Shibata-san’s Factory

Kevin Kent, CEO and owner of Knifewear, is currently on a business trip to Japan. He wanted to tell you about some of his experiences while he's there. This is the first we’ve seen him blog about work, so we’re going to assume this is the first work he’s done since getting there. 


Takayuki Shibata is the President of Masakage Knives, Haruyuki, and Kotetsu knife companies. He is a busy guy and his shop has a lot of plates in the air. At his factory in Hiroshima area his team sharpens knives, engrave blades, grind knife blanks, attach handles, straighten blades, do final quality checks, box the knives, and ship out orders.

He runs a slick machine. And he has enough coffee on tap to keep even me happy. I certainly learned a ton about knife sharpening here. Shibata-san is seen as one of the best knife sharpeners in Japan. I’m merely adequate in the big picture.

Kevin Kent

Kevin Kent


Kevin Kent’s fascination with Japanese knives began while he was working as sous-chef for the legendary chef Fergus Henderson at St. John restaurant in London, England. In 2007, he began selling handcrafted Japanese knives out of a backpack on the back of his bicycle, while working as a chef at River Café in Calgary, Canada. Kent is just as obsessed with Japanese knives as when he first held one, and a few times a year, he travels to Japan to meet with his blacksmith friends, to drink far too much sake, and to learn more about the ancient art of knife-making. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, he refuses to confess how many Japanese knives he owns….but he admits the number is rather high. Follow Kevin on Twitter @knifenerd

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