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Professional Grade Takohiki Sashimi Knife

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Product Description

Ikenami Hamono takohiki sashimi-bocho specifications

The Ikenami Hamono takohiki is Dentou-Kougei certified, the assurance that this knife is manufactured by hand in the traditional way.

Professional grade takohiki-bocho.
Aogami blue#2 steel. Sandalwood handle, water buffalo horn bolster.
Hand-forged on Tanegashima Island.

'Tako' is Japanese for octopus, so the name of this knife is a little misleading. The takohiki is a sashimi knife, pure and simple - long, thin and narrow and designed to slice in a single motion pulling toward the user, which imparts a beautiful sheen to the sashimi.

The reason it is referred to as an octopus knife is that its form and thinness make it well suited to slicing up boiled octopus, which can be delicate - the curly arms especially (they're not tentacles). But that's not the whole story.

The takohiki's popular counterpart - the pointy-ended 'yanagiba' ('willow blade') sashimi knife - originated in the Kansai region, a fantastically productive knife-making area which includes Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Shiga. The foreblade of the yanagiba is gently tapered. 

The takohiki hails from the Kanto region - Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and adjacent prefectures. It is thinner and narrower than a yanagiba and therefore lighter. The cutting edge is virtually dead straight to the squared end, which upper-echelon traditionalists consider a virtue, and despite the high-end endorsement its form and lightness are said to make it easier to use. The attitude at the cutting board is a bit different to using the yanagiba and we've even read of its use in a seated position, but that's only in one source (more research needed).

Various stories account for the square tip. Common sense would tell us that there's a functional benefit - probably something to do with tangled octopus arms - but we're attracted to the idea that feudal lords disliked looking down a sword-like blade with the pointy end pointed at them. Another claim is that Edokko (the people of Kanto, and particularly Tokyo) were a particularly argumentative lot and the squared end made the takohiki less useful in close-quarters kitchen combat.

Staying with raw fish flesh (or konyaku, ham, or anything else really) the takohiki will do anything the more common sashimi knife style will accomplish with a good chance of a better result. The takohiki featured on this page is hand-forged on Tanegashima, which makes it even more special. Edge retention is exceptional as with all Tanegashima-forged blue-2-steel. The sculpted sandalwood handle provides extra stability.

Left handers rejoice - the takohiki can be supplied for left-handed users and it won't cost an arm and a leg, although your knife may have to be made to order. Be the first on your street with a left-handed Tanegashima takohiki!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: At the time of writing we assumed availability for the left-handed takohiki is the same as for our left-handed yanagiba - it's not. The lead time can be up to twelve weeks. If that's a concern please contact us before placing an order for a left-handed takohiki and we'll give you a time frame for delivery. 

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