Mr.Hiroshi Kajihara, a Japanese blacksmith intended on preserving hand forged making at Kurotori Tanzo.

black smith

Kurotori knife products 
VG10 or silver 3 steel are widely used for popular stainless kitchen knives.
Those hunting and wood working knives are made by laser cutting and pressing machine. A blacksmith used to forge by hand from a small piece of iron in the past, but it is rare nowadays.

Some blacksmith refrain from using stainless steel because its hardness comparing with white and blue steel, even they rust easily, and the characteristic of being cooled soon after taking out of a furnace and the requirement to keep high forging temperature.

kurotori knife
Kurotori Tanzo has been continued for more than 100 years making hatchet, sticle and scythe for local agriculture and forestry. But as those cutting tools are replaced by electric equipments, many blacksmiths had closed their business.
Meanwhile, Kurotori Tanzo has adopted using silver 3 steel which is difficult to rust, and built expertise for hand forged stainless steel for long time..

Pursue ideal shape by hand forging
By creating a thickness near the handle, the center of gravity lies near the user’s hand. This gives the knife perfectly balance, and it is devised in a way that it is a joy to hold. Pursuing both shapely and thinness of the blade from the heel to the top.

Kurotori devised for the forging process so that the core blade appears to the top of the cutting blade. It gives the blade edge appearance like Japanese sword and more beautiful. It also gives the core blade remain after resharpening.

hand forged Japanese knife
*The red line shows the border of the edge, Hazakai.
The border means the borderline of the core steel and the base steel. It only appears when two or three layers of steel not for single steel. If the core steel doesn’t being placed properly, such as less or not appearance in finishing condition, the sharpness doesn’t show properly. A sensible blacksmith scrap it as there is a fault.

Process with using resources effectively
Not using laser cutting and pressing machine provides less waste materials. This is why Kurotori continue to make by hand. Although it takes time, Kurotori also gives attention to resources and environment by using cooking oil discarded from local restaurants as a heat source of the furnace. Those energy price, such as gas, heavy oil and charcoal, quite influenced by market value and it increases in recent years, but to recycle it successfully reduce cost so that an inexperienced apprentice enable to practice to the full.

*the material before making

*after hand forged
Mr. Hiroshi Kajihara does all procedure from forging, attaching blade, mirror finishing up to the attachment of the handle by himself.

The production is a small amount, but he pursues usability, excellent sharpness and design. He also focuses on resharpenable and repair to create long-range business relationship both customers and local community. Kurotori assume a responsible role for blacksmith in Tosa.


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