Senko Ai Tenmoku |Yu Kurosaki Knives & Natural Indigo Dyeing

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A Japanese knife that combines world class Yu Kurosaki knives with Japanese Traditional Indigo Dyeing!

Edit Japan

2021.8.26

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A Japanese knife that combines world class Yu Kurosaki knives with Japanese Traditional Indigo Dyeing!

Edit Japan

2021.8.26

Senko Ai Tenmoku(閃光藍天目) Series 

Japan’s highest class kitchen knife boasting overwhelming sharpness

Yu Kurosaki

Born in Fukui prefecture in 1979.Traditional craftsman. After 12 years of training with Kanehiro Uchihamono, he became independent as Kurosaki Uchihamono.

The attractiveness of traditional skill and art from human touch & naturally derived warmth

 

The Beautility of the Senko Ai Tenmoku (閃光藍天目)Knives

Senko Ai Tenmoku (閃光藍天目)is a special kitchen knife that is packed with Japanese tradition. The points are overwhelming sharpness and hygienic indigo dyeing. A new Kickstarter-only kitchen knife will be released in collaboration with Japan's proud star blacksmith, Yu Kurosaki, and a handle and a sheath made by aiichikobo, which has the best known technology and skill in Japan!

 

Yu Kurosaki is a young blacksmith located in Echizen, Fukui Prefecture. Kurosaki Uchihamono products are known as Kurosaki Knives among overseas chefs and have been featured in the media, so they are sold out soon after they are released and are so popular that currently there is an over a year long wait.

The characteristics of Kurosaki's work are the rough pattern of a hammer and its overwhelming sharpness.

 

 There are many factors that make up sharpness, but simply put, steel and blacksmithing are important. This kitchen knife uses a steel material called Super Gold High Speed Stainless Steel (commonly known as R2 / SG2). This metal is originally used for drills, and it is a metal that has the sharpness and durability necessary to make holes in hard objects at high speed rotation, so you can imagine the level of sharpness this blade has. 

However, no matter how good the material is, if the skills of the blacksmith aren’t exceptional, it will be difficult to bring out the very best of that material. Mr. Kurosaki has been making many kitchen knives using R2 / SG2 as the main steel material for a long time. With his experience and achievements, he is able to maximize his abilities.

 

The unique hammer design is a characteristic of Kurosaki's work and that is no different to the series being produced this time, the Senko 閃光  (flash) series.

This series has a beautiful sparkle of quadrangular pyramid-shaped hammer marks. The ultimate sharpness is achieved by sharpening Super Gold Heiss Steel, which is the finest stainless steel, to the utmost limit. Senko 閃光 is a series that expresses the sharpness of the light as a spark-like light.

The finish of the hammer also has the functionality of making it difficult for food to stick to the blade when used to cut. The excitement of cutting ingredients with this knife for the first time will be an unforgettable memory.

Certified by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as a 「Traditional Craftsman(伝統工芸士 Dentoukougeishi )」 

In addition, Kurosaki is a young man who has been certified as a traditional craftsman who values tradition and quality. He strives to preserve traditional crafts, improve skills and techniques, has the responsibility to pass on those techniques to future generations, and is engaged in forging.

The handle and sheath are made by dyeing natural magnolia wood with indigo dyeing, which has been traditionally used in Japan. It is a unique and special pattern that is not found anywhere else in the world.

 

The real ability of indigo is called, "JAPAN BLUE"

The reason for using indigo dyeing is not for visual purposes, but for enhancing hygiene.

 

Indigo has been said to have antibacterial and deodorant properties since ancient times.  Farmers wear indigo-dyed clothes that have insect repellent properties, drink indigo tea as a medicinal herb, eat it  with leaves, and apply it to the skin. In the era of the samurai, it was preferred as a lucky colour, and in the Meiji era, British scientist Atkinson, who came to Japan from overseas, is said to have described the town as "Japan Blue". At that time, indigo was a symbol of Japan for people who had travelled abroad.

The indigo dyeing of patterns and pods is handled by the craftsman group "Maikoubou" in Tokushima Prefecture, which has a 60% share of the indigo production in Japan.

 

When talking about Indigo dyeing it usually involves cloth, but the technique of indigo dyeing wood is a special one that was established only in Tokushima, where wood crafts such as high-class furniture were originally popular.

It is a difficult technique just to dye wood indigo, but this time we adopted a pottery technique known as "Tenmoku(天目)" and the technique of lacquering "Kanshitsu(乾漆)".

Tenmoku(天目) is a technique that repels indigo with water to create a bright colour, imitating a star in the galaxy or sky. Dry lacquer is a technique that gives a feeling of unevenness on the surface by intentionally making lump grains when applying indigo. By equipping three traditional Japanese techniques on this handle and sheath, we were able to realize enhanced hygiene, grip due to unevenness, and vivid visuals.

 

Why would you be particular about indigo dyed wood in the first place?

 When it comes to kitchen knives, due to coming into contact not only with food but water, it is easy for germs to attach easily to the handle. That's why when first thinking about making this knife, I thought that we might have to make the handle resin or completely integrate it with stainless steel. However, Japan has an amazing variety of woodworkers and carvers, and I myself love wood as a item. So I wanted to try use it as a handle, and came across indigo dyeing as a way to solve the problem natural. After dyeing we will apply a waterproof coating to make sure that the indigo doesn't fall off and retains its amazing qualities! 

COVID-19 has unfortunately limited us from meeting friends and family, and interacting with other humans like before. The world has become artificial, and with that in mind we wanted to change this. Using amazing traditional hand crafted work of various craftsmen, we hope to convey a sense of human touch, heart, and soul through this project. We hope that this collision of amazing craftsmen helps to create a lifting spirit in your own heart! 

 

An easy to use blade means a fun time in the kitchen

 

When using knives that have been made in collaboration with skilled craftsmen, you know doubt find it fun to cook. While Kurosaki knives are used by a wide variety of kitchen chefs, they are also a brilliant staple to any home chef as well. 

They are great for those that love to cook, as well as those that wish to start to cook. For some disciplines, choosing the best item that money can buy may not be the most suitable, but in the case of cooking, choosing a Kurosaki blade will most definitely be the best option, as cooking is greatly reliant on the tools of the trade, and they will help to make you a better chef. Having a great knife will make you want to cook each and everyday. As you progress, you'll get better, and as you get better, you'll find it increasingly enjoyable. This creates a positive cycle, and soon you'll be cooking with a massive smile on your face. That's why we can whole heartedly recommend this knife to you! 

The amazing visual of these kitchen knives means that for chefs that cook in places that are visible to the customer, for example open kitchens and so on, it creates an even more unique experience. The unique patterns on the blade and handle makes for great conversation starters, and just introducing the indigo colour to them will make for an interesting talk. 

 

For many this is common knowledge, but Japan has a very deep and rich food culture.  This has given rise to a whole range of traditional knives, each complimenting a different style of cooking! Did you know that there are over 10 types of knife for cutting and cooking fish.  Japanese knives are said to have been tempered not only by fire but this food culture. 

The line up from left to right: Petty, Bunka, Santoku, Gyuto 21cm, Gyuto 24cm

 

1.Petty Knife

The Petty knife, a smaller type of knife, originally used to cut and peel fruit and vegetables, has in recent years taken on a different job as being an all-purpose albeit smaller general knife. Feel free to use it with fruits, but don't hesitate to use it on meat, fish, and veggies as well. As it's a smaller knife, it's easier to use in delicate situations, it is also easier for children getting into cooking to use. Choose this if you think that the Santoku is just a tad too big for you. 

Blade material: R2 / SG2 (stainless steel-material that does not rust easily)

Hardness HRC 62-63 | Double-edged | Blade length 150mm | Blade width 31mm | Blade thickness 2mm

Handle sheath material: Magnolia wood

Pattern sheath processing: Indigo dyeing (Tenmoku / dry lacquer finish) + waterproof coating

Kitchen Knife Weight 79g | Sheath weight 22g

 

2.Santoku Knife

One of the most popular knives found in the kitchen, the santoku is an all purpose knife. The name santoku comes from the ability to use it on all three main ingredients fish, meat, and vegetables, with 3 being san in Japanese. 

With a blade that is wide than the average petty or gyuto, this knife is also great for cutting larger vegetables such as cabbage or lettuce. This is a perfect knife for those just beginning or want to grab a new knife. 

 

Blade material: R2 / SG2 (stainless steel-material that does not rust easily)

Hardness HRC 62-63 | Double-edged | Blade length 165mm | Blade width 48.5mm | Blade thickness 2mm

Handle sheath material: Magnolia wood

Pattern sheath processing: Indigo dyeing (Tenmoku / dry lacquer finish) + waterproof coating

Kitchen Knife Weight 134g | Sheath weight 50g

 

3.Bunka Knife

The Bunka is a knife that is widely used in Japanese homes, and is similar to the santoku. When compared to the santoku, the most obvious difference is the sharp angles used instead of the curved spine. The functionality of the bunka is basically the same as the santoku, cutting a variety of vegetables, meat, and fish with ease. For those that like sharp angles more than smooth curves, this knife is the one for you! 

Blade material: R2 / SG2 (stainless steel-material that does not rust easily)

Hardness HRC 62-63 | Double-edged | Blade length 165mm | Blade width 46mm | Blade thickness 2mm

Handle sheath material: Magnolia wood

Pattern sheath processing: Indigo dyeing (Tenmoku / dry lacquer finish) + waterproof coating

Kitchen Knife Weight 124g | Sheath weight 50g

 

4.Gyuto (21cm)

Called the Chef Knife in the West, this knife's origin comes from around the later half of the 1800s, when the culture of meat eating came through to Japan. With a blade that has a width smaller than the traditional santoku, it's surprising that this knife's main aim was to cut meat. Due to it's length though, it makes a great knife to cut larger things, often being able to reach the whole length of the ingredient. 

Due to its slim and stylish design, this type of knife is widely known and is extremely popular overseas, more so than the wider santoku.

 

Blade material: R2 / SG2 (stainless steel-material that does not rust easily)

Hardness HRC 62-63 | Double-edged | Blade length 210mm | Blade width 47.5mm | Blade thickness 2mm

Handle sheath material: Magnolia wood

Pattern sheath processing: Indigo dyeing (Tenmoku / dry lacquer finish) + waterproof coating

Kitchen Knife Weight 147g | Sheath weight 60g

 

5.Gyuto(24cm)

Blade material: R2 / SG2 (stainless steel-material that does not rust easily)

Hardness: HRC 62-63 | Double-edged | Blade length 240mm | Blade width 51mm | Blade thickness 3mm

Handle sheath material: Magnolia wood

Pattern sheath processing: Indigo dyeing (Tenmoku / dry lacquer finish) + waterproof coating

Kitchen Knife Weight 168g | Sheath weight 75g

 

When it comes to Kurosaki Knives, a sheath is not included, but for this project we wanted to make sure that we could show off the indigo dyeing to its fullest, so we created this impressive sheath to go with each different style of knife. Each sheath fits to the knife's angle perfectly, as well as the faces protruding to show of the beautiful indigo dyes ability to change colour in different lighting. 

A pin is also included so that the sheath doesn't come off easily, with the being attached with navy leather. 

In order to bring the knives to you at the best price possible, the sheaths will be available to buy after the project ends via a pledge manager. 

 

You can choose between a indigo dyed sheath or a non dyed sheath.

 

As the world deals with the difficult situation that is the pandemic, I tried to think what could I do to help, and came on the idea of this project and creating this amazing collaboration between craftsmen to reach out to people all over the world. With that in mind, I want to make sure that this gift reaches you in fashion, and using high quality traditional Japanese paper or what we call washi in Japanese, each return will be wrapped individually. We hope that this helps you to feel even more excited when the time to receive the knives comes.

 

EDIT JAPAN

CEO Akiyuki Sakamoto ( 坂元晃之 さかもとあきゆき )

Born in 1979 in Tochigi.

Studied abroad in Canada during high school.

After returning back to Japan, joined the workforce and has 10 years as a sales person for electrical goods.

In 2017 created the Indigo Knife brand.
 

 

Editing the perception of traditional Japanese crafts for the rest of the world

In high school I had the chance to go to Canada on an exchange program, and was able to work for the sales department of an electronic parts company,  and was able to see Japan from the outside, seeing that the amazing qualities of Japanese goods weren't conveyed in the appropriate manner. From there, in 2015 I started Edit Japan, and started helping artists and craftsmen with marketing, then in 2017,  I created the Indigo Bocho brand. From there I was able to be expand into things such as custom-made Kitchen Knives customised with traditional techniques, and was selected as a special JETRO Overseas Expansion Support Company by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. 

Edit Japan web site

 

Prices of the Sheaths during the pledge manager

 

Project Starts August 11th 2021

Project Finishes September 25th 2021

Start to Be Sent to Backers January 2022

Start to Arrive to Backers March 2022

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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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Edit Japan

In 2015 Edit Japan was founded, and we started helping artists and craftsmen with marketing, then in 2017, we created the Indigo Bocho brand. From there we were able to be expand into things such as custom-made Kitchen Knives customised with traditional techniques, and was selected as a special JETRO Overseas Expansion Support Company by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

Select a return to support!

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

¥24,640 | $226 | Super Early Bird Petty Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 20% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Petty Knife (15cm)

¥27,040 | $247 | Super Early Bird Santoku Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 20% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Santoku Knife (16.5cm)

¥27,040 | $247 | Super Early Bird Bunka Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 20% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Bunka Knife (16.5cm)

¥27,720 | $253 | Early Bird Petty Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 10% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Petty Knife (15cm)

¥30,420 | $277 | Early Bird Santoku Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 10% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Santoku Knife (16.5cm)

¥30,420 | $277 | Early Bird Bunka Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 10% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Bunka Knife (16.5cm)

¥30,800 | $281 | KS Special Petty Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye!
Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Petty Knife (15cm)

¥32,640 | $298 | Super Early Bird Gyuto Knife 21cm

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 20% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Gyuto Knife (21cm)

¥33,800 | $308 | KS Special Santoku Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye!
Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Santoku Knife (16.5cm)

¥33,800 | $308 | KS Special Bunka Knife

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye!
Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Bunka Knife (16.5cm)

¥35,840 | $326 | Super Early Bird Gyuto Knife 24cm

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 20% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Gyuto Knife (24cm)

¥36,720 | $335 | Early Bird Gyuto Knife 21cm

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 10% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Gyuto Knife (21cm)

¥40,320 | $368 | Early Bird Gyuto Knife 24cm

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye at 10% off! Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Gyuto Knife (24cm)

¥40,800 | $372 | KS Special Gyuto Knife 21cm

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye!
Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Gyuto Knife (21cm)

¥44,800 | $409 | KS Special Gyuto Knife 24cm

Get your hands on a Yu Kurosaki Blade with a handle dyed with traditional indigo dye!
Don't miss out on this chance to get a beautifully made knife!
The sheath for this knife will be available via a pledge manager when the project ends.

INCLUDES:
Indigo Gyuto Knife (24cm)
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