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What was your first Japanese knife

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HumbleHomeCook

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Yaxell Dragon Fire 8.5" gyoto in BD1N (top). Absolutely love the steel and wish it was more ubiquitous. I believe I got the Dexter Russell below it before hand. It was an inexpensive way to see how I liked the nakiri-style blades. At the time I was quite fascinated by them. I'd been using the Wusthof below for a number of years.

I ended up thinning the Dexter and really enjoyed it. The Yaxell further solidified my love of thin blades so much so that I did a full blade thinning on the Wusthof and went back to it for a time until I realized it just wasn't the same and that I have much more of an affinity for push cutting vs. rocking.

And so, here I am embarking on my journey with two new knives added since. :)
 

JaVa

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I think it was in 2000 I bought 5 Mac knives to use at work. 2 240 pro gyutos, 2 120 petys and that wierd round tipped ”210 gyuto”. In 2004 I was gifted a new 240 Brieto from my boss. Happily used all those for years.

But what got me really interested was in 2014 when I bought a Tanaka B2 dammy nakiri. It was eye opening and I had to see what else had I been missing.

Next I wanted to know how steels in knives had developed since tha Macs and I bought one of the coolest steels I thought I could find in a design that looked nice. But Kohetsu hap40 was a real travesty for a knife. The steel was nice, but the knife was a horror show. That bad taste had to be instantly washed away with some nice Shiro Kamo... and the Takamura... and the Tanaka... and the Yoshikazu Ikeda.. and the.......
 

McMan

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Tosa bunka from JWW. (These used to be the "What first J-Knife should I get?" recommendations back in the day when there weren't anywhere near as many options available.)
Then a Takeda when he was still working with Blue#1 and used a wide bevel grind.
Then the floodgates opened...

The Tosa was a cool knife. When Murray was still a one-man show, he had a deal when he was moving into a new shop that he'd sharpen one knife for every friend you could put on his email list. I put a few on and ended up sending him the Tosa. He re-ground it/re-profiled it. So, now it's a $60 Tosa with a Carter convex grind on it :)
 

LostHighway

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Two answers:
Way back in the early 1990s a bought a Sekai-made AUS8 Usuba and Deba imported through Messermeister, possibly the ancient ancestors of their current Mu Bamboo line. These have really crude yo-handles. I quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing and they have been sitting in their boxes ever since.
Fast forward to 2015 or so I bought a Takefu Kato (to Go Kanehiro AS line) 210 gyuto. That also sits in its box.
I really have to sell some knives.
 

Martyn

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shun was my first J knife as well but not for very long
 

rob

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Yup,
‘Shun for me also.
wish I had a more glamorous story. Like those people who say their first concert was “Jimi Hendrix” or ”Rolling Stones”😳
 

RevJoe

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A Yoshikane hamano 240 gyuto Nashiji white #2, shestnut WA handle, got it from bst, original owner got it from knife roll.
 

Malcolm Johnson

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I’m not even a year into the game... my first j knife was a k&s 240 ku mazaki I bought last March. It’s funny because I really wasn’t that impressed and then sold it after a month to fund a Tsubaya branded Y Tanaka 240 in aogami 1 that was too good of a deal to pass up from @marc4pt0. I wanted one of those wide bevel Tanaka ever since I began looking at j knives. I was innocently asking him about his favorite flavor of wide bevel Tanaka and he just offered me the tsubaya along with some great info. I have no regrets.
 

Neofolis

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Technically my Tamahagane San cheese knife was my first Japanese knife and that was what got me interested, but my Hinoura White #1 165mm Nakiri was my first "proper" Japanese knife. That must be all of two weeks ago now.
 

drsmp

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My first concert was Pink Floyd - In the Flesh (Animals) Tour in the Omni Atlanta 1977 😜
My first J knife was a Miyabi Gyuto quickly upgraded to a Miyabi Birchwood. It was a great knife for the price and e potentially better than my German knives. Not aware of any stores in Atlanta that carry the knives we’re fond of here on KKF.
 

mmiinngg

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Some fine first pick!

I started with a Brieto m9 pro. We had a lot of fun.

Nothing to do with, but thinking about it, especially compared to the recent topics about sharpness etc. What makes me prefer my most recent acquisitions, munetoshi, wat, toyama ... have more to do with design (weight, balance and weight distribution, finesse of the tip, height, etc) than because of the ability to take razor sharp edges (capacity on the metal and of its processing) .
The knives that made us start can take razor sharp edges with decent sharpening skills, on the other hand we cannot change, or with a lot of work on it, it's "design".

Does it make sense?
 
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DavidPF

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Does it make sense?
I think so? Are you saying you now appreciate knives that have good overall design, and you are not focused on only sharpness like at the beginning? That a well designed knife can be sharpened with some skill, but it's very difficult to fix a badly designed knife even if it's sharp?
 

mmiinngg

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Yes, that the design / specification is somewhat more or as important as the steel itself (not talking about less than 60hrc...)
 
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sododgy

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A 240 Shibata type 3 bought last year. Added a kasumi Maz from Knifehouse PDX, and a tsuchime Wakui from K&S (both in 210) and it's still what I reach for most by a long shot.

I did just pick up CCK 1303 from Knifehouse, so I'm looking forward to getting back into that cleaver grind (previously used a 1301 I bought for a chef daily at work), but I don't know that it'll pull me away from the Shibata in any serious fashion. We'll see.
 

9fingeredknife

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Bought a paring knife from Kiya when I was in Tokyo last year, that was the start of this yellow brick road...
 

mikemac

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Pretty sure it was a Masahiro 8" carbon from JB Prince in NYC. Over 15v years ago, and compared to the 'hot' names, prices have barely budged
 

demcav

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My first J-knife may have been the Kikuichi 240mm ginsanko gyuto that I still own.
 

preizzo

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Inazuma gyuto 240 and a couple of Fujiwara kanefusa One 300 mm carbon and another 210 gyuto
One week later I bought a Mizuno ,one masamoto KS with stamp kanji and a misono
 

DitmasPork

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I’m not even a year into the game... my first j knife was a k&s 240 ku mazaki I bought last March. It’s funny because I really wasn’t that impressed and then sold it after a month to fund a Tsubaya branded Y Tanaka 240 in aogami 1 that was too good of a deal to pass up from @marc4pt0. I wanted one of those wide bevel Tanaka ever since I began looking at j knives. I was innocently asking him about his favorite flavor of wide bevel Tanaka and he just offered me the tsubaya along with some great info. I have no regrets.
Great knives you got! Different trajectories for different people—I often cringe when people recommend cheaper, lower quality knives as ‘beginner J knives,’ ‘...good introductory J knife.’ Something to be said for striving for the best ASAP. In my first 2 years of buying J knives I bought Masamoto, Konosuke Fujiyama, Kato and Shig. That said, I’d been using Wustof and Sabs for a decades, felt like jumping the queue of bang for buck knives.
 

Koop

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It all started when I bought a set of Global knives for my wife for Christmas. Cutlery and More sent me a coupon for $25 off of my next purchase, so I bought myself a Yaxell/Enso ko-bunka in cladded VG10. Then I wanted a real Japanese knife. I got closer with a Misono Swedish carbon honesuki. This was followed by a JCK Natures Blue Moon sugihiki 240mm. Then a Kintaro (Yoshimi Kato) stainless clad white #2 gyuto 210mm from JKI. This has all happened since Christmas - less than a month!
 

Malcolm Johnson

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Great knives you got! Different trajectories for different people—I often cringe when people recommend cheaper, lower quality knives as ‘beginner J knives,’ ‘...good introductory J knife.’ Something to be said for striving for the best ASAP. In my first 2 years of buying J knives I bought Masamoto, Konosuke Fujiyama, Kato and Shig. That said, I’d been using Wustof and Sabs for a decades, felt like jumping the queue of bang for buck knives.
I agree, obviously... haha. I knew I had good knife tech, I knew the basics of sharpening... so why not start off with a nice one? Especially when I got such a sweet deal on that Y Tanaka.
 

DitmasPork

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I agree, obviously... haha. I knew I had good knife tech, I knew the basics of sharpening... so why not start off with a nice one? Especially when I got such a sweet deal on that Y Tanaka.
Right on! I'm still learning a lot about sharpening, but when I bought the first J-knife, I was pretty adept with cookinf and knife techniques, was doing small catering gigs in those days. My first 2 were Masamoto HC and Misono UX10—back then my main source of kitchen knife information was ChefsTalk forum, a poster named Boar de Laze in particular; only J-knife vendors I knew was Korin and cktg, JCK. Then I discovered KKF, which opened my eyes significantly, especially helpful in bringing to my attention JKI and JNS, which really kicked things off for me.
 

heldentenor

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My first three were a Henckels Twin Cermax (made in Japan), a Shun parer, and a Global flexible fillet knife/slicer. All long since gone.

My first "proper" Japanese gyuto was a Hiromoto AS that I still love and use often.
 
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