Byakko means white tiger, a name that alludes to the steel being used for these knives: Hitachi White 1, the purest of the classic Yasugi carbon steels. Mr. Togashi forges these knives and heat treats them to 63 to 64 HRC. Hand engraving and ebony handles with double ferrules make these knives luxurious and elegant. White 1 lends itself well to making Sashimi knives. Cutting proteins in smooth motions is what this steel is made for. Hacking away at fish bones? Not so much, better get White 3 or White 2 for that. Extra bit of lore: Byakko is an originally Taoist guardian deity, guarding the western sky. Genbu is also a guardian deity and responsible for the north, while the blue dragon and phoenix guard the east and south, respectively. Genbu is a tortoise with a snake slung around it. This belief was superseded by Buddhist teachings and deities but as symbols these old guardians remain. Same as with a Kiritsuke tip. The profile of this knife is slightly flatter toward the tip compared to a classic Yanagiba but not to the point where it would affect the cutting motion and general versatility of the blade. The Sakimawashi chamfering of the tip is aesthetically pleasing. The Bokashi (hazy) finish, also called Kasumi, is done exclusively with natural whetstone slurry, even at the chamfered tip.
Please Note: The handle being natural wood can vary in colour.
MAINTENANCE: PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE VERY HIGH-CARBON KNIVES WITH AN EDGE
THAT WILL OXIDISE WHICH CAN BE REDUCED AND REMOVED WITH THE USE OF RUSTREMOVING CREAM AND CAMELIA OIL WHICH ARE AVAILABLE IN OUR MAINTENANCE SECTION.
Black Smith’s Profile:
Kenji Togashi stands as a legendary figure among Sakai’s blacksmiths, celebrated chiefly for his extraordinary expertise in crafting honyaki knives. The art of forging honyaki blades is a rare and formidable skill, and Togashi is among the elite few who have mastered it, demonstrating unparalleled precision in heat treatment and quenching.
Togashi San operates in a workshop alongside his dedicated sons, where they collectively engage in the intricate craft of forging and sharpening knives.
Master Togashi embarked on his journey as a bladesmith in 1966, and his dedication to continuous improvement has been unwavering. His commitment and skill were formally recognized in 1996 when he received the prestigious Dentō-Kugeishi award, a testament to his unparalleled mastery of this endangered blacksmithing art.