Masakage Month: Meet the Blacksmiths

January 15, 2020 3 min read 0 Comments

Masakage Month: Meet the Blacksmiths

 With Masakage Month around the corner, I thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce the gentlemen behind the forges at Masakage. Let's be honest here, odds are you're gonna end up with their handiwork in your kitchen.

If there was ever a group of blacksmiths that are easily likened to the Avengers, it would be the gentlemen working the forges in Takefu Village. Think about it, masters of their craft coming together to make everyone’s lives better with sharp knives; sounds like the work of superheroes to me. 


Yoshimi Kato

Yoshimi Kato is the son-in-law of Hiroshi Kato, the man who originally made some of our most popular Masakage lines. The torch has been passed and Yoshimi-san has stepped up to fill some big shoes and take over those lines. Yoshimi-san first apprenticed at Kanehiro Hamono and then apprenticed under the guidance of Hiroshi-san, who has also taught amazing blacksmiths like Yu Kurosaki. The transition has been seamless. He tells us he strives to continuously improve his skill day by day. We look forward to working with the next generation Kato for many years to come!

Kato-san makes: Masakage Kiri,  Masakage Yuki and Masakage Koishi 


Katsushige Anryu

“Iron is alive; it can live or die depending on the blacksmith.”, says Anyru-san. That’s pretty heavy stuff, but it's not surprising that he'd have deep insights in his trade as this is a man who started blacksmithing in 1959. You know what else happened in 1959? I don’t because I wasn’t alive yet, my parents were still kids. That’s a long time to be perfecting your craft. He is so dedicated to furthering his trade that in 1993 he helped build Takefu Knife Village as a place that would attract new apprentices to blacksmithing.

Anryu-san makes: Masakage Kumo and Masakage Mizu 


Yu Kurosaki

It’s best to think of Kurosaki-san as an Anakin Skywalker of sorts, he’s incredibly talented and half the age of his colleagues. Imagine how great his knives will be when he’s Obi-Wan’s age. He never felt that he was a natural blacksmith until he sold his first knife and saw the joy it brought to the customer. Had that never happened, he may have turned to the Dark Side and gave up. Luckily for the rest of us, he’s still at the forge making beautiful knives like the Masakage Shimo.

Kurosaki-san makes: Masakage Shimo and Kurosaki Sasame


Takeshi Saji

Hailing from Takefu Village, Takeshi Saji started learning to work the forge under his father in 1966. The full successor to his master father at the age of 30, he is a third generation blacksmith. He continuously strives make each blade better than his last. All Masakage Knives are handmade in Japan by blacksmiths chosen for their excellence. Shibata-san, Hiroshima’s top knife sharpener, selects and design these knives. All Masakage knives are hand sharpened by Shibata-san with his unique technique of using a different grit on each side of the blade. This gives a smooth, sharp edge that stays sharp longer than standard sharpening.

Saji-san makes: Masakage Zero


Takayuki Shibata

Another one of the younger guys in the group, Shibata-san is the President of Masakage Knives and is arguably Japan’s best knife sharpener. He oversees the sharpening of every single Masakage knife! That’s unreal, it's like saying that David Chang personally seasons every bowl of noodles leaving his kitchens, except this is true.

Shibata-san makes: Shibata Kotetsu

Chris Lord
Chris Lord

Chris is a relocated Maritimer that can be found slinking in and out the back doors of Ottawa's restaurants, often with his daughter in tow. Chris has been a fixture in the Ottawa food scene for the past 10 years and has recently laid down his apron to learn the ways of Knifewear. Chris loves cooking big pieces of meat over a live fire and spends his summer feeding wood into his BBQ, Lemmy Smoke-mister.



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Knife Line
Blacksmith
Steel
Handle
Maintenance Rating
What we like about it
Whats in a name?
SteelStainless Steel
VG10 stainless steel
Rockwell Hardness: 60:62
HandleWa (Japanese) handle
Octagon, American cherry with pakka wood collar
Maintenance RatingEasy, it's stainless steel.
What we like about itElegant and sexy AF.
Whats in a name?Kumo translates to Cloud!
Blacksmithyoshimi kato
SteelStainless clad with Carbon Steel Core
aogami super super blue carbon
Rockwell Hardness: 63:64
HandleWa (Japanese) handle
Octagon, cherry wood handle with pakka wood collar
Maintenance RatingDoable, but some care needed.
What we like about itCrazy bang for your buck, more Knifewear staff have Koishi's than any other knife line.
Whats in a name?Koishi translates to Pebble!
SteelCarbon Steel
#2 aogami blue carbon
Rockwell Hardness: 61:63
HandleWa (Japanese) handle
Oval, cherry wood handle with plastic collar
Maintenance RatingPain in the ass.
What we like about itPerformance with a cheap handle.
Whats in a name?Mizu translates to Water!
Blacksmithyoshimi kato
SteelStainless Steel
VG10 stainless steel
Rockwell Hardness: 60:62
HandleWa (Japanese) Handle
Oval, Magnolia wood handle with pakka wood collar
Maintenance RatingEasy, it's stainless steel.
What we like about itThe perfect gift knife, stainless, beautiful and well priced .
Whats in a name?Kiri translates to Mist!
Blacksmithyoshimi kato
SteelStainless clad with Carbon Steel Core
#2 shirogami white carbon
Rockwell Hardness: 61:63
HandleWa (Japanese) handle
Oval, magnolia wood handle with pakka wood collar
Maintenance RatingDoable, but some care needed.
What we like about itAlmost as great as it's big brother, the Koishi, a great choice for someone getting into Japanese knives.
Whats in a name?Yuki translates to Snow!
Blacksmithyu kurosaki
SteelCarbon Steel
#2 shirogami white carbon
Rockwell Hardness: 61:63
HandleWa (Japanese) handle
Octagon, magnolia wood handle with pakka wood collar
Maintenance RatingPain in the ass.
What we like about itSharp as hell, will rust as you look at it, and thin as a razor. You will love it, but it won't love you back.
Whats in a name?Shimo translates to Frost!
Blacksmithtakeshi saji
SteelStainless clad with Carbon Steel Core
aogami super super blue carbon
Rockwell Hardness: 63:64
HandleWestern style handle
Desert ironwood with welded bolster
Maintenance RatingDoable, but some care needed.
What we like about itThe premo Masakage, Super Blue, Ironwood, and designed by Shibata-san to be pure luxury in a knife
Whats in a name?Named after this WW2 fighter Jet.