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About the Shape - The Chinese cleaver (chuka-bocho in Japanese) is a unique and versatile shape of the knife. For many classically trained Chinese chefs, these hefty blades are their chef's knife, performing nearly every kitchen task imaginable. Those who have trained seriously can wield these with precision and grace rarely seen in western kitchens.
They come in a variety of blade thicknesses, ranging from razor-thin for slicing garlic, to wedge-thick for splitting bones. Many chefs will sharpen different parts of their chuka-bocho for different purposes, allowing them to do everything with one large blade.
About Yoshimi Kato - Second careers are often the best. I know a burnt-up chef, for example, who owns a few knife shops now. Then there’s Yoshimi Kato, who left his job as the project manager of a construction company to become a blacksmith after marrying Hiroshi Kato’s daughter. It takes normal apprentices 10-15 years to become pros, but Kato san did it in just 5, and is now running the show. He forges most of the Masakage Kiri, Yuki and Koishi knives that were once his father-in-law’s domain. Yoshimi san also brings a special level of professionalism and care to his customer’s orders, checking each blade for quality when it is finished.