as long as they're not mega uneven, or the stones are releasing large scratchy particles, then I'm sure you'll find a place for them in a razor progression. They work incredibly well.

Mikawa Nagura don't necessarily always have the Asano x Iwasaki stamps. It's a branding or qc type thing, as well as usually providing information about the layer. but there are most certainly examples without Asano stamps, and they can be very good.

Here are my handful, most of which were given to me recently by a couple of different people. The top two are old 'unknown' stones (though one does have a stamp of some kind). The middle is an Asano Koma, the bottom two are slightly coarser Asano. My favourites are the two finest; the koma, and particularly the one on the top left.


IMG-7202.jpg
 
As ever, lovely collection of rocks (they’re minerals Marie!). My guess was also Mikawa, I just wasn’t sure what bucket they fell into after that. In any case, if anyone has one lying around, they really do make a nice slurry for knife edges - seems to play well with softer synthetic finishers.

Sounds like I should probably ask around on the razor forum. I get the sense that nagura (and nagura progressions) aren’t done as much over here.
 
As ever, lovely collection of rocks (they’re minerals Marie!). My guess was also Mikawa, I just wasn’t sure what bucket they fell into after that. In any case, if anyone has one lying around, they really do make a nice slurry for knife edges - seems to play well with softer synthetic finishers.

Sounds like I should probably ask around on the razor forum. I get the sense that nagura (and nagura progressions) aren’t done as much over here.


Yeah I think you're probably more likely to get people knowing about them over there.

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I realise you very likely knew everything I said above already, wrote it out just in case though! One thing that does sometimes get missed by people though is that this kind of thing is much better and easier with a bit of a soak.

If the kanji don't say anything about the layer (and I assume they probably don't) then I don't think there's much way to tell it from how the stones look. Apart from saying the colour and colouration certainly look like Mikawa to me.

As you've noticed too - they needn't be confined to using on very hard honyama jnats. I use on all sorts of things; they work excellently too on Charnleys, Idwals and Slates.

Were you asking about the cube one as well? That's maybe a lighter coloured Tsushima, possibly. They seem to get cut in that shape a lot anyway. I've enver used one before but my impression is that would be the first stone in a progression.
 
Oh I love the feedback, thank you! Also the cube is the cardboard box, I threw it in because my camera doesn’t white balance well, sorry for the confusion 🙈. I will definitely try soaking one now.

I guess I will go the old-fashioned route and, you know, just try them. Crazy talk! Plan to see more about this on the ”what happens when you combine stones/slurries from different countries” thread in the razor forum.
 
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