Although western style knives are very popular, Japan has its own unique and amazingly sharp Japanese kitchen knives.
The other day, a monthly meeting of cutlery wholesaler mates was held at a French restaurant where a member’s son works as a chef. Both the food and the wine were tasty, and just as everyone was in a good mood, the chef, the son of a member of cutlery wholesaler mates, appeared to greet us. After praising his cooking skills, I had the audacity to ask him to show me what kind of knife he uses, which is something I wouldn’t ask at a normal restaurant.

The chef kindly showed me the knives he uses, a Yanagiba knife and a Deba knife, both of which, to my surprise, are the ones used at sushi restaurants!

I thought it would be obvious that with the spread of Western cooking, the use of Western style knives (or Gyuto) would become more widespread, but he stated, “these (Yanagiba & Deba) cut better, and are easy to use (for French).”

Let’s illustrate the differences between Western knives and Japanese knives with a cross-sectional diagram. Figure 1 shows the cross-section of a standard knife. The left shows a Western (Gyuto) knife that is made entirely with carbon steel or martentistic stainless steel. The four on the left are Japanese knives, of which 3 are composite.

Figure 1. Knife Cross-Section

[Referenced from Hamonoarekore by Kato and Asakura(2013)]

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All the Hocho-Knife staff
“Hocho” represents Made-in-Japan (Sushi / Sashimi) Kitchen Knives,
that is the soul of the cook!