Kawamura Mizu-Honyaki Gyuto 240mm (9.5")
Kawamura Mizu-Honyaki Gyuto is a knife hand-forged with incredible precision that stems from centuries worth of experience and knowledge. It is a blend of an excellent working tool and artwork. The honyaki blade is forged from a single piece of high-carbon Yasuki White Steel #2.
Honyaki literally means “true-fired” and this forging method reflects, in its purest form, the traditional Japanese art of sword making. These knives are extremely demanding to forge and shape, thus only the best craftsmen make them. Being exceptionally rare, expensive and delicate, they are suitable only for highly experienced chefs. They are greatly appreciated due to their kirenaga or edge retention capabilities, maintaining sharpness for a very long time.
Such knives need a different process of hardening. After the blade is forged and roughly ground, a special mixture of clay, charcoal, natural sharpening stone and water is applied to the blade in a specific pattern. The knife is then quenched in water (that's the part of the process where the katana gets its iconic curved shape). The part of the knife that was not covered in clay hardens, while the part that was covered is cooled slower and doesn't harden that much. The result is a blade made from one alloy which has two different crystalline structures. The phase line between two different structures is called hamon. It takes a lot of experience, knowledge and equipment to "pop" the hamon. The honyaki forging method allows the hamon – a graceful temper line clearly defining the transition zone between a hard edge and soft back – to be formed upon quenching.
In this case, the unique hamon line takes the subtle shape of Mount Fuji with a moonrise – on one side, the moon is full, on the other, only its crescent is silhouetted against the silvery surface of the blade. Mount Fuji is considered a sacred symbol of Japan and has been reproduced countless times in Japanese art.
The highly polished look of the blade is the result of a very unique, time-consuming process of polishing the blade. The protective coating that prevents corrosion gives the knife an iridescent, rainbow sheen.
Gyuto is the most versatile and useful blade shape in the modern kitchen. It has a wide profile for easy food transfer and tends to be fairly flat towards the heel, enabling easy and fast chopping on the cutting board. A pointed tip allows piercing and precise, delicate work. A slight curve between the tip and the midsection makes the belly great for rocking the blade back and forth when cutting. It can be used for cutting meat, fish and vegetables.
It is a slightly heavier Gyuto, as the blade at the handle is thicker (3.8 mm) and then gradually tapers towards the tip (1.8 mm). Due to its thickness, the blade can be sharpened to a double bevel grind with a secondary bevel that is not concave but rather convex. This type of grind is called hamaguri or “clamshell” and is inspired by the katana. It allows superior sharpness that requires delicate handling and helps to prevent food from sticking to the blade.
The length of the cutting edge is 210mm (heel to point), but with this knife the length is measured from the edge of the handle to the tip of the blade, amounting to 240mm.
The knife was made by the smith Nakagawa-san in the Shiraki Hamono smithy in the city of Sakai, one of the centers of Japanese forging craft.
⚠️ Carbon steel knives are delicate and require special care. In addition to careful use that will prolong its sharpness, the blade should be carefully cleaned after each use and wiped with a dry cloth to prevent corrosion. If you cut vegetables or fruits that contain large amounts of acid, we suggest that you wipe the blade even while cutting. After you are finished preparing food, we recommend using oil for blade maintenance to protect the surface of the blade from corrosion. The thin and sharp blade is intended for precise work and is not suitable for cutting bones, frozen food and other food items with a hard crust or shell.
About Sakai Kikumori:
Skillful craftsmen have been making kitchen knives under the brand of Sakai Kikumori since 1925. The brand fosters the cooking culture by creating traditional knives in the city of Sakai which is most famous for being the home of cutlery, whilst Kikumori is renowned as one of the best knife manufacturers in the region.
Blade shape: Gyuto
Steel type: Yasuki Shirogami #2
Blade construction: Honyaki / Migaki
Hardness (HRC scale): 61-62
Overall length: 380mm (14.9")
Blade length: 230mm (9.1")
Blade height: 50mm (1.9")
Spine thickness: 3.8 - 1.8mm (0.14"-0.07")
Weight: 205g (7.2 oz)
Handle length: 134mm (5.2")
Handle type / wood: Japanese / Ebony wood
Kanji on the blade:
Blacksmith: Sakai Kikumori
Location of the smithy: SAKAI / Osaka Prefecture / Japan
☝️ Japanese kitchen knives in our store are handmade from natural materials. Slight variations in color, texture, weight and other dimensions are possible. We try to give a good photographic representation of our products, however computer screen resolution and colors do vary, so products might not look exactly as they are seen on screen.
☝️ THIS KNIFE MAY DEVELOP PATINA
Knives made of carbon steels can, due to their low chromium (Cr) content, discolor and develop patina. The knife is the most sensitive when it is still new and a patina had not developed yet, but later, patina will protect the blade. These types of knives require a touch more care:
✔ Wipe it regularly with a clean and dry cloth (you can also do this during use).
✔ After use, rinse it with lukewarm water and wipe it dry.
✔ Coat it regularly with knife maintenance oil or plain refined sunflower oil.
✔ Store the knife by wrapping it in paper which will absorb moisture and protect the blade.
A patina is a thin layer that forms on the surface of oxidized steel and protects it from further oxidation. The patina should not be confused with rust. Patina protects the blade, while rust causes corrosion and deterioration of material, so it should be removed (see Rust erasers).
→ For in-depth information about patina, read our dedicated post on patina.
GENERAL KNIFE CARE TIPS:
Blade wear depends on the quality of steel, usage and maintenance of the blade. Japanese knives are made of high-quality steels. Follow these tips to keep your Japanese knife in top-notch shape:
✔ Use a wooden, plastic or rubber cutting board.
✔ After use, wash the knives and wipe them dry.
✔ Use a magnetic rack, knife blocks, or use protective knife sheath (saya).
✔ A good cutting technique is your best bet to prolong sharpness.
✔ Use sharpening stones to sharpen the knife.
❗️Don’t leave the knife in the sink. Wash it by hand.
❗️Don’t wash the knife in the dishwasher.
❗️Don’t use the knife on glass, ceramics, marble or steel surfaces.
❗️Don’t scrape the food off the cutting board with the edge of the blade. Use the spine of the knife instead.
❗️A knife is a tool intended for specific use: it’s not a can opener, screwdriver, trowel, wire cutter, hammer etc. Kitchen knives are meant for preparing food.
→ For more details, read our guide on Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.
🤙 Contact us if you need some help. We reply within 1 business day.
- €10 - flat worldwide rate with DHL Express (express delivery, 2-5 business days).
- FREE - all orders over €300 (DHL Express).
- United Kingdom - shipping to UK costs €15. All orders are shipped with UPS Express (2-3 business days). Free shipping on orders over €300.
- Russia - shipping to Russia costs €40*. All orders are shipped with EMS postal service.
*or more, depending on the weight
DUTIES AND IMPORT TAXES:
We ship all orders DDP (duties & taxes paid). This means you will not be charged for any import fees and taxes (including VAT). All our prices are final. The price you see at checkout is the final price, no hidden costs.
- Europe: 1-2 business days
- US & Canada: 2-4 business days
- Rest of the World: 3-5 business days
Our return policy lasts 30 days. If more than 30 days have gone by since the day you received your order, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.
Each knife comes with:
✔️ Instructions and knife care leaflet.
✔️ A preventive Band-Aid – the knives are very sharp! 😉
✔️ Original box from the blacksmith, which we wrap in an old Japanese newspaper sheet – so every knife is ready to be passed on as a gift as soon as it hits your doorstep!
✔️ We also offer a special gift wrapping option with the traditional Japanese washi paper.
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.