Japan is a country of old traditions, where the gathered knowledge is passed on from generation to generation. From the arrangement of ikebana flowers to the martial arts, each tradition has its own belief and set of rules. The crafting of Japanese knives emerged some 1000 years back. These Japanese chef knives are crafted by the technique of katana or samurai swords.
Beginning of western-style knives development: –
In the year 1850, the sword crafting culture was taken over by the knives crafting culture. The source of development of Japanese western knives was Kinju and Kaneuji. These craftsmen were based in Seki-city. Once the 14th century started to begun, Japan opened its trade ports for China, after being completely isolated for several numbers of years. This proved out to be an opportunity for Japan as thousands of katana swords were exported to China. The blades produced in masses did not hold much value for the Japanese, instead of being extremely useful and practical.
Let us see as to when did the traditional Japanese knives were developed: –
Before Tokyo became the capital of Japan, the emperors and nobles residing in the Kansai region looked down towards the shogun residing in the Kansai region. This built aggression amongst the Shoguns and became the source of development of the takoyaki and usuba knives famously used in modern times today. Though the class separation today no longer exists Kansai and Kanto remained to be compared majorly because of the difference in the taste and cuisines, For example- the soy sauce in Kanto is saltier and strong than that in Kansai.
Around 450 A.D. the city of Sakai produced the highest amount of hoes and spades in Japan. Most of the craftsmen have shifted to Sakai for their good by this time. Gradually in no time, Sakai became a point of attraction for the development and molding of metals in Japan, particularly famous for swords.
Growth in the production of Japanese cutlery: –
After the year 1543 Sakai also became famous for the rifles, which was introduced by Portuguese in Japan and later for knives. The Japanese government indicated that only knives used in Sakai will be used for tobacco crop harvesting and it was compulsory for these Sakai made knives to be stamped in order to get an indication. Sakai later became famous for producing the finest cutlery in Japan.
The history, source of origin and development of Japanese knives and cutlery is quite interesting.