There is the last blacksmith of Nakaniida traditional knives in Kami-machi of Miyagi Pref. It is Mr. Michio Ishikawa.
Nakaniida knives are a traditional craft of Miyagi prefecture. Its history is old. It seems that it started from the era of the lord of the 3rd generation of Sendai clan. Mr.Ishikawa is the 4th generation of the Ishikawa knife workshop.There were about 11 blacksmiths in Kami-machi until some years ago. However, most blacksmiths have been closed down to date. So, Mr.Ishikawa became the last blacksmith. There are two features of the Nakaniida knives. One is to make only single-edged kitchen knife. The other is blank beating to the knife.
Usually, there are two kinds of knives. It is single-edged knife and double-edged knife. In general, single-edged kitchen knife is used for Yanagiba knife etc. single-edge knives are good at cutting thin materials. A double-edged kitchen knife is used for Gyuto knife etc. A double-edged kitchen knife is suitable for work that cuts the material of meat. Even Mr. Ishikawa does not know why Nakaniida knives made only a single-edged kitchen knife. However, he said this is related to regionality.
Blank beating is to train iron and steel in a state without heat. By beating iron and steel many times, it will be finished in a sticky kitchen knife. Nakaniida knives do this work about 3 times.
Steel of kitchen knife uses Hitachi Yasuki blue No. 2 and white No. 2. Blue No. 2 and white No. 2 are types of a hardness of steel. Both are steels used in common hand-forged knives. Professional chefs generally prefer blue No.2 knives. In ordinary households, white No.2 knives are sufficient.
Cut iron and steel, forge, blank beat, quench, and to put a blade. Mr. Ishikawa is doing all these work by one person. In fact, there are other more work to do. However, I think that if you are not a knife mania you will not be interested in them. So, I do not talk about them here.
Unfortunately, this traditional technique in Kami-machi ends by Mr. Ishikawa. Perhaps there is a stainless knife in everyone’s house, nowadays old type knives are not popular. In Japan, the old type of kitchen knife is falling in demand year by year. Therefore, he does not want to hire his disciples. However, due to its rarity his knives are being loved abroad. In particular, his kitchen knife is bought by the buyers of the United States and Israel.
If you are interested in it, please try purchasing the last Nakaniida knives.
Chef knives to go http://www.chefknivestogo.com/ishikawaknives.html
Hikari Chef Knives https://www.japanese-knives.co.il/product-category/michio_ishikawa/
|Shop name||Ishikawa blade manufactory|
|Address||20, Minamimachi, Kami-machi Kami-gun, Miyagi, 981-4241, Japan|
|Access||Bus, Taxi from Nishifurukawa Station on the Rikuu Tosen Line. It takes 15minutes.|
|Opening hours||8:30 AM to 5:00 PM|
|Closed days||Saturday, Sunday|
|Parking||One car can park.|