All About Japan

Handmade Knives in Yamagata

Handicrafts Yamagata Tohoku

Based in Yamagata Prefecture, Shimada Cutlery Works (島田刃物製作所・Shimada Hamono Seisakusho) carries on a blade-making tradition that traces its origins back to the year 1365.

While in ancient days Yamagata blades were made for mercenaries in this mountainous northern prefecture, now they're made for cooking and woodcutting. While Shimada Cutlery Works itself was only founded in 1955, its blades are still made by hand using traditional techniques, resulting in a very sharp cutting edge—as you can see in the video above!

You can contact them directly (in Japanese) if there's a particular design that appeals to you.