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Haruyuki! The knives that started it all.

March 23, 2020 3 min read

Haruyuki knives have a special place in the origin story of Knifewear. In 1999 founder Kevin Kent, bought the Japanese knife that launched his lifelong Japanese knife passion. That knife was a 180mm Haruyuki Santoku that now lives in a frame on the wall of the Calgary shop.

Visitors to the Calgary shop can see how that first Haruyuki has been used, abused, sharpened, resharpened and sharpened again, and loved over the years. There is some strange damage along the spine that Kevin explains was from opening beer bottles with the back of the knife. It was in his hands while he worked in some of the busiest kitchens in London and Canada for close to a decade, and it is still a great knife.

Haruyuki Knives’ lineup consists of eight lines of high-quality kitchen knives that were manufactured by highly skilled craftsmen in Japan. All Haruyuki knives are handmade by skilled craftsmen/women, and each process is done by a different specialist. The names are inspired by Japanese shochu (Japanese vodka).



Are you looking for a knife with a movie star good looks? You found it. The line is made with AUS8 Stainless steel, which makes them more rugged than others. For those who love traditional Western-style handles and prefer not to worry about care and maintenance, this line is for you. The name, Mugi, comes from a type of shochu made from barley. 

Haruyuki Goma

This line is so popular it has been difficult to keep it in stock for years. Goma is made with a VG10 stainless steel core and 16 layers Damascus steel, to give you a beautiful ‘damascus’ look. VG10 stainless steel is a relatively new star of the knife steel world, renowned for its performance. It retains its edge a bit longer than the Mugi. If you want both looks and performance, this knife offers the best of both worlds. The name, Goma, comes from shochu made from sesame seeds.

Haruyuki Kokuto

It features a Ginsan stainless steel core and soft stainless steel outside. Ginsan stainless steel is the favourite steel for many blacksmiths, as it is high carbon but stainless! If you like the traditional Japanese look, ease of care and great performance, Kokuto is for you. The name, Kokuto, comes from a shochu made from brown sugar. 

Haruyuki Shiso

 These Knifewear staff favourites have blackened blades with a rough nashiji finish that demands your attention. The core steel is Aogami Super which is perhaps one of our favorite knifemaking steels, as it gives the knife incredible edge retention and sharpness. The name, Shiso, comes from shochu infused with shiso leaves, Kevin’s favourite.

Haruyuki Tantakatan

This knife is like the offspring of the Mugi and the Shiso. It has the great looks of the Mugi but with a red pakka wood handle and the blade construction of the Shiso. Aogami super steel with stainless tsuchime (hammered) finish makes this a no brainer. Chefs all over Canada have been snapping up this knife since it was launched. Tantakatan is another Shiso shochu and is very fun to say.

Haruyuki Kuma

The name, Kuma, comes from a special shochu made in the Kumamoto area, crafted from sweet potatoes. This Kuma line is made with SRS15 high-speed powder stainless steel which is very similar to SG2/R2, but will stay sharp longer. These steels are stainless, but far outperform other stainless steel knives. They are incredibly well made with a roller forging technique that allows the knife to taper thinly towards the tip. High performance with elegance. I personally love the feel of the smooth, beveled choil against my finger. Little touches like this make it a winner.

Haruyuki Yo-Kuma

This is the knife that started it all. Yo- means Western, so this is the Western version of the Kuma. This may look like an ordinary knife, but it is made the same as the Kuma line with SRS15 stainless steel, using the roller forging technique. Its simple looks may fool you, as it will run laps around many of the prettier knives out there. If you are looking for a knife for pure performance, this is the one. 


And there you have it! If you're still unsure of what Haruyuki knife you should get, we'll be happy to help. Just contact us and we'll make our recommendations, or check out our Top 5 Haruyuki Knives. Happy chopping!

Check Out Haruyuki Knives Here!

Naoto Fujimoto
Naoto Fujimoto

Naoto came to Canada in 2007 and we aren't letting him go back. After getting angry with his roommate's dull knives, he started to dream of sharp Japanese knives. Naoto graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor degree of art, majoring International Relations and finds that selling Japanese knives is his own way of doing international relations. Naoto is our Cultural Ambassador bridging Japan and Canada. You can also see him in SpringHammer looking cool and holding it all together.