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ZDP-189 Bunka Black is our bestseller. How come? In short, it is our very own design, a result of years of our experience with Japanese knives. We wanted to create a knife that connects fine Japanese craftsmen skills with the needs of the Western-type cuisine. Meet Bunka.
Bunka was designed in harmony with our values (excellence, quality, and reliability), in line with those originating from the steadfast Japanese tradition. We also devoted special attention to certain aesthetics inspired by Japanese mysticism and a respectful attitude to tradition, nature, raw materials, the constituent elements, and the final product – in short, the quintessential values of Japanese culture.
With its typical functionality, Bunka design is intended for versatile use in Western cuisine. It has a flexible profile that is wide enough at the handle, a gently designed belly of the blade suitable for making either long or short cuts, a flat back side of the blade, and a thin tip for precise work with food.
The knife is manufactured at the smithery of Yoshida Hamono in Japan, a family company with an age-long tradition in manufacturing state-of-the-art tools and Japanese swords (katanas) by hand. Yoshida Hamono has a great deal of experience forging ZDP-189 steel in the traditional manner. See the photo story from our visit to their smithery.
The heart of the knife is made of ZDP-189 steel, which we selected because systematic testing has proven its superior qualities and long-lasting sharpness.
The steel is laminated, meaning that the core is made of very strong steel covered with an external layer of softer stainless steel - also known as san-mai clad. The softer external layer protects the core steel from external factors.
Kuro-uchi finish, the unprocessed (black) part on the top side of the blade has already developed a dark patina, which protects the blade and gives it a traditional Japanese look. The knife bears visible impressions of the hand-forging process (round hammer dents on the blade), which gives it a beautiful finish and also prevents food from sticking to the blade.
Bunka Black was fitted a traditional Japanese wooden handle, called Wa handle. The wooden handle is made of walnut wood with an octagonal shape, so it will fit equally well into the hands of right- or left-handed users.
The steel contains as much as 3% Carbon (C), which is one of the main elements contributing strength and typically found in amounts of up to only 1% in other types of solid steel, while the Chromium (Cr) content, which prevents corrosion, amounts to nearly 20%. It also features 1.5% Tungsten (W), which considerably increases the abrasion resistance of steel, 1.3% Molybdenum (Mo), which helps to preserve the strength and power of steel under variable temperatures, and 0.10% Vanadium (V), the key element in increasing steel strength. Heat treatment produces steel with a hardness of 65-67 HRC.
It embodies the cream of the crop as regards what one desires in a kitchen knife: the best steel, a multi-purpose profile, excellent functionality, and an attractive look. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking for a selection of the best properties for versatile use. Its superior qualities will excel in a professional environment with a large volume of cutting work, as well as for daily usage in your home kitchen.
The wooden knife sheath Bunka Saya, made of beech wood, was custom-made for the Bunka. Saya protects the knife when we are not using it. Saya is sold separately. You can select the option with the Saya when adding the knife to your cart.
|Hardness (HRC scale):||65-67|
|Overall length:||325mm (12.8")|
|Blade length:||190mm (7.5")|
|Spine thickness:||2.0mm (0.08")|
|Weight:||155g (5.5 oz)|
|Handle length:||125mm (4.9")|
|Handle type / wood:||Japanese / Walnut|
Use & Care:
- Handwash in warm water and towel dry
- Use a sharpening stone (not a honing steel!) to sharpen your knife
- Do not cut frozen foods and meat bones
- Do not put the knife in a dishwasher
- Read our comprehensive guide on proper Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.
Still doubting which type of Japanese knife should best fit your needs? We created a quick, 5-steps quiz to help you find the perfect knife based on your cooking skills and the type of food you prepare.