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Knifewear Glossary

November 21, 2017 4 min read

Knifewear Glossary

We use a lot of words at Knifewear. A lot of them aren't english. Here are some of our most commonly used Japanese words. This is an ever growing list, so if you see something that is missing, contact us and we'll add it in! 

Ao Blue Used to describe Blue carbon steel
Aogami Blue paper Blue carbon steel (wrapped with blue paper)
Aogami Super Super blue paper Super blue carbon steel
Ara-to Coarse stone Used to classify sharpening stones
Banno Multipurpose / convenient Knife shape from Takeda
Bocho / Hocho Knife
Bunka Culture Knife shape (Santoku with a pointed tip)
Carbon Steel Steel with <10.5% Chromium Will Patina and can rust if not taken care of!
Damascus Generic term for patterned welded steel Damascus Steel is a famous sword material from Syria
Deba Single-bevel fish fillet knife Fish Butchery 105 to 210mm
Denka no Hoto A sword treasured in the family Fujiwara's highest quality line using Super Blue carbon steel and stainless steel cladding
Echizen Old name for Fukui and Hokuriku area Knives made in Takefu are called Echizen-uchi knives
Fuguhiki Blowfish slice Slightly thinner version of Yanagiba
Funayuki ship and "go" The term is in regards to a fishermen's knife. Multi-purpose knife for slicing and filleting. Takeda use this term for his Santoku
Garasuki Slightly bigger version of honesuki Tojiro DP 170mm honesuki
Ginsan Sliver three Made by Hitachi metals. Forgeable stainless steel popularly used in Sakai.
Gyuto Cow sword Chef knife, all purpose
Hamon Wavy line on Honyaki knives Is produced by differential heat treatment
Hikari Shiny Finish and name of a Masakage series
Honesuki Angular boning knife Great poultry deboning knife
Honyaki True-forged Knife made from one piece of hard steel, with differential heat treatment (with clay)
Ishime Rock Surface Finish on Moritaka Ishime knives. It was originally hunting knife finish.
Kamagata Sickle shaped A knife tip shaped like sickle
Kamisori Razor We call it the Japanese style straight razor
Kasumi Mist Haze on the blade (hon-kasumi) like Kitaoka Migaki. Also referring to the knives made with cladding technique
Kasumi-Uchi Hammered Kasumi, very drunk Kasumi Making sure you actually read this
Kataba Single bevel edge Single bevel knife
Kawamuki Skin peeling knife Moritaka Ishime knife shape
Kiri Fog Finish and name of a Masakage series. Stainless Damascus with VG10 core
Kiritsuke Cut at Slightly wider blade and has cut off tip. Hybrid of Yanagiba and Usuba. Moritaka's Kiritsuke is hybrid of Nakiri and Sujihiki
Ko Small Like ko-bunka (small bunka)
Koba Small edge We put one on single-bevel knives for added strength
Koishi Pebbles Finish on blade
Kujira Whale Finish and name of a Masakage series. Damascus steel finish made from recycle steel by Kageura san. Blue #2 core.
Kumo Cloud Finish and name of Masakage Kumo series
Kuro-Uchi Black Hammered Black finish left on the blade instead of polished. It will prevent from rusting. A lot of our knives have this finish
Kyomen Mirror surface Mirror finished knives. If the finish is applied to carbon steel knife, it will prevent from rusting.
Maboroshi Vision Name of Fujiwara knife series
Maguro Tuna
Maguro bocho Tuna knife Tuna butchering knife often from 60cm to 110cm
Menkiri Noodle cutting General term for noodle cutting knife for Udon and Soba
Migaki Polished Polished finish on knives, but not as polished as mirror.
Mioroshi Fish fillet Slightly narrower and thinner deba. Fishermen carry this knife to do everything. Hybrid ofYanagiba and Deba.
Miyabi elegant, Graceful Japanese made line of Henckels
Mizu Water Finish and name of a Masakage series. Blue #2 steel. No stainless steel. Lacquer finish.
Momiji Maple leaf
Nagura Small stone (synthetic or natural) to refresh surface of ne stones. Mikawa nagura, Kuro nagura
Nakiri Leafy Veggie cutter Knife shape great for vegetable
Nashiji Pear skin finish Finish on blade
Ni-Mai Two layers Cladding for single bevel knives
Patina Protective oxidation (often dark) This will happen on all carbon knives with time and proper care
Petty Small from French language Knife shape, great utility knife
Rockwell Scale Rating of hardness (HRC or RC) Kitchen knives vary from 52-68.
Ryoba Double bevel edge Knife that equally sharpened from both sides
Sakai City in Osaka Famous for single bevel knives. 90% of professional chefs in Japan use knives from this city
Sakura Cherry blossom
San-mai Three layers Most knives we have
Sanjo City in Niigata prefecture famous for handmade knives
Santoku Three virtues Knife shape, great for slicing, dicing and mincing
Sasanoha Bamboo leaf Knife shape whose height is between Sujihiki and Gyuto made by Takeda
Saya Wooden sheath Some series come with them
Seki City in Gifu prefecture famous for factory made kitchen knives. Also 700yrs history of sword making Shun, Miyabi, Mcusta
Shimo Frost Finish and name of a Masakage series. Shirogami #2 with carbon steel X-pattern Damascus.
Shinogi-Suji The line separates primary bevel and belly of the knife.
Shiro White Used to describe White carbon steel
Shirogami White paper White carbon steel (wrapped with white paper)
Shun Seasonal Knife brand by Kershaw made by Kai in Seki
Sobakiri Soba cutting A knife for cutting soba noodles. Very tall and has very flat edge
Stainless Steel Steel with >10.5% Chromium It will not develop a patina
Steel Iron and Carbon alloy All our knives are made of steel!
Sujihiki Flesh slicer Knife shape, great for slicing meat and carving
Suminagashi Damascus pattern on knives It is referring to Ink swirling pattern on paper. It looks amazing
Takefu City in Fukui Known for Echizen knives, also where most of the Masakage knives are from
Takefu Special Steel Steel company in Fukui Known for VG-series and SG2
Takobiki Octopus slice Sashimi slicing knife.The tip of the knife is cut off straight
Tamahagane Steel used on certain kamisori and Japanese swords
Toishi Sharpening stone
Tosa City in Kochi prefecture famous for handmade knives. Known for their Kurouchi knives Murata
Tsuchime Hammered Hammered Finish on blade
Uchi Hit or hammered Often referred as "made in", i.e. Echizen-uchi, Sakai-uchi, Tosa-uchi
Uchigumo Cloud patterned paper Name of Takamura knife series
Usuba Thin knife Single bevel knife for vegetables
Wa Japanese style Knife with a Japanese handle
Yanagiba Willow blade knife Single bevel knife for slicing
Yo- Western Put this in front of words to make it Western
Yuki Snow Finish and name of a Masakage series. Yuki has basically Nashiji finish

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.