Kouhei-Shinmatsu ZDP-189 Bunka Black 200mm (7.9")
Kouhei-Shinmatsu ZDP-189 Bunka Black 200mm (7.9") comes as the culmination of a decade’s worth of expertise gained through selling and working with knives on our part, and the knowledge and mastery of Japanese knife forging, passed on through generations within the Suncraft smithy.
Due to our continued and successful collaboration with Suncraft, we decided to honor the founders of the smithy by naming this line of knives after them: Kouhei (耕平) Kawashima, who started Suncraft more than 70 years ago, and his father, Shinmatsu (新松).
The bunka shape has proven time and time again (our previous Black Damascus and SG2 Matte collaborations with Suncraft) to be worthy of replication and reiteration. That's why we went for this universal shape, suitable for any cutting, chopping or slicing assignment you throw at it!
ZDP-189 steel has stood the test of time as the ultimate kitchen knife steel and remains a favorite among professional chefs, as well as aspiring home cooks. Therefore, we felt it was appropriate that a hardcore duo—such as this Bunka and Petty—was forged out of the most hard-core (literally) steel! Coming in at 65-66 HRC on the Rockwell scale, these knives are easily one of the hardest knives we offer, so edge retention will be second to none.
Put this in an equation together with a black kuro-uchi finish, treated with subtle hammer dents, and a beautiful octagon rosewood handle, and you got yourself a winner!
Bunka makes for a highly versatile knife suitable for cutting vegetables, meat, and fish. The blade is wide and flat at the handle, has a softly curved belly of the blade, suitable for both long and short cuts, and a pointy reverse tanto tip for precise cuts and carvings. The angle of the spine rapidly changes to meet the tip which is referred to as a »K-Tip«. Besides looking badass, this shape allows the user precision and makes getting to the hard-to-get-places a bit easier.
This knife was forged out of ZDP-189 steel, which falls into the powder steel category. The ZDP-189 steel has gained a reputation as one of the most technologically advanced steels in Japanese knife making, due to its unique characteristics. The carbon (C) content is around 3%, meaning it can be treated to extreme hardness (65-66 HRC), which results in extended sharpness retention. ZDP-189 steel is also highly corrosion resistant due to its high chromium (Cr) content of 20%. Because of its composition, though, it can be hard to treat and forge, so it can only be trusted to the most experienced blacksmiths.
→ Read more on Steel: The Heart of Japanese knives.
The technique used to laminate this blade is called san-mai. The core of the blade, which is made of harder (and subsequently more fragile) steel, is sandwiched between two layers of softer steel. This results in a blade that is more flexible, and therefore less prone to breakage and other outside factors.
→ Read more on Blade construction: Lamination.
It has a double bevel (symmetrical) blade.
→ Read more on Blade construction: Geometry.
The upper part of the blade has a kuro-uchi finish, which was treated with hammer blows, resulting in a dark and textured tsuchime look. The lower half is polished down to the hairline, which is the curvy line marking the border between the laminated part of the blade (jigane) and its core (hagane). The kanji on the blade reads “Kouhei-Shinmatsu” 耕平新松, paying homage to the founders of the Suncraft smithy.
→ Read more on Blade construction: Blade finish.
Traditional rosewood Japanese (Wa) handle with a black pakka wood ferrule. Its octagonal shape makes it especially ergonomic and comfortable to use, both for right- and left-handed users.
Blade shape: Bunka
Steel type: ZDP-189
Blade construction: San-mai / V-edge / Kuro-uchi
Hardness (HRC scale): 65-66
Overall length: 345mm (13.6")
Blade length: 200mm (7.9")
Blade height: 47mm (1.9")
Spine thickness: 2mm (0.08")
Weight: 155g (5.5 oz)
Handle length: 127mm (5")
Handle type / wood: Japanese / Rosewood
Kanji on the blade:
Location of the smithy: Seki / Gifu 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.
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.
❗️Knife is a tool intended for specific use - cutting food. It is not a can opener, screwdriver, trowel, wire cutter, hammer etc.
→ 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 (currently not available) - shipping to Russia costs €40. All orders are shipped with EMS postal service.
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.