Hatsukokoro kitchen knives are manufactured in Tosa, Japan. They use stainless steel all the way up to carbon steels like Blue #2 steel or White #2 utilising various construction methods both hand-forged and machine rolled. By blending both techniques they are able to increase output without essentially changing the features that make handmade Japanese knives such sought after products. All the Hatsukokoro blades are hand finished, sharpened and polished by a team of well know craftsmen that have all been apprentices at the Takefu Knife Village collective. The word Hatsukokoro stems from the Japanese proverb “don’t forget your original intention”. Although the original pronunciation would be “shoshin”, we chose to use the more gentle pronunciation of Hatsukokoro.
The Hatsukokoo Hayabusa HAP40 is a range of knives that truly blends the old with the new. Using a machine forging process that ensures the blades are precise in shape and profile the Hatsukokoro Hayabusa HAP40 is then imperiously hand sharpened to the exacting finishes to allow the blades to have an HRC of 64-65. The combination of the two techniques gives the Hatsukokoro Hayabusa HAP40 supreme edge retention as for all Japanese Knives but it also gives the knife extreme durability. This gives the Hatsukokoro Hayabusa HAP40 range a unique selling point in that it uses HAP40 Steel which is manufactured by Hitachi Metals Ltd and is one of the more superior metals that go into knife manufacturing. The knives are then clad in stainless steel to protect the core material and to allow extreme robustness to the knives, these knives can take a lot of rough treatment, but the edge will stay sharp – its comparable to European workhorse brands that are well known in the west. The knives come in a Migaki finish with a Black Buffalo bolster to complete the octagonal Wa handle finished with teak.
Absolutely Gorgeous! That’s how we would describe the Hatsukokoro Kumakage Blue 2 with Kurouchi and Damascus finish knives. When being unboxed, you can really see where the range gets its name from “Cloud Shadow “. Looking at the blade the soft Iron cladding with the Kurouchi finish is then hand sharpened to show a beautifully polished Damascus finish under the Iron cladding to then expose the Blue 2 steel core. When looking intently at the blade the contrast of the Iron cladding against the Damascus and Blue 2 steel edge almost looks as if you are looking up at a cloudy sky which is broken by patches of dark and light clouds. Having the core of Blue 2 steel it should be known that whilst this is one of the most premium quality steel cores available on the market but there is a high carbon content which makes them reactive. A little bit of TLC is all that is required with a few drops of camellia oil to keep the reactive blade in a protective coating. The edge gives an HRC of 62-63 and the handle is octagonal in teak with a black buffalo horn bolster.
Hymon white 2 Damascus; Made by the well-known Takahiro Nihei known for his masterful work on the Knonsuke Knives which are famous for using the finest quality steel. Here Takahiro Nihei uses white 2 steel wrapped in the soft Iron cladding. The blade is finished in a blast/ mirror Damascus finish which when caught in certain light and angles reflects a rainbow of colours, this truly feels like a piece of artwork when held. The soft iron cladding which is Damascus mirror-finished is stunningly finished with a Karin wood Wa-handle in an octagonal shape. The meaning of Hyomon in Japanese is “Ice Crest” which is truly shown when the blade is held and reflects light, it's as if the light is being shined through a prism of Ice; you see all the colours on the spectrum.
The knife for larger pieces of meat and veg. Having a deeper blade this knife is awesome when tackling particularly large cumbersome tasks. The extra height will provide clearance when chopping through thick pieces of meat and the toughest root vegetables. Forged using 3 layers of Aogami Blue 2 steel, one for the blade and two for the cladding. This thicker cladding provides a rigid backbone to the blade with the 3-layer construction providing a wonderful dark and light contrast to the hand-sharpened blade edge in both dark and silver stainless steel. The 21cm Gyuto is the Japanese Chef’s Knife is the go-to knife for all tasks in the kitchen, this having a deeper blade makes it completely universal for all kitchen tasks. The Knife is competitively priced and makes an excellent workhorse Japanese Chef’s knife.