Shigefusa Kanji no longer Hand Hammered

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by Midsummer, Sep 8, 2018.

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  1. Sep 8, 2018 #1

    Midsummer

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    When did Shigefusa stop hand hammering their Kanji? My 240 from 2014 has hand chiseled Kanji; but my 2017 180 gyuto is stamped. I have seen a lot of the new shigs on BST also clearly stamped and not hand chiseled.

    Are they making any other shortcuts in their production? Do they buy from Toyoma?
     
  2. Sep 8, 2018 #2

    panda

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    they dont want any 'done by a 5th grader' comments about their kanji so went with most consistent method
     
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  3. Sep 8, 2018 #3

    Midsummer

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    I have to apologize.The way I opened the thread it would appear that I am somehow trying to devalue the shigs. While it is true that I would like to have more shigefusa's. I really would like to see greater shig availability in both numbers on the market and in price point.
    But it isn't about what I want. And frankly I enjoy checking out all makers.

    I do love the way my 240 shig cuts. It is likely my favorite, next to a mizuno san mai (I am a philistine for sure).

    But honestly, I feel the mechanization involved in the stamping will not affect performance. But, I think that this may ultimately affect market value. A 240 shig hung out on BST for a while today. Has the bubble burst?
     
  4. Sep 8, 2018 #4

    Wdestate

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    Hung for a while and sold for nearly 1k, Id say shigsanity is still as insane as ever
     
  5. Sep 8, 2018 #5

    Mute-on

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    Generally Kitaeji are hand chiseled and Kasumi are stamped. There are some exceptions, but I’ve only seen one on a Kasumi Mukimono with chiseled kanji (which I own). Your Gyuto is another.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  6. Sep 8, 2018 #6

    pc9111

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    IMG_2202.JPG IMG_2203.JPG Can anyone post photos of the differences in stamped vs chiseled kanji my 210mm

    Thank you
     
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  7. Sep 8, 2018 #7

    valgard

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  8. Sep 8, 2018 #8

    valgard

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    Hope the difference is clear enough
     
  9. Sep 8, 2018 #9

    pc9111

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    Yes, thank you
     
  10. Sep 8, 2018 #10

    HRC_64

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    Are there more pics of non-kitaji shigs
    showing some kind of change?
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  11. Sep 8, 2018 #11

    valgard

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    @Zweber12 is the man but I doubt he will see this thread on the weekend. I think the chiseled kasumi are only a few exceptions, but I'm not very knowledgable on Shigefusa lore.
     
  12. Sep 8, 2018 #12

    Zweber12

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    Thanks for the tag, valgard! The rule of thumb is indeed single bevel kitaeji has chiseled kanji, all others have stamped. There are variations, or “mistakes’ out there as Mr Iizuka explained to me last month. I owned a kasumi deba at one point with chiseled kanji, these are simply rare. Not much to this whole mystique, really.
     
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  13. Sep 8, 2018 #13

    ynot1985

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    Those rare ones should be x3 the price [emoji23]
     
  14. Sep 8, 2018 #14
    They prob will be next week...
     
  15. Sep 8, 2018 #15

    Midsummer

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    An aside:

    I responded to a conversation this morning:

    "Apologies for wasting your time. It is a very valuable quantity.

    I wasn't ready to say in public; but after I saw Mute-on's post, I went and checked my knife. It is in fact stamped.

    I wondered how I could have been mistaken. Maybe, I have become more aware the differences in appearance of the stamped and chiseled kanji since I bought the gyuto. I had honestly believed that it was chiseled. In fact I had thought they were all chiseled until I got my 180. Maybe I have seen so many on line photos- I love to study the steel in the kitaeji. They are beautiful when polished right. I tend to look at the kitaeji's.

    Whatever the reason. I was mistaken. I was thinking, just before I retired, of how and when I would straigten this out. Since the intent of the thread was to find out why some shigefusa's were chiseled and why some were stamped and not to advertise a rare object (chiseled kasumi blades)- I had thought to perhaps to let this thread run its course and to only mention it if someone inquired. After all, as I said in the thread "it is not about me".

    Unfortunately when I saw Mute-on's post- "Generally Kitaeji are hand chiseled and Kasumi are stamped. There are some exceptions, but I’ve only seen one on a Kasumi Mukimono with chiseled kanji (which I own). Your Gyuto is another."
    It now appeared I had a rare item. I felt there may now be some collector inquiries. I hoped not. It has never been my intent to deceive, so I resolved to let anyone who inquired know the truth. I thought of writing Mute-on to let him know, but weariness and lack of conviction to the best way forward held me back.

    Now, since I have had my first inquiry, I feel it is best to admit my error in pubic. I hope you don't mind me sharing this in public. I will leave you anonymous in doing so."
     
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  16. Sep 8, 2018 #16

    Mute-on

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    No problem at all. It’s all just a learning experience, and as Zweber mentioned, there are variations out there.

    Enjoy the journey!

    Cheers

    J :)
     
  17. Sep 8, 2018 #17

    pc9111

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    I have seen a difference in the kanji on the stamped version, Is this correct?

    Can we age them this way? Or are there just multiple stamps used now that are just slightly different?
     
  18. Sep 8, 2018 #18

    HRC_64

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    Cannot see any evidence in this thread yet of variations,
    maybe we need better pictures?
     
  19. Sep 8, 2018 #19

    valgard

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    Yes, I have seen a couple different stamps I'm pretty sure, but minor difference, one looks slightly more like if it was chiseled.
    But I doubt there's a deeper meaning to this. We should probably stop theorizing about the kanji.
     
  20. Sep 8, 2018 #20

    pc9111

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    Please delete....
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  21. Sep 8, 2018 #21

    Dan P.

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    To my eye, the upper picture looks like it could have been chiseled (and stamped) then abraded, the other one chiseled and stamped and not abraded. I.e. they both look like they were chiseled.
     
  22. Sep 9, 2018 #22

    valgard

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    Nah, it's a stamp that simulates chiseled but it is pretty clear when comparing with actually chiseled kanji that it's stamped. I have plenty chiseled and abraded kanji and it doesn't look like that.
     
  23. Sep 9, 2018 #23

    Midsummer

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    Mine look like the upper example.
    I think that the upper one is stylized to give the impression of chiseled work.

    There is too much uniformity in the walls of the impression in the stamped version to suggest hand work. The walls of the impression appear to be parallel; while the chiseled walls appear to be at about 60 degrees to one another.

    In the chiseled version when the stroke ends in a point you can see that it becomes shallower as it ends. This is particularly evident in the bottoms stoke (Kitaeji photo, stroke at bottom of Kanji) as it ends pointing to the bottom of the page.

    The stamped version the stroke has uniform depth throughout the impression even where it comes to a point.

    If this thread is still going tomorrow; I will try to remember how to use my camera and get a few more stamped kanji up.
     
  24. Sep 9, 2018 #24

    panda

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    why are people so obsessed with kanji??
     
  25. Sep 10, 2018 #25

    dreamwalker

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    I think becos they are talking about kanji on the Shigs....its Shigsssssss!!!

    oh yaaa Shigsssssssss
     
  26. Sep 10, 2018 #26

    Ryndunk

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    Chiseled kanji helps with food release.
     
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  27. Jan 31, 2019 #27

    Luftmensch

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    But stamped kanji makes the blade lighter....
     
  28. Jan 31, 2019 #28

    Luftmensch

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    Its fun to horse around in these discussions. But putting my serious hat on.... I guess in this price bracket you can choose from many high quality knives. Minor, insignificant (from a utilitarian point of view) differences can be what drives purchasing decisions.

    Originally, people may have chased after Shigefusa because they handcraft their knives all in the one shop. Buying a Shigefusa is an opportunity to own a high quality functional tool with a romantic narrative about dwindling 'traditional' (whatever that means) Sanjo smithing. Chiselled kanji are a cherry on top - even the makers mark is handcrafted! If you want a story behind that... each chiselled kanji will be slightly different making your knife unique and making your connection to the blacksmith closer..... Or you know.... it is just a knife and like.... "does it even cut bro"?

    (I think I lost my hat somewhere along the way)

    Now there is an aura around an aura and people want Shigefusa because people want shigefusa.


    My back seat production management is: I wonder why they never chose to chisel kanji on their western models?
     
  29. Jan 31, 2019 #29

    Anton

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    I wonder how many people whom have bought a Shig in the recent "hot market" of supply and demand is running to see if their kanji is the stamped version and wondering wether it will now hold it's price vs the chiseled
     
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  30. Jan 31, 2019 #30

    panda

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    i remember before the ks prices got out of hand people were turning their noses up at them because it had black horn instead of blonde, i thought that was the stupidest thing ever. i had a blonde one (not because i specifically sought one out but that was the one that was available at a good price at the time) but would have gladly traded for a black horn version.
     

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