Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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‘A good knife is not just about the steel’

A hammer blow resounds through the green fields of Ibaraki Prefecture’s countryside. Inside the Spartan workshop of Isamitsu knivesa knife, glowing red from the heat, is beaten into shape.

The manufacturer, based in Sakuragawa, may be small but has attracted customers around the world for its craftsmanship, a reputation earned through the use of high-quality steels known as Aogami Super and Shirogami.

The Isamitsu team consists of just three smiths: Naoko Abe, Gaku Kanatsu and Isamitsu Abe. After 15 years working in a traditional knife workshop in the prefecture, Abe, 45, found himself wanting to start his own business, driven by a desire for autonomy and the freedom to improve on old techniques.

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