As many of you know, I have officially become the retailer for both Shigefusa, Yoshihide (Iizuka-san son) and Kato knives.
No doubt, if you have ordered one of these masterpieces in the past, you already know that wait times on a Shigefusa or Kato is quite long and can vary substantially with the particular knife you have requested. This wait time, can often be frustrating and difficult for everyone concerned, including me because I adore their knives as much as anyone J
I must also admit that I am not a big fan of taking custom orders, as I simply have no time frame for when they will arrive, and I hate taking peoples money upfront and then wasting their time on waiting for a product that may take months to arrive.
But, I encourage you to email me your wishes for Shigefusa and Kato knives and at that time I will let know if I will able to order it for you or not. I always order more than one, so there is a great possibility that a similar knife may already be under progress, and thus finished far sooner than any single custom order!
As an example, I currently have many knives on order from Iizuka-san and his son that are already in progress and should ship soon, very few of which have owners.
So in the future, I have developed a system that I believe will make the process much simpler and far easier for all involved: You, Me, and Knife Makers.
This is the Plan:
I will make a subscriber mailing list that is only for people interested in Shigefusa and Kato knives. You can subscribe this mailing list and as soon as I am made aware that knives are shipping, I will send a group subscriber email out. Then, the first to respond will have the first pick of the knives.
As part of the email, I will also describe what kinds of knives are shipping, as well as a current market price list.
Mr. Tokifusa Iizuka and his two sons work diligently each day in their small workshop to produce their master pieces…Shigefusa knives. They take every care in each step of the process to ensure total perfection in every knife they make. They only use one kind of steel, which has reached perfection over years of hard work and determination! The forging, shaping, heat treatment, and even final sharpening/polishing are all done by hand, one by one. As a finishing step they use Japanese natural stones to make their unique and beautiful Kasumi finish. All this hard work culminates in knives, whether Kurouchi or Kasumi finish, that do not leave their shop until they have obtained perfectly smoothed/transitioned lines and razor sharp edges.
About Kato San
These beautiful knives are made by Mr. Kiyoshi Kato, born 1944 in Tokyo. He began swordsmith training in 1964, at the age of 20, and is currently a licensed sword smith. He now uses his incredible collection of very old, and difficult to obtain, Tamahagane steels to form his own sword masterpieces.
He entered the field of knife making in 1977 by creating his first hunting and kitchen knives, and currently makes knives in his new Hokuto City workshop, found in the Yamanashi Prefecture.
Mr. Kato uses a special quenching technique, utilizing charcoal and water, which imparts an extra degree of hardness not often seen in regular clad knives.This gives all of his kitchen knives a feel very similar to Honyaki, incredibly stiff with little to no flex!