Japanese kitchen knives
Tadafusa bocho - hand forged and ground san mai laminated knives assembled with magnolia wood and bubinga handles by Tadafusa, of Sanjo, Japan. These knives feature a layer of hard lightly alloyed Ao Gami or Blue Paper Steel which forms an exceptionally fine and durable edge sandwiched between two softer less brittle layers of stainless steel. The sides of the knives are deliberately left unfinished, bearing witness to the blows endured in their making. This roughness does serve a purpose, however, acting not unlike the scalloped depressions commonly seen in ham slicers and 'oriental style' knives, they reduce suction, allowing food to fall freely from the blade, and the knife to cut with less resistance. Four types all tempered to about 63 HRC. Ajikiri - aji means horse mackerel, a fish which is eaten quite small in Japan (about 6"), and it is for the filleting and delicate trimming of such small fishes, that these knives are intended, although commonly used also as a kind of general purpose parer. Santoku - famously means three virtues, referring to this knife's versatility, the mincing slicing, and dicing of fish, meat, and vegetables. With a lambsfoot pattern giving an almost flat blade these used with less of a rocking action than european knives, with a simple straight down cut. Nikiri - a thin bladed vegetable knife, which whilst resembling a cleaver should be used to accurately slice rather than chop vegetables, its narrow profile and acute edge profile evolved to cut more delicate vegetables without crushing, or breaking their stems. Sashimi - used originally for the preparation of raw fish. Like Japanese saws it should be used with a pull stroke, and with minimal force, so as to reduce the tearing or smashing of delicate flesh, the goal being to leave a smooth, shiny, sharp edged cut.