Echizen Uchihamono (cutting instruments including kitchen knives, outdoor knives, sickles, hatchets, and shears) originated in 1337 when Chiyozuru Kuniyasu, an swordsmith in Kyoto, set out for Takefu searching for good water to make swords.
Then he taught farmers there how to make sickles while forging swords. Selling sickles became an important source of income for them.
During the Edo period (1687-1885), sales routes were established throughout the country. According to an analytics in 1874, approximately 27.5% of the total sickles produced in Japan were from Takefu. Still today all smiths there are using the same original and hand-finishing techniques.
Takefu was the first area officially designated as the traditional craftwork in the Japanese sword and knife industry in 1979. The Japanese government set a highly priority on continuig to supply excellent products throughout Japan for as long as 700 years. The below is the seal certified traditional handcrafting.
While there are advanced technologies available to quickly produce cheap by machine cutting, the technique of Echizen Uchihamono, striking out one by one, has been recognized not only in Japan but also in the world.
In recent years the quality of forging knives and the artistry of Echizen’s craftworks are highly appreciated by top-ranking chefs especially in the West. Some models of the knife are so popular that they have been sold out and are on back order for dozens of months.
magazines and booklets capturing Echizen's traditional
The book shows the degree of excellence of the Japanese knives
"THE KNIFENERD GUIDE TO JAPANESE KNIVES" by Kevin Kent is very substantial and is well worth reading
talented Echizen's blacksmiths are featured in the book