Almost 2 decades ago, at just 18 years of age, Kikuchiyo San was invited to join Sakai’s master craftsman. Here he learned the skills of a blacksmith, gaining knowledge and honing techniques of fine forging and quenching of Japanese kitchen knives.
The art of Japanese blacksmithing is a physical craft, the rough working environment of fire and iron takes a toll on the body and many of the masters abilities begin to wane. Kikuchiyo has been lucky enough to start earlier in life, affording him the extended experience and quality of craftsmanship that makes a master, complimented with the physical abilities of his relative youth.
Whilst becoming a master, Kikuchiyo proactively experimented with new steels not generally used in kitchen knives by Sakai’s blacksmith, steels such as stainless. His experience and skill has made his Ginsan (Silver 3) knives popular among Japanese cuisine chef’s, many stating “If you use Kikuchiyo’s Ginsan once, you will never replace it”.
Kikuchiyo is known for his fine Honyaki quenching, producing beautiful Hamon and accurate hardness, only achievable by experienced masters of heat treating steel. These knives are renowned by many of Sakai’s sharpeners and finishers, some of the most experienced in identifying what makes a good kitchen knife.
As a teenager, Kikuchiyo’s path was unclear but he dreamed of success and becoming a great man. He continues to strive to become the best craftsman he can, modelling each of his knives on the image of his master’s forge.