Thursday, 22 December 2016 11:56

4PM Coffee: Higo No Kami Knife Edition

Unless you're a knife collector (or from Japan), you probably have never heard of a Higo No Kami Knife.

Let me give you a bit of backstory:

Motosuke Nagao is the last remaining knife maker in Japan that is licensed by the Japanese Government to make knives in the traditional way that the Samurai Swords used to be created. The knives are created under the family company, Nagao Seisakusho.

He is the last of a long line of celebrated knife and swordsmiths.

When he's gone, it very well could be a fact that the license, and traditional Japanese swordsmithing ways dies with him, and the Higo No Kami knife line ends forever.

What Is A Higo No Kami Knife?

"The term "Higo no Kami" means "Lord of Higo" in Japanese, in honor of the Lord of the Kyushu area of Japan, where the knife originated. Today, each Higo no Kami knife is still handmade by the last remaining maker in the guild, Nagao Seisakusho." - BladeForums

A Higo No Kami knife traditionally has been carried day to day by skilled laborers in certain fields of work in Japan. Carpenters are a prime example of such individuals that could carry such a knife legally.

Today, no civilian in Japan, regardless of trade, may carry any knife with a blade length of longer than 6cm as an everyday knife and without reason. Cleavers and household kitchen knives longer than 6cm can be transported under the assumption and intent that it was either just purchased and being taken home, or in transport from one location to another (Chef going from one restaurant to another for work purposes). If an individual is found carrying a blade of any length without legitimate reasons (mostly for trade related reasons) they can detain the individual for further questioning, and probably confiscate the knife.

I Just Got Two Higo no Kami Knives

Owning a genuine Higo no Kami is as close to owning a peice of rich Japanese swordmaking history as anyone could get without spending a fortune on a genuine Katana (Samurai Sword, as known in the western world).

The Higo no Kami knives come in a few sizes ranging from the street legal 3.75cm blade to a banned 10cm version of the knife. I have both the 3.75cm and 10mm version.

Right out of the box, these knives are SHARP! Enough to rival just about any knife on the market, but after honing the knives with a 2000 grit whetstone, they're sharper than X-Acto knives even. Perhaps that's due to the softer blue high carbon steel used for the blade's creation, or perhaps it's in the fact that the metal is folded many times over during the blade making process, I'm not sure, but it is in fact, the sharpest sets of knives I now own.

I carry the 3.75mm blade in my pocket as a part of my everyday carry, and the 10cm blade is tucked away inside my Condor pouch for bigger cutting needs.

Cutting a 3x5 index card is exactly like cutting through soft butter. The blade doesn't even grab at the paper. It just slices. I've never had a knife that can cut as easily and cleanly on just about everything as the Higo no Kami knives do.

The 3.75cm knife cost $12 and the 10cm knife cost $28 on Amazon (with free shipping too!)

Check currrent 3.75cm knife prices

Check currrent 10cm knife prices

genuine higo no kami knife