Already a third generation of blacksmiths is honing its skills and producing true works of art at the Kato smithy. The knives in SharpEdge collection were created by Hiroshi Kato and his successor Yoshimi Kato.
Hiroshi Kato is one of the most revered master blacksmiths in Japan. He started his apprenticeship in 1960 under the watchful eye of his father. Thirty-three years later, he was one of the founders of the renown knife-making cooperative and a hothouse of young talented artisans – Takefu Knife Village. He’s been making knives for more than 50 years and, during this period, his precision and unusual designs earned him an honorable place among the best blacksmiths in the world.
After spending half a century striking the hammer against the anvil, Hiroshi passed his work on to the younger generations and his son-in-law Yoshimi Kato took over the Kato smithy. Yoshimi first took to the hammer when he married into the Kato family, whereas before he worked as a project manager in construction. His journey was a little unusual because most apprentices must work for at least 15 years before they are allowed to join the ranks of masters. Yoshimi, however, took over his father-in-law’s smithy after merely five years of wielding the hammer. He complemented his metallurgical and technical knowledge with incredible talent and insatiable thirst for learning, which enabled him to quickly master the forging skills and, in a very short span of time, demonstrated great mastery, superb touch for aesthetics and a very good eye for detail. Naturally, a contributing factor was also that he was surrounded with the best teachers in the world, like Hiroshi-san, Kurosaki-san and other masters at the Takefu Knife Village cooperative.
Explore our collection of 👉 Kato knives here.The photos below were made during our visit to the smithy in Echizen. Photographer: Mitja Kobal. 👇