About the Shape -Usuba translates as “thin edge/blade.” The flat blade is meant for chopping vegetables. The entire flat edge of the knife kisses the cutting board making sure you don't turn the veggies into an accordion. The Usuba is a traditional Japanese blade that is only sharpened on one side. This is called “single bevel”. As a result, this knife is perfect for rotary peeling.
About Shigefusa -Shigefusa is probably one of the best known and most respected knife-makers coming from Sanjo in Niigata, Japan. Izuka-san, the man behind the Shigefusa name, makes some of the World’s most sought after knives. We’ve heard both Masashi Yamamoto and Bob Kramer say that Izuka-san is the best. Izuka-san has a very impressive resume for a blacksmith. He started his training under Kosuke Iwasaki, the father of the man making some of our favourite kamisori straight razors, where he learned basic techniques and a more scientific approach to looking at steel. After learning what he could, he apprenticed under the legendary Nagashima-san who taught him how to take what he learned and apply it to making kitchen knives.
The knives made at Shigefusa take a lot of patience and time. Izuka-san doesn’t purchase anysanmei steel, preferring to forge weld everything in house. He even makes his own damascus orsuminagashi steel and calls itKitaeji, not something most blacksmiths do. Like his first master, Kosuke-san, he prefers to use a Swedish carbon steel. According to them, it is the closest thing totamahagane you can get, short of making the steel yourself. One of the coolest things about Izuka-san’s technique is the use of asen. Asen is a small blade with a handle on either side that is used instead of a grinder to shave nanometers of steel from the knife at a time. We are mega-excited to be able to carry Shigefusa knives when we can. Because of their scarcity and uber-meticulous construction, it may take up to 5 years to get one made. The best of the best usually takes time but is always worth the wait.