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A Japanese knife holds a strong importance and significance in the crafting of Japanese culinary delicacies. Be it sushi or sashimi dishes, mastering the skills of the blade is highly essential to successfully make delicious, mouth-watering menus.
Yu Kurosaki is a name familiar to blacksmiths and Japanese knife enthusiasts around the world. Despite being relatively young and only in his forties, Yu Kurosaki has made a name for himself and become one of the leading knife makers in Japan for his unique hand-forged knives that feature hammered blade designs. His work has won him top awards, and he is the youngest blacksmith ever to receive the title of Master Blacksmith from the Japanese government for upholding traditional crafting techniques. His Tsuchime and Suminagashi finishes are some of his best work.
Yu Kurosaki is based in Echizen, a historical area located in the Fukui Prefecture with over 700-years of knifemaking history and known as one of Japan’s important knife capitals. The spirit of Echizen forged knives, known as Echizen Uchihamano, has been passed down through generations, and artisans today are still determined to make these knives to the highest quality possible.
History of Yu Kurosaki
Born in 1979, Yu Kurosaki has been making knives since he was a teenager. While he admits he was never a natural blacksmith and wanted to quit altogether when he was younger, the confidence he gained after selling his first blade to a very happy customer propelled his drive to continue learning so he could continue providing customers with great knives. At the age of 23, he started his 12-yearlong apprenticeship with master blacksmith Hiroshi Kato. Kato recognized Kurosaki’s drive and talents and began assigning the most challenging assignments to him while showcasing his work at shows around the world. In the 4-year period between 2009 and 2013, Kurosaki drew attention to himself and his work through numerous knives shows around Japan, and later had his work prominently featured in the Knife Magazine as well as a hunting magazine Kemonomichi. In 2014, Kurosaki started his own workshop which only further propelled his popularity. His knifemaking skills and unique finishing methods not only earned him awards and recognition domestically in Japan, but internationally as well as his knives are popular among chefs, amateur home cooks, and knife collectors.
One of Kurosaki’s most famous finishes is the Tsuchime.
Blades that feature Tsuchime finished are hand-hammered on the soft cladding, which enhances the blade’s aesthetic. Tsuchime is a painstaking process which is often only seen in Japanese art, an requires a high level of skill and concentration as the pattern needs to be random, yet uniformed. Tsuchime patterns seen on Japanese knives are little round dents that resemble the surface of the moon, however Yu Kurosaki’s Tsuchime finishes are a level above the rest. His Shizuki and Fujin Series knives are not only aesthetically pleasing, but incredibly functional as well as the design makes the food less likely to stick to the blade. Kurosaki’s Tsuchime finished blades are more chiseled than hammered and resemble diamond shapes.
As he’s based in Echizen, Yu Kurosaki has benefitted from a city with over 700 years of knife-making history and has learned from previous generations of Echizen artisans on how to make beautiful knives. Kurosaki has focused his career on making knives that are not only beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but functional and enjoyable to use as well. Kurosaki’s work is made of the highest quality materials and demonstrates some of the best traditional Japanese forging techniques you will find today.
If you’re looking for a knife that is easy on the eyes and practical at the same time, you should consider a knife from Yu Kurosaki. Kurosaki’s knives are known worldwide and used by all levels of chefs from amateur to Michelin star, so you’ll definitely find something that’ll suit your cutting style.