Muneishi Ko-Bunka Ao Iron 120mm (4.7")
Muneishi Ko-Bunka Ao Iron 120mm (4.7")
Muneishi Ko-Bunka Ao Iron 120mm (4.7")
Muneishi Ko-Bunka Ao Iron 120mm (4.7")


Muneishi Ko-Bunka Ao Iron 120mm (4.7")


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Best To Use

vegetablesnot for meatnot for fish

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Hand-forged by Muneishi, Ko-Bunka is an outstanding knife with black, protective kurouchi patina. Upon first glance, hammer imprints are not obvious but if you carefully look at how the light reflects from the blade and run your fingers along it, you can still see and feel the traces of hammer blows.

Ko-Bunka shape is representative of a multi-purpose knife, which, just like Santoku, is very simple to use. Ko-Bunka is a smaller version of Bunka so if you guessed that “ko” means small or short, you nailed it. Ko-Bunka, 120mm long, is a love child of the Bunka and Petty knife. It has a characteristic Bunka shape with a pronounced tip that resembles Tanto blades.

The knife excels at tasks that require a small, versatile utility knife and gives you enough knuckle clearance so that you can comfortably chop herbs, mince garlic, prep veggies or even cut meat. By being such an all-rounder and boasting such unique looks, Ko-Bunka will take your kitchen by storm and quickly become the star of your kitchen arsenal.

The centerpiece of this knife is Hitachi's Super Blue Steel (Aogami Super), which is the very top quality of traditional Japanese steels. The Kuro-uchi (black) patina on the upper part of the knife gives it a unique and rustic appearance. This knife was heat-treated to around 63 HRC. It is a very hard steel, meaning that it will retain a super-fine sharpness for a long time. In addition, due to the high carbon content (1.4-1.5%), the knife is very easy to sharpen. Among the high carbon steels, Aogami Super is also the least sensitive to rust. It also contains 0.4% vanadium as an admixture for micronized metal grains, which gives the steel more toughness. Aogami Super is rated as the most advanced carbon steel. The outer layers are of softer, stainless steel, giving the knife extra rust protection.

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.

The handle (traditional Japanese Wa) is oval and smooth, with no discernible transition between the cherry and pakka wood. It’s suitable for both left- and right-handed users.

About Muneishi: 

Muneishi smithy was founded in 1955. Hirotaka Muneishi, the second-generation knife smith, is renowned for manufacturing forestry knives such as axes and machetes for the local woodsmen. Kosuke Muneishi, the third-generation blacksmith and now the head of the company, has since branched out to making kitchen knives. He mostly uses Aogami Super steel and performs all the steps himself: tempering, forging, hammering and edging knives. His knives have very nice grinds, good profile, and are very affordable.


Blade shape: Ko-bunka
Steel type: Aogami Super
Hardness (HRC scale): 63
Overall length: 247mm (9.7")
Blade length:
120mm (4.7")
Blade height:
27mm (1.1")
Spine thickness: 2mm (0.08")
Weight: 80g (2.8 oz)
Handle length: 115mm (4.5")
Handle type / wood:
Japanese / Cherry, Pakka
Blacksmith: Muneishi

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.

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