Takefu Knife Village

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by marginCall, Feb 1, 2019.

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  1. Feb 1, 2019 #1

    marginCall

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    Hey,

    Has anyone here have experience with Takefu Knife Village in Echizen/ Fukui? It seems like you can take some knife courses or demonstrations but there seems to be a Japanese proficiency requirement?

    Also, I know there are a quite a few famous knife makers here such as Kurosaki, Kato, Ikeda. I feel like I am missing a few. Do you guys know which smiths I should try to visit?

    Thanks for any insight.
     
  2. Feb 1, 2019 #2

    Corradobrit1

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    ACHiPo will be along shortly. He just returned from a visit to Takefu and attended the sharpening course
     
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  3. Feb 1, 2019 #3

    M1k3

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    Takamura is also there.
     
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  4. Feb 1, 2019 #4

    ACHiPo

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    I was there weekend before last. They are remodeling for the next few weeks, so not sure what will be available. The only way I found to correspond is Facebook Messenger, and they typically get back to you within 24 hours.

    I found it very worthwhile. If your Japanese is not great (or nonexistent like mine) they can arrange a translator for you. There are maybe a dozen artisans there, and a couple well-known designers that have pieces fabricated there. There are displays from several blacksmiths with tools, knives, etc. you can purchase. The prices are fair, but not screaming deals. One thing I wanted to get on my trip to Japan was a wood scribing knife (Kiridashi). I saw several at Takefu and elsewhere, but they were quite a bit more expensive than I was willing to pay given my infrequent use ($100 - $500).

    Their big thing they "push" (for lack of a better word) is a 2-day knife making class. I didn't have the time, so set up a "custom" knife sharpening class on a Sunday morning. It was supposed to be 60 minutes, but they spent ~90 minutes with me. Communication, even with a translator, was a bit challenging, but I'm really glad I did it.

    When I was there only one smith was working, and I didn't get his name.
     
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  5. Feb 2, 2019 #5

    zitangy

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    i attended a full day event,,, only 2 "grasshoppers" a young male Japanese teacher who is looking into Blacksmithing and myself .Playing the Power hammer and the big wheels and the "kanjiing" was fun.

    there should be quite a few makers... I know of Kamosan, Kitoakasan, Yaujisan and Y.katosan and a few others..Kurosaki's space is just outside the round building and theres another new building being erected.. almost complete.

    Not much for sale knives on display. Any questions, if necessary, the shopkeeper can call out the blacksmith.

    have fun
     
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  6. Feb 2, 2019 #6

    never mind

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    “It's not an easy phrase to Google. Even when you now know the answer.”


    Some people think it is originally from the karate kid movie (1984).


    “It's from the old TV show Kung Fu...” “On October 14, 1972, Warner Brothers release the series "Kung Fu" featuring a Shaolin priest...and his journey through the old West. What was new to the American public was not only the fighting but the philosophy that was presented with each show. In each episode, Kwai Chang Caine recalls a memorable moment when his wise teachers, Master Kan or Master Po, taught him a lesson which provides an insight to his current problem.”


    “At one point Master Po asks young Kwai Chang Kane what he hears ... there is a grasshopper at his feet ... so his teacher nicknames him 'grasshopper'.”
     
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  7. Feb 2, 2019 #7

    marginCall

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    Thanks. This is really helpful. The info on Takefu knife village is few and sparse. I am driving up from Kyoto to Fukui and I will taking my wife, brother and his gf. Not sure how the ladies will think if we did a 2 day knife making course. It seems like more of a "doing" place and a "buying" place. Hopefully I can meet a few blacksmiths.

    I think my brother is looking to pick up a gyuto or 2. I am looking at a 270mm or so suji and bunka. Are there any Takefu special knives? It seems like they export everything.
     
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  8. Feb 2, 2019 #8

    ACHiPo

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    I'd definitely recommend contacting them on FB to find out what's going on when you'll be there. As I mentioned they are remodeling the main building which is disrupting classes, et al. I took the train from Kyoto to Kanazawa where I stayed the night. It is a really pretty trip. Early Sunday morning I got up and took the train to Takefu. The dragon in the train station is definitely worth checking out. The more interesting knife designs were posted with "no photography" signs which I respected.

    The Takefu knives that are made during the class (at least the one they gave me after I sharpened it) are stainless-clad W1 carbon steel with kinda cheesy handles. There are some interesting designs that bear the Takefu name along with the maker/designer. There were some nice looking Gyutos and the prices were reasonable--about $200 for a 240 mm. There were also some much more expensive knives. The most expensive I saw were from a designer/maker Kazuo Kawasaki with metal handles.
    [​IMG]

    Trip Advisor has some decent pics of what to expect:
    https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attract...-Echizen_Fukui_Prefecture_Hokuriku_Chubu.html


    Here are a few pics from my trip.
    IMG_1867[1].JPG IMG_1868[1].JPG IMG_1871[1].JPG IMG_1873[1].JPG IMG_1875[1].JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
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  9. Feb 2, 2019 #9

    ACHiPo

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    Here's another travel site with quite a few good photos of the knives I saw when I was there. I bought a couple of the letter openers ($20) for gifts that were well-received. I don't remember the designer's name.

    http://npo-scop.jp/fukui_app/002/eng/002_002_eng.htm
     
  10. Feb 2, 2019 #10

    Corradobrit1

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    Think they got the photos mixed up. No way some of those guys are the ages stated.
     
  11. Feb 3, 2019 #11

    ACHiPo

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    Definitely a possibility, although I was shocked to learn my "master" (the guy in the Air Force sweatshirt) was 48. I took him for 30. Benefits of clean living, I suppose?
     
  12. Feb 3, 2019 #12

    osakajoe

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    Yamamoto is the younger guy holding the soba knife with dimples.

    And I’m sure people know which picture kurosaki is.
     
  13. Apr 7, 2019 #13

    Beanwagon

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    I am heading to japan on a few weeks. I plan to go here and if time permits do one of the knive making courses and sharpening course. I will also be heading to seki knife village and sakai. I will post photos/info
     
  14. Apr 11, 2019 #14

    marginCall

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    I just finished my trip to TKV. The guys on the forum gave great advise. Make sure you facebook them to see if there are classes available. The main building is under going major renovations.

     
  15. Apr 11, 2019 #15

    JBroida

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    their roof got super messed up with a big typhoon last year while i was there
     
  16. Apr 12, 2019 #16

    toddnmd

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  17. Apr 12, 2019 #17

    marginCall

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    Also, recommended that you travel by car or taxi if you want to take a look around echizen. I suppose bike will be fine as well. Things are a little far if you want to walk around.
     
  18. Apr 12, 2019 #18

    JoBone

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    Nice write up, I’ll be visiting there next month. As usual, some great info on the forums.
     
  19. Apr 12, 2019 #19

    inferno

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    All i know is that kurosaki operates from this place and he makes the most brutal designs right now. by far.
     
  20. Apr 12, 2019 #20

    Nemo

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    I apologise for my lack of understanding of your desceiption but could you clarify whether in this case "brutal" is a good or a bad thing? And perhaps describe what it means in terms of the design's performance or aesthetic? Thanks.
     
  21. Apr 12, 2019 #21

    inferno

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    I think he makes really nice looking blades pretty much. the "performance" you have to fix yourself as with all blades. to your liking. i thinned mine. I'm not a pro user so i'm happy with many things. ymmv.
     
  22. Apr 13, 2019 #22

    Nemo

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    Thanks for the clarification.
     
  23. Apr 15, 2019 #23

    ACHiPo

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    IMG_1867.JPG The dragon greeting you on the platform at the train station is worth the trip. Even if you don't take the train, try to get to the station to check it out.
     
  24. Apr 16, 2019 at 11:05 AM #24

    Beanwagon

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    I am still trying to decide whether to do both seki knife village & takefu knife village or choose 1 over the other to make room for other activities on my trip.



    Any ardvice?
     
  25. Apr 16, 2019 at 1:31 PM #25
  26. Apr 17, 2019 at 7:25 AM #26

    marginCall

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    20190319_151037.jpg 20190319_135620.jpg 20190319_134312.jpg 20190319_142413.jpg 20190319_142418.jpg
    20190416_145533.jpg
    Besides echizen and seki, you can go to sakai for knives too!

    Seki is more mass produced style while echizen is more of a group of individual smiths. Spyderco is also based in seki. Both are in the region. And make sure you try Hida-gyu.
     

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