Who is Toru Tamura?
A name of increasing popularity, Toru Tamura stands tall as a beacon of dedication, skill, and an unyielding pursuit of perfection. This blog post aims to take you on a journey, unwrapping the layers of Tamura-san's life and work, weaving together the threads that tie him to the world of traditional Japanese knife-making.
Early Life and Introduction to Knife-Making
Tamura-san's story begins with a twist that might surprise many. A former employee at Knifewear in Calgary, Canada, Tamura-san was not always part of the world of blacksmithing. It was here, surrounded by the finest blades from around the globe, that the seeds of his future were sown. He was drawn to the art of knife-making, a craft that combined technical precision with a high degree of artistic expression.
Apprenticeship and Learning
His passion ignited, Tamura-san returned to Japan, seeking to learn from the masters. He found himself at the doors of the Takefu Knife Village, a renowned hub for Japanese blacksmithing. Under the watchful eye of Hiroshi Kato-san, a living legend with over 50 years of experience in knife making, Tamura-san embarked on the rigorous path of the apprentice.
Mastering the Ni-Mai Technique
While Hiroshi Kato shaped the foundations of Tamura-san's blacksmithing knowledge, it was under another master that Tamura-san honed a unique aspect of his craft - the Ni-Mai technique. This double forging technique, uncommon in the Tosa area where Tamura-san is based, creates single bevel knives with a distinct characteristic - cladding applied only on the cutting edge side of the blade.
Collaboration with the Myojin Family
In his quest to perfect his craftsmanship, Tamura-san's path crossed with the Myojin family, a household name in the world of Japanese knife making. Their collaboration has produced some of the finest knives in the world, establishing new standards of excellence. One such endeavor is the Tetsujin Hamono, a line of knives hand-forged by Tamura-san and sharpened to perfection by Naohito Myojin. These knives, made from blue 2 steel, are renowned for their fine layers, top-notch finish, and one of the best out-of-the-box edges available.
The Hatsukokoro Shirasagi Line
Tamura-san's partnership with the Myojin family also birthed the Hatsukokoro Shirasagi line. The knives in this line are distinct, showcasing the skillful application of the Ni-Mai technique, with Tateo Myojin, a specialist in single bevel knife sharpening, bringing these blades to life.
Traditionalist Approach and Unique Style
Known for his traditionalist approach, Tamura-san prefers working with traditional steels like carbon steel, white, and blue. This preference is evident in the creations that bear his signature. His knives, often thinner than many Tosa blacksmiths, showcase his training in the Takefu Knife Village, while the exceptional sharpness of his blades speaks volumes about the skill he has honed over the years.
In conclusion, Toru Tamura is a name synonymous with dedication, skill, and an unyielding pursuit of perfection. His journey, from the aisles of a store in Calgary to the forges of the Takefu Knife Village and collaborations with the Myojin family, serves as an inspiration for anyone captivated by the art of Japanese knife-making. His work, characterized by traditional steels and uncommon techniques, continues to redefine standards in the world of Japanese knives. As Tamura-san forges ahead, the world watches in anticipation.
You can see our collection of his work HERE.