The Towa Knife Series | Bring a versatile knife to your home

Funded 623.8%
  • Funded 1,871,519yen (About $17592.2786) (About $0) The target amount is $2820 This is an All or Nothing project. This project will be funded if the amount of money raised exceeds its target amount.
  • Backers 75 backers
  • Days left 0days
  • Share this project

A traditionally made handle with a western style knife that is made with Japanese craftsmanship, discover a new side of cooking!

Seki Corporation

2022.4.1

  • About the ProjectDetails

  • Updates

  • Comments

A traditionally made handle with a western style knife that is made with Japanese craftsmanship, discover a new side of cooking!

Seki Corporation

2022.4.1

 One part of Japanese culture that is unmistakably Japanese, is the katana. Seki City, located in Gifu Prefecture, has a sword making history that reaches back to the Kamakura period, around 1200 AD. The production of katana through the Warring States periods to the Edo Period was done by many smiths in the area, which led to many more also coming to the area to make blades. The blades made in Seki City, were sent to various parts of Japan, and were used in a variety of different battles. It is why we have decided to bring this project to you via Seki City, to create the best knife possible. 

No matter who uses the knife, you can be sure that the knife that is made using the many years of history that is found in the area will make for a superior knife. 

We hope by accepting into your kitchen a top quality knife, you are able to make superb tasting food. 

 

The shape of the blade has a direct impact on the cutting ability.

How an ingredient tastes changes on how it is cut and the edge of the blade that cuts it. How you perceive food based on the colour and the shape of the ingredients all depends on that first cut. Those that are good at cooking are able to spot the best tools. Choosing a great knife is the first step to becoming a better chef. Having a good knife and knowing how to use it, is all connected to the cutting ability of said knife. When it comes to things like, making sashimi, having a longer style knife like a gyuto or a yanagiba which lets you cut cleanly through the cells of the ingredients in one pass, lets you create rich looking food.

①The wave pattern on the knife edge (hamon) from start to finish, going left to right. The starting piece of steel is hammered over and over which when polished and grinded down, helps to create a hamon on the edge of the blade. The blade is made from three layers of steel, with the core being a VG5 steel core, helping to make the edge great for cutting.

Hammered Marks: Hammered at the top of the blade away from the edge of the knife, these hammered marks when done correctly, can help to improve the knife’s steel as well as makes it harder for food to stick to the blade’s face. It is called tsuchime in Japanese.


③ Handle: A nice long handle that is easy to grip, helps support you as you use the knife.

The knives have been designed not only to look good but to have a functionality behind the design.

The union between a western style blade and a Japanese style handle brings the best of both worlds.

The knife that we have created looks to fuse the style of western knives with the suppleness and ease of use of Japanese knives. We have created a knife that has not been seen before. The tip of the blade can be used for delicate work or when control over cutting soft ingredients is needed. You can see a little below, but when this knife is used for cutting fish into sashimi, it is extremely gratifying. We hope that you can enjoy a knife tha

A balance between the cutting ability of the blade and the octagonal handle

 ※Sanmai awase allows for the knife to be durable as well as flexible. When compared to warikomi types of knives, they are comparable at first but over the years as the blade is sharpened and cared for, the core of the warikomi is slowly lost. This means that you aren’t able to use warikomi types for an exceedingly long time if used regularly.


Easy to sharpen, easy to maintain

Knives should be sharpened once every few months to make sure the edge of the blade is maintained, but when done via a whetstone, the hamon on the blade is slowly cut away at, so you can use this simple sharpener to sharpen the knife while not affecting the hamon.

The handle that we use for the knife is rather long, meaning that you have  a wide area to grip and use the knife, allowing you to have enough control to make brilliant dishes. 

As well as this, we use two traditional crafting methods, the use of traditional indigo dyeing and the use of urushi lacquer. Both techniques have their foundations in using trees as the means of production, and are extremely sought after traditional techniques. 

Indigo Dyeing or Aizome in Japanese, is a traditional dyeing technique that allows the crafter to dye items a beautiful indigo colour. A resplendent colour that invokes both a cold and warm feeling thanks to the unique colour, it is often called Japan Blue in various countries, and is a representative colour for Japan.

The material used to create this dye, the dyer’s knotweed, is a plant that helps increase the anti-odour and helps to contain the proliferation of  bacteria, as well helps to prevent the effects of uv rays, and is also a natural insect repellent, and as so has become popular in recent years.

Urushi is an often used lacquer in Japan. When used on objects, these objects are then known as shikki (漆器). Using urushi as a lacquer is a traditional art style, and is well known for being not only beautiful to look at but also tough, and therefore is used on a variety of high quality household goods, walls, flooring materials, and even musical instruments. 



The application of the urushi is not the only important aspect of using urushi. The drying process is also extremely important. The climate and the humidity and so on are important, with urushi needing a temperature of over 20°C and a humidity of over 80% or it won’t dry. This needs to be watched carefully, over about 7 days. If it isn’t dried properly, we can’t finish the final steps for making the handle. 

When using a knife, the balance is extremely important, if not the most most important part. This is due to the effect that holding items which are weight for a long time can have when looking at the ergonomics of the item. If you’re cooking, the weight and balance of the knife therefore is rather important.

If you feel comfortable with the knife for a long time, you can surely cut and prepare food better, which leads to tastier dishes. 

The way you put power into a heavy blade, differs from that of a light blade. But if the balance of the knife is good, then it doesn’t matter as much whether the knife is light or heavy. 

▲The balance of the knife is right in the centre, making the knife easy to use for a long time. 

 ▲As the handle is long, the knife is versatile and usable in a variety of ways.

Seki City is known as being the birthplace of one of the 5 ways of creating amazing swords, or the Gokaden(五箇伝). This skill is called the Minoden (美濃伝). There are 5 techniques that are preferred by different smiths with the techniques and areas where they were made being as follows: Yamato Den (Nara Prefecture)[大和伝 (奈良県)], Yamashiro Den (Kyoto Prefecture) [山城伝 (京都)], Bizen Den (Okayama Prefecture)[備前伝(岡山)], Sagami Den (Kanagawa Prefecture) [相州伝(神奈川)], and finally Mino Den (Gifu Prefecture)[美濃伝(岐阜)]. These special crafting methods have all birthed various different named blades over the years, and have been carefully honed over the years. It’s from these skills that make beautiful swords that we have been able to make a wonderful knife.

Above you can see Kasuga Temple (Kasuga-taisha), located in present day Nara Prefecture, (which used to be Yamato Province. It is from here that two of the founding fathers of sword smithery, Motoshige and Kaneshige,  moved to Seki City. They are now enshrined at this temple. The temple is a temple that celebrates katanas and swords. This festival that celebrates swords is organised by those from Seki City.

Blade Name: Kanesada (Hikisada)~Photo Usage rights: Seki Traditional Swordsmith Museum Photo by: Kei Nakamura 刀銘 兼定

The design of the Towa Knife Series is based on the above Kanesada blade. The hamon (wave like pattern on the edge of the blade) found on the swords and knives haven’t changed in the past 1300 years. This is normally a mark of careful handcrafting.

Cooking changes depending on the sharpness of the knife. With a properly sharpened knife, the finished food will taste different. So please try the knives out in a variety of cooking situations, and experience food in a new way!


 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
 
Play with
sound
 
 
 
 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
 
Play with
sound
 
 
 

When cutting sashimi, a long blade, such as a gyuto or a Japanese speciality knife called the yanagiba, is used, with its length being able to help when cutting across the whole of the piece of fish, it cuts the cells cleanly, which also helps when it comes to the taste of the said food. 

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
 
Play with
sound
 
 
 

All the knives are made in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture, with about 200-300 knives being made per month. This is quite low when it comes to knife production, however each blade is made one by one with care, so we think it is understandable. From the processing of the steel, to the quenching of the blade, and so on, there are about 40 different steps that go into making the knife. With this project, we are also looking to focus particularly on making the sharpness of the knife extraordinary.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
 
Play with
sound
 
 
 

◎Quenching the blade (This process is done to help the blade keep some of its flexibility. If it is not done, then the blade may break and chip easier.)

◎Annealing (Where we take a quenched blade, cool it, and then raise it to a temperature of about 400°C. This makes the original steel material stable, while also making it softer to work with)

◎After this, more hammering work is done to try to remove any misshapen parts of the blade. From there the indent marks as well as the blade name is hammered onto the face of the blade. This needs to be done for each knife by hand, meaning that no two blades are the same.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
 
Play with
sound
 
 
 

◎From there, we polish the handle. The handle is made from a compressed wood resin. Wood is compressed like mille-feuille, and then heated to created this handle. From there, it is made in to a octagonal shape. It takes time to create a handle like this. 

◎The above is an example of how we process it, but the handle is shaped into a octagonal handle. This step is still quite far from the completion of the knife

◎After the knife and handle are put together, the polishing and grinding can be finalised. This is done by hand by one of the craftsmen. This is the step that decides the cutting edge of the knife. The edge is all reliant on the skill of the craftsman that sharpens the blade. 


 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
 
Play with
sound
 
 
 

Making the handle

When it comes to the handle, the wooden handle is left to dye for 3 days or so, and then polished with charcoal.

After this has been finished, a urushi lacquer is applied. It takes about 7 days for the lacquer to dry in our special drying room. From there we add a gold coloured urushi lacquer on top, making the handle also hard to make.

From there we finally join the completed handle and blade together.


※ Don't wash in the dishwasher machine.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
 
Play with
sound
 
 
 

This is Seki from Seki Corporation. From around 1990, I got involved in the knife industry. I am a regular purchaser of cutlery and merchandise relating to knives.With this project, with my knowledge of knives and experience, I wanted to create my own knife, and so I went to various manufacturers in the area to get their feedback and to ask if it could be done. The results are that we were able to get help and support from the Seki City Tourism Board, and as well the owner of a local restaurant, Mr. Yamazaki, as well as learnt about the history of Seki City, the way that knives are created and how the materials to make the knives are used, as well as how the knives themselves are used in various ways.

The concept for this project was to create a knife that we would be happy for you to try out. We don’t want to just supply you with a knife, but with knowledge about the knife, about ways to use the knife especially in ways that you didn’t think of before, and the history behind them. We also want to make sure that your time cooking becomes an even more enjoyable experience!

Finally, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask us via a direct message or comments!

This Project is promoted by Japankuru Funding, Bringing Japanese Products to the West!

 Project Launch January 20th 2022

Project Ends: March 6th 2022

Towa Series Prepared: April 2022- June 2022

Knives Arrive to Backers; September 2022

Leave a Reply

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

Back for free(Share Project)

Seki Corporation

From around 1990, I got involved in the knife industry. I am a regular purchaser of cutlery and merchandise relating to knives.With this project, with my knowledge of knives and experience, I wanted to create my own knife, and so I went to various manufacturers in the area to get their feedback and to ask if it could be done. The results are that we were able to get help and support from the Seki City Tourism Board, and as well the owner of a local restaurant, Mr. Yamazaki, as well as learnt about the history of Seki City, the way that knives are created and how the materials to make the knives are used, as well as how the knives themselves are used in various ways.

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.

¥11,250 or more $99 | Super Early Bird Towa Petty Knife

Get your own Towa Petty Knife at a super early bird discount of 25% off future RRP!

INCLUDES:
Towa Petty Knife

¥12,300 or more $108 | Early Bird Towa Petty Knife

Get your own Towa Petty Knife at a early bird discount of 18% off future RRP!

INCLUDES:
Towa Petty Knife

¥13,500 or more $119|Super Early Bird Towa Santoku Knife

Get your own Towa Santoku Knife at a super early bird discount of 25% off future RRP!

INCLUDES:
Towa Santoku Knife

¥14,250 or more $126 | Super Early Bird Towa Gyuto Knife

Get your own Towa Gyuto Knife at a super early bird discount of 25% off future RRP!

INCLUDES:
Towa Gyuto Knife

¥14,760 or more $130| Early Bird Towa Santoku Knife

Get your own Towa Santoku Knife at a early bird discount of 18% off future RRP!

INCLUDES:
Towa Santoku Knife

¥15,580 or more $137 | Early Bird Towa Gyuto Knife

Get your own Towa Gyuto Knife at a early bird discount of 18% off future RRP!

INCLUDES:
Towa Gyuto Knife

¥23,100 or more $204|Super Early Bird Towa Petty&Santoku

Get your own Towa Petty Knife and Santoku Knife at a super early bird discount of 30% off future RRP!

INCLUDES:
Towa Petty Knife
Towa Santoku Knife

¥24,750 or more $218 | Early Bird Towa Petty & Santoku

Get your own Towa Petty Knife and Santoku Knife at an early bird discount of 25% off future RRP!

INCLUDES:
Towa Petty Knife
Towa Santoku Knife
  1. 1.Select return
  2. 2.Enter required information
  3. 3.Confirm required information
  4. 4.Support complete

Select return

yen

Ok! In order to back the project, you need to have an account! Create one here or login!

TOP