Sanbon Kuwa, Tsubame-Sanjo forked hoe
A small forked cultivating hoe from Tsubame-Sanjo, in Niigata Prefecture in central Japan. Hand forged of carbon steel with a Japanese oak handle. Used to break up and aerate compacted soil, pulling weeds, and clearing straggly roots, leaves, and debris, especially amidst tight beds and rows of vegetables. Proper use is a kind of chop and pull or gentle pry to loosen soil, care should be taken with stubborn roots however so as not to bend the tines. The blade should be wiped clean after use, stored dry, and if possible oiled if put in to storage for any length of time. About 36cm long with a forked blade of about 10cm by 7.5cm, and 15.cm heal to tip.