Higonokami Kogatana Bannou 120 mm (4.7")
Higonokami Kogatana Bannou is a popular small pocket knife in Japan used for various small tasks, usually in the great outdoors.
The blade of this one-piece steel knife seamlessly extends into the handle and everything about it radiates tradition. The handle is clad in a tightly and neatly woven Japanese fabric and rounded off with a tiny brass bell which truly gives this knife a unique look. The classic Japanese weaving technique on the blade is called chirimen.
Kogatana means a “small knife” and it was used by samurai who usually kept it hidden in their katana’s saya. Traditionally, these small knives were used for working with wood, peeling fruit or preparing food.
The knife was forged in the san mai (“three layers”) style, which means that its core is made from the hard Shirogami steel (White Steel 2) that forms the blade’s cutting edge, while a soft, pliable steel forms a protective jacket on both sides of the core. When used correctly, a layer of patina will also develop on the blade, further protecting it from external influences. This is a double bevel blade that is extremely easy to resharpen.
The Kogatana knives are immediately recognizable by their vibrant materials – saya is made from fabric printed with traditional Japanese patterns that playfully complement the colorful chirimen fabric. You can choose among classic or colorful knives from the VIBRANT or CLASSIC collection.
Which one strikes your fancy?
Chirimen is a traditional weaving technique that was developed in the late 16th century in Japan. The fabric (often silk but also wool or synthetic fiber) that is made from this technique is also called chirimen, which is called crêpe textile in English.
The cloth has the unique feature of shibo or soft wrinkles, which are created by alternating two types of thread, twisted in different directions, by turns in the weft. The shibo also appear because the weft (the thread being woven) is ten times thicker than the warp (the set of lengthwise threads). This gives the fabric unique, smooth and pleasant texture and also makes it stronger than other types of cloth.
Chirimen has been cherished as a material for Japanese kimono from the old days up to now and the fabric is still popular for creating small, artful objects such as flowers, birds, animals, dolls, and even sushi!
Shirogami #2 white steel is a carbon steel alloy which makes Higonokami ⚠️ not stain resistant ⚠️, but easy to resharpen. This knife needs good maintenance and the blade will develop a light patina over time and use. After use rinse it well and dry it thoroughly, we recommend oiling the blade regularly in order to prevent the development of rust. Read more about how to take care of high carbon knives and patina in our Knife maintenance blog post.
|Hardness (HRC scale):||61 - 62
|Overall length:||155mm (6.1")|
|Spine thickness:||2.8mm (1.1")|
|Weight:||60 g (2.1 oz)|
|Handle length:||75mm (2,95")|
Metal, chirimen fabric
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.