The photo shows the knife that my husband bought in Japan for his friend’s son, who is a chef. The name is engraved both in Japanese and English. Cool, eh!
Japanese knives have always been popular among professional chefs around the world, but increasingly ordinary people are buying them. You may have seen Japanese brands such as Global and Shun. Did you know that the famous German company Zwilling J.A. Henckels is producing its high-end professional knives in Gifu Prefecture, Japan? Its Seki city has the largest production share of knives in Japan whilst Sakai city in Osaka, sister city of Wellington, produces 90% of professional quality Japanese knives. I bought a kitchen knife and a stone sharpener to bring back to New Zealand in Miki city, north of my hometown in Hyogo Prefecture, another town famous for tools with blades.
As everyone can guess, the history and the technique of producing knives are closely related to the production of swords. But some areas have a long history well before the rise of samurai warriors.
Professional knives cost from around ¥15,000, but of course there are more affordable ones. If someone you know is a keen cook, why don’t you buy a good quality Japanese knife as a souvenir? Just make sure you pack it in your check-in luggage, not in your carry-on!