TWO New Lines from Masashi Yamamoto: The Kokuen and Kaijin!

July 11, 2022 1 min read

TWO New Lines from Masashi Yamamoto: The Kokuen and Kaijin!

Masashi Yamamoto is easily one of the best Japanese blacksmiths of our time. Masashi-san isn’t just a great knife maker, he’s an absolute knife-making genius. Since setting out on his own around 8 years ago, his knife-making has improved at a breakneck pace due largely to his intense passion and intellectual approach to the knife-making process.

Masashi-san in action forging a knife for our demo!

It’s with great pride that we announce two new lines available from Masashi-san, ushering in a new era of his knifemaking: Kokuen and Kaijin! These knives will be available in Knifewear stores and at knifewear.com starting July 15th. If you snag one now, you can get it engraved in-store by Masashi-san himself, when he visits our shops for his 2022 Knifewear tour in late July!

The Kokuen, left, and the Kaijin, right!

‘Kokuen’ 黒煙 translates to ‘black smoke’, and ‘Kaijin’ 灰燼 translates to ‘ash’. Both are references to the smoke and ash from his forge, in addition to the tobacco smoke and ash from Masashi-san’s trademark cigarettes, always present in his mouth while forging.

As Masashi-san furthers his abilities and trains his young apprentices, he has leveled up his knife making. Through forging and heat-treating techniques, he can make the VS1 and SLD steel used in his knives harder than previously thought possible, without compromising the durability. He sharpens these blades with the end-user in mind, angling different parts of the blade for the unique tasks each section will perform. This is truly the future of knife-making.

More about Masashi!

Nathan Gareau
Nathan Gareau

Nathan started at Knifewear in 2013, when he left the restaurant industry to slang knives. Nowadays, he handles our communications, social media, and YouTube channel. If you're reading words on this website or watching one of our videos, Nathan was involved. He spends his spare time growing food, cooking, fermenting food and booze, and enjoying the great outdoors.