The city of Seki, in the Gifu prefecture of Japan, has been producing blades for over 700 years and is one of the three largest blade producers in the world. The particularities of the swords and knives crafted by Seki’s bladesmiths are their sharpness and the toughness of their blade. And so we created our unique outdoor knife, made with the ancestral techniques and spirit of swordsmiths that have been passed down since ancient times!
The total length of the knife is 30cm (11.8in) and the blade is 17cm (6.7in) long.
For an outdoor knife, while the compact format is the mainstream, ours is highly versatile with a rather large design that can cut firewood, lumber and foodstuffs.
Because the blade is finished by an experienced swordsmith, we made it 17cm to make its quality stand out. Moreover the design of the blade dyed in black makes this knife very pleasing to the eye.
The 13cm (5.1in) grip is very comfortable to take in hand and allows for a good power transfer to the blade so that it can be used on various materials and in all sorts of situations! These types of knives that employ this high standard of design and manufacturing are exceedingly rare, so we hope that you take the chance to pick one up!
The handle uses wood-based composite plastic (i-WPC), based on Japanese cypress and containing 55% wood. Handles molded from raw materials containing 51% or more wood are classified as wood rather than plastic, and have environmentally friendly specifications. A Japanese metal molding artisan, experienced in handling the specifically required drying time and cylinder temperature that differ from the usual, performs high-quality molding by calculating optimal values.
※Wood / plastic classifications and rules differ depending on each region.
Moreover, as is characteristic of wood-plastic, the pattern on the surface will vary depending on the mixing ratio at the time of molding. With each knife looking absolutely unique, it is a highly original product!
You can choose from 3 different colors: Brown, Black and Sakura.
- Brown: In this color, the grain of the wood stands out the most!
- Black: A classy color that gives a luxurious feel.
- Sakura: Associated with the Sakura flower, it gives a strong sense of Japanese culture.
※ The blade is colored in black only for every model.
Usually, the process of having blades such as Japanese swords and knives made by swordsmiths is very costly and time consuming. However, we can reduce both the time and cost by first producing the shape of the blade and then having the swordsmith temper, sharpen and carry out the finishing touches on the blade.
Even so, being crafted with care one at a time, only 50 knives can be produced in a month, making it a rare and original knife!
The charcoal used in the Tatara furnace to heat and temper the blade is pine charcoal, capable of producing high temperatures between 1200 and 1300 degree Celsius (2192- 2372°F). Swordsmiths in Seki, Gifu Prefecture, use this abundantly available, high-quality material after cutting it into 2-3cm pieces.
The blade undergoes a tempering process in order to remove any internal strain and improve its toughness.
By giving it flexibility, the metal’s brittleness improves to a level suitable for an outdoor knife. The temperature and tempering time are determined by various conditions and the experience of the swordsmith.
For these knives, the back of the blade is adjusted and fine-tuned with a rough grindstone and then sharpened one by one by a swordsmith. The resulting blade is filed and sharpened to improve its sharpness and create a beautiful surface.
As a finishing touch, and proof that the swordsmith worked on this blade, they perform an inscription on the blade. The front side of the blade is engraved with the characters “giant-salamander” from the development team, and the back of the blade with the character “羽” meaning “feather” from the swordsmith.
I was born in a city famous for blade crafting, to swordsmith parents, and that is how it all started. Since I was a kid, I had many opportunities to get familiar with swords, and I enjoyed watching my parents craft blades, and so I naturally grew up wanting to make swords myself.
Immediately after graduating from high-school, I became an apprentice at Miyairi Ichimon in Nagano Prefecture, trained under my father from the age of 20, and acquired a professional swordsmith certification at the age of 23. At that time however, it wasn’t going too well and I got a lot of “the form is bad” or “that’s no good!” during my training.
On the other hand, when I succeeded in creating the shapes and things I had imagined, I was overjoyed and I can remember how fun it was!
“Takaba Makoto Training Dojo” was founded by my grandfather, passed down to my father as the second generation, and I as the third generation. Nowadays, I mainly craft fine blades such as cutter knives and paper knives, and because there were hard times in the past as well, it has made it all the more fun and rewarding to be able to craft blades now.
The number of craftsmen preserving traditional crafts and techniques is decreasing year by year. I myself believe that there is no need to force one to take after the family business because they were born into a family of traditional craftsmen. However, I may contradict myself, but it gets lonely as a traditional artisan when traditional crafting slowly becomes unknown to anyone. This might not be significant, but it is my hope that by making an outdoor knife that is easy for anyone to pick up, people will get to know a little more about Japanese traditional craftsmanship.
※We kindly ask that you refrain from making direct inquiries to the “Takaba Makoto Training Dojo”. If you would like to contact us, please do so through Kickstarter.
The leather sheath is made of high-quality genuine leather and the tick leather is sewn using old-school sewing machines and traditional techniques. The sheaths express various designs thanks to the natural variations in color and patterns of the leather!
You can carry the knife on you by attaching the sheath to your belt!
The button attachment ensures that there is no risk of the knife accidentally dropping!
Processing 3mm thick genuine leather normally requires special sewing machines and techniques, but here the sheaths are carefully put together one by one by experienced leather craftsmen, who have released their own products to the world, using traditional equipment and techniques. It is a truly unique knife combining traditional techniques from swordsmiths and leather craftsmen!