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Sakai, Osaka - A City Known for Its Traditional Japanese Cutlery

This video, titled "手技TEWAZA「堺打刃物」Japan Sakai Forged Knife/伝統工芸 青山スクエア Japan traditional crafts Aoyama Square" introduces Osaka's Sakai cutlery.
The video was released by Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square.

Sakai knives are produced in Sakai, Osaka.
Blacksmiths in Sakai forge beautiful knives that are truly works of art.
The city of Sakai has developed together with the traditional culture of knife-making.

The History and Culture of Sakai Cutlery, a Traditional Japanese Craft

The history of Sakai cutlery dates back to the 16th century.
Tobacco was introduced from Portugal around this time, and tobacco knives for chopping tobacco leaves began to be made in Sakai, Osaka.

In the Edo Period (1603-1867), the shogunate granted the city a seal of quality certification and allowed the city to sell these knives exclusively, making Sakai famous as a major producer of cutlery.
Even today, there are many factories in Sakai that manufacture a wide variety of knives, including deba bocho knives.

How Traditional Sakai Knives Are Made

The manufacturing process of Sakai knives is roughly divided into three parts: forging, sharpening, and patterning, each of which is performed by a different craftsman.
After casting the raw metal, blacksmiths use annealing, quenching, and tempering techniques to increase the hardness and sharpness of the blade.
The techniques used for Sakai cutlery are used to make deba bocho (fish cutting knives), chef's knives, and even scissors and other bladed tools.

In this video, you can see the welding at 0:33, rough grinding at 1:54, and sharpening from 2:22.
The techniques used in Sakai cutlery are used not only for making deba bocho and chef's knives, but also for making scissors.

Purchasing High-Quality Sakai Cutlery

If you're looking to purchase high-quality Sakai cutlery, opt for a prestigious brand.
Today, there are more than 20 traditional artisans in the world of Sakai cutlery who continue to make high quality knives.
Recommended brands include Sakai Ichiji, Kamoshita and Naojiro.

Knives forged by master artisans are different from the ones you'll find in a department store.
You can buy Sakai cutlery in stores as well as online, so choose one that fits your purposes and price range.
Be sure to utilize the Sakai Cutlery Material Laboratory (堺刃物素材研究所), which sells and refinishes Sakai cutlery.
You can see a completed Sakai knife at 3:10 in the video.

Summary of Sakai Cutlery

As shown in the video, Sakai Cutlery is a traditional craft produced by the craftsmen of Sakai, Osaka.
The knife industry in Osaka is supported by the skilled craftsmanship of blacksmiths.
Be sure to purchase a high-quality Sakai knife to experience the epitome of sharpness.

Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 15, 2020
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!
The Beautiful Cutlery of Sakai, Osaka - The Appeal of Osaka's Traditional Craft and How the Blades Are Made!
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