Not all blacksmiths dreamt of being a blacksmith. Hokkaido born Kyohei Shindo however, dreamt of being a blacksmith from a young age and accomplished just that by opening up his own shop in Tosa city, in Kōchi prefecture by age 32.
His knives are characterized by having a tapering spine yet incredibly thin cutting edge, and a Tosa lacquered kurouchi finish. For the price, the out of box edge and performance of a knife like this is seldom beat.
Think of a bunka, like a flatter bellied santoku with a k-tip (reverse tanto). Typically available in all the same sizes as a santoku, the main difference comes from the pointed tip which is useful for precision cuts like scouring an onion or garlic and the flatter belly which suits push/pull cutting over rock chopping.
Blacksmith: Kyohei Shindo
Location: Tosa, Japan
Steel: Aogami #2
Handle: Keyaki plastic ferrule
This was my first proper Japanese knife. It's the least expensive one I own, but probably the most fun to use. It's very thin behind the edge, and gets scary sharp, so it's really satisfying to use. Easy to sharpen and not terribly reactive steel, I really like blue #2. My only regret is not getting the custom handle upgrade. A knife this nice deserves a better handle.
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