An Outdoor Knife from Seki, Japan’s City of Blades

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A knife with a unique design, crafted by a swordsmith in Seki, using ancestral techniques used to produce Samurai swords!

Giant Salamander

2022.7.15

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A knife with a unique design, crafted by a swordsmith in Seki, using ancestral techniques used to produce Samurai swords!

Giant Salamander

2022.7.15

Story

The city of Seki, in the Gifu prefecture of Japan, has been producing blades for over 700 years and is one of the three largest blade producers in the world. The particularities of the swords and knives crafted by Seki’s bladesmiths are their sharpness and the toughness of their blade. And so we created our unique outdoor knife, made with the ancestral techniques and spirit of swordsmiths that have been passed down since ancient times!



The total length of the knife is 30cm (11.8in) and the blade is 17cm (6.7in) long.

For an outdoor knife, while the compact format is the mainstream, ours is highly versatile with a rather large design that can cut firewood, lumber and foodstuffs.

Because the blade is finished by an experienced swordsmith, we made it 17cm to make its quality stand out. Moreover the design of the blade dyed in black makes this knife very pleasing to the eye.

The 13cm (5.1in) grip is very comfortable to take in hand and allows for a good power transfer to the blade so that it can be used on various materials and in all sorts of situations! These types of knives that employ this high standard of design and manufacturing are exceedingly rare, so we hope that you take the chance to pick one up!




The handle uses wood-based composite plastic (i-WPC), based on Japanese cypress and containing 55% wood. Handles molded from raw materials containing 51% or more wood are classified as wood rather than plastic, and have environmentally friendly specifications. A Japanese metal molding artisan, experienced in handling the specifically required drying time and cylinder temperature that differ from the usual, performs high-quality molding by calculating optimal values.

※Wood / plastic classifications and rules differ depending on each region.


Moreover, as is characteristic of wood-plastic, the pattern on the surface will vary depending on the mixing ratio at the time of molding. With each knife looking absolutely unique, it is a highly original product!



You can choose from 3 different colors: Brown, Black and Sakura.

  • Brown: In this color, the grain of the wood stands out the most!
  • Black: A classy color that gives a luxurious feel.
  • Sakura: Associated with the Sakura flower, it gives a strong sense of Japanese culture.

The blade is colored in black only for every model.



Usually, the process of having blades such as Japanese swords and knives made by swordsmiths is very costly and time consuming. However, we can reduce both the time and cost by first producing the shape of the blade and then having the swordsmith temper, sharpen and carry out the finishing touches on the blade.

Even so, being crafted with care one at a time, only 50 knives can be produced in a month, making it a rare and original knife!

The charcoal used in the Tatara furnace to heat and temper the blade is pine charcoal, capable of producing high temperatures between 1200 and 1300 degree Celsius (2192- 2372°F). Swordsmiths in Seki, Gifu Prefecture, use this abundantly available, high-quality material after cutting it into 2-3cm pieces.

The blade undergoes a tempering process in order to remove any internal strain and improve its toughness.

By giving it flexibility, the metal’s brittleness improves to a level suitable for an outdoor knife. The temperature and tempering time are determined by various conditions and the experience of the swordsmith.

For these knives, the back of the blade is adjusted and fine-tuned with a rough grindstone and then sharpened one by one by a swordsmith. The resulting blade is filed and sharpened to improve its sharpness and create a beautiful surface.

As a finishing touch, and proof that the swordsmith worked on this blade, they perform an inscription on the blade. The front side of the blade is engraved with the characters “giant-salamander” from the development team, and the back of the blade with the character “羽” meaning “feather” from the swordsmith.


I was born in a city famous for blade crafting, to swordsmith parents, and that is how it all started. Since I was a kid, I had many opportunities to get familiar with swords, and I enjoyed watching my parents craft blades, and so I naturally grew up wanting to make swords myself.

Immediately after graduating from high-school, I became an apprentice at Miyairi Ichimon in Nagano Prefecture, trained under my father from the age of 20, and acquired a professional swordsmith certification at the age of 23. At that time however, it wasn’t going too well and I got a lot of “the form is bad” or “that’s no good!” during my training.

On the other hand, when I succeeded in creating the shapes and things I had imagined, I was overjoyed and I can remember how fun it was!

"Takaba Makoto Training Dojo" was founded by my grandfather, passed down to my father as the second generation, and I as the third generation. Nowadays, I mainly craft fine blades such as cutter knives and paper knives, and because there were hard times in the past as well, it has made it all the more fun and rewarding to be able to craft blades now.

The number of craftsmen preserving traditional crafts and techniques is decreasing year by year. I myself believe that there is no need to force one to take after the family business because they were born into a family of traditional craftsmen. However, I may contradict myself, but it gets lonely as a traditional artisan when traditional crafting slowly becomes unknown to anyone. This might not be significant, but it is my hope that by making an outdoor knife that is easy for anyone to pick up, people will get to know a little more about Japanese traditional craftsmanship.

※We kindly ask that you refrain from making direct inquiries to the “Takaba Makoto Training Dojo”. If you would like to contact us, please do so through Kickstarter.



 The leather sheath is made of high-quality genuine leather and the tick leather is sewn using old-school sewing machines and traditional techniques. The sheaths express various designs thanks to the natural variations in color and patterns of the leather!

You can carry the knife on you by attaching the sheath to your belt!

The button attachment ensures that there is no risk of the knife accidentally dropping!

Processing 3mm thick genuine leather normally requires special sewing machines and techniques, but here the sheaths are carefully put together one by one by experienced leather craftsmen, who have released their own products to the world, using traditional equipment and techniques. It is a truly unique knife combining traditional techniques from swordsmiths and leather craftsmen!




【Outdoor knife x1】

  • You can choose the color of the handle between 3 different colors.
  • The blade is dyed black. (Please note that the coating will wear off if you sharpen the blade).
  • Each knife comes with one leather sheath.
  • Each piece being handcrafted one by one, we plan on producing 50 knives a month.


Schedule

Projects Starts June 13th 

Project Ends July 20th

Items prepared for backers September - December 2023

Items Shipped to Backers December 2022

Items arrive to Backers April 2023  

※The delivery timing may change depending on the production status.

(We will inform you as needed through updates.)



Q1: Please tell me about the shipping fee.

A1: The shipping fee will be shouldered by the customer. 


Q2: Is there a warranty period?

A2: There is a warranty period of 6 months after the product is delivered. We promise to perform the necessary repairs or replace the product free of charge if defects occur under the normal use mentioned in this article, except for the following exceptions:

1) Defects that arise from a use other than those described in this text or the item description, or any prohibited use.

2) Defects caused by natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes, floods, and external factors such as accidents.

3) Defects caused by a drop after purchase or damage due to transportation.

4) Normal wear, scratches or tears of the external appearance or parts of the knife’s arising from regular use.

5) Cases beyond our company's responsibility, such as resale of our products.

6) If the product has been repaired or modified by anyone other than us or one of our designated repair companies.


Q3: What about safety precautions?

A3: Please take note of the following points and use the product correctly and safely.

1) Do not touch the cutting edge directly with your bare hands.

2) Please store the product out of children’s reach.

3) Be mindful that the blade becomes hot when brought close to fire.

4) Please refrain from any use other than the product’s purposes or from carrying the knife around while walking.



Q4: How should I care for the product?

A4: After use, please follow the procedure described below.

1) After each use, immediately wash away any moisture or dirt on the handle and the blade.

2) For persistent dirt, squeeze a cloth soaked in a diluted neutral detergent before wiping off.

3) Wipe off any remaining water with a dry cloth.

4) Put it back in the leather sheath and store in a safe place.

【CAUTION】

・ Do not use metal scrubbing sponges or brushes.

・ Do not use detergents or bleaches that contain polishing components.

・ Do not wash in the dishwasher.



Q5: How to store the knife when not using it for a long time?

A5: If not using the brush for an extended period of time, please store it away as follows:

1) Apply rust preventive oil or camellia oil for blades to the entire blade.

2) Wrap the entire blade in rust proof paper, newspaper, cloth, etc., and store it safely in a place that is not hot or humid. (Please refrain from storing it in the leather sheath).



Q6: Should I sharpen the blade regularly?

A6: The sharpness will decrease depending on the number of uses and storage period, so please sharpen the blade regularly.

The blade is dyed black, so the coating on the surface will wear off each time you sharpen it. Rust may occur depending on the storage method, we ask for your understanding.



“Giant-Salamander” the crafts development team where Japanese traditional craftsmen gather.

 Members with various skills and experience, such as swordsmiths, mold craftsmen, metal plate craftsmen, traditional lantern craftsmen, designers, furniture makers, sewing craftsmen and more, are developing products that can only be found here.

Our goal is to bring the artisans crafts and skills to the future with our products.

Following our theme of “crafts you want to talk about”, we continue to strive to deliver many new products and we hope it’ll be an occasion for people to learn more about the story of the development and crafting of those products!

This Project is promoted by Japankuru Funding, Bringing Japanese Products to the West!
This project is promoted by New Backer, a community of over 220,000+ members that has raised creators over $50MM to date.
This project is boosted by BackerCrew

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This is an All or Nothing project. This project will be funded if the amount of money raised exceeds its target amount.

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Giant Salamander

“Giant-Salamander” the crafts development team where Japanese traditional craftsmen gather.

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This is an All or Nothing project. This project will be funded if the amount of money raised exceeds its target amount.

¥29,750 or more $230 KS Special Outdoor Knife & Sheathx1

Get your hands on this unique and high-quality Japan-made outdoor knife and its genuine leather sheath for 15% off the RRP! Choose the color at the end of the campaign!

INCLUDES:
Outdoor knife
Leather sheath

¥56,000 or more $433 KS Special Outdoor Knife & Sheathx2

Get your hands on 2 sets of this original and high-quality Japan-made outdoor knife and its genuine leather sheath for 20% off the RRP! Choose the color at the end of the campaign!

INCLUDES:
2× Outdoor knife
2× Leather sheath

¥68,250 or more $528 EarlyBird Outdoor Knife & Sheath x3

Get your hands on 3 sets of this original and high-quality Japan-made outdoor knife and its genuine leather sheath for 35% off the RRP! Choose the color at the end of the campaign!

INCLUDES:
3× Outdoor knife
3× Leather sheath

¥78,750 or more $609 KS Special Outdoor Knife & Sheathx3

Get your hands on 3 sets of this original and high-quality Japan-made outdoor knife and its genuine leather sheath for 25% off the RRP! Choose the color at the end of the campaign!

INCLUDES:
3× Outdoor knife
3× Leather sheath

¥26,250 or more $203 EarlyBird Outdoor Knife & Sheath x1

Get your hands on this unique and high-quality Japan-made outdoor knife and its genuine leather sheath for 25% off the RRP! Choose the color at the end of the campaign!

INCLUDES:
Outdoor knife
Leather sheath

¥49,000 or more $379 EarlyBird Outdoor Knife & Sheath x2

Get your hands on 2 sets of this original and high-quality Japan-made outdoor knife and its genuine leather sheath for 30% off the RRP! Choose the color at the end of the campaign!

INCLUDES:
2× Outdoor knife
2× Leather sheath
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