Japanese Kitchen Knife | Comprehensive Guide by Japanese Webmaster

This page is to clear up your questions about
  • Types of Japanese Kitchen Knives
  • How to choose the right product suitable to you
  • The Best Brand of Japanese Kitchen Knife

Hello World, I wrote this article to clear up your questions about Japanese Kitchen Knife !

With this article, you can get above listed information about Japanese Kitchen Knives with detailed explanation by Japanese webmaster.

In this page, I would like to divide contents into 3 parts. And I am going to make detailed guidance in each part.

After reading this article, you may get enough knowledge about Japanese Kitchen Knife to find suitable products to you.

Types of Japanese Kitchen Knives

Japanese Kitchen Knives can be mainly categorized into two types.

The first one is ‘Wa-Bocho’. ‘Wa’ means ‘Japanese’, and ‘Bocho (*)’ means ‘Kitchen Knife’. This products is basically with Single edge, whose technique is coming from Japanese sword.

The other one is ‘Yo-Bocho(*)’. ‘Yo’ means ‘western’ and sometimes ‘Foreign culture’. This products is basically with double-edge.

There are various kind of knives in each categories. I would like to explain kinds of knife and its purpose in usage, in next paragraph.

(*) The original word is ‘HOCHO’. In case connecting other words, the sound change to ‘BOCHO’, in Japanese pronunciation.

    • Single Edge
    • Traditional Items
    • With technique for Japanese Sword
    • Double Edge
    • Imported items
    • Applying technique for Japanese Sword

How to Find Products suitable to you

There are various Japanese Kitchen Knives in the global market. To find good products suitable to you, I would like to suggest you to check 3 factors.

  • Purpose of use
  • Material
  • Producing Area

Let me explain one by one, for each points.

Purpose of use

There are so many types of Japanese Kitchen Knives products. And in most cased, each type of knife has dedicated purpose of use.

So if you want to have Japanese Kitchen Knife, you have better to choose it, in line with your purpose.

SANTOKU HOCHO for Multiple Purpose

Quotation Sauce:TOJIRO webpage

If you want to utilize Japanese Kitchen Knife in your daily cooking, I would like to recommend you to choose ‘SANTOKU’ type, which is categorized as YO-BOCHO with double-edge.

‘SAN’ means ‘three’, and ‘TOKU’ does ‘good’. This knife consists of good points of 3 knives, for handling meat, fishes, and vegetables.

This knife is very large share in Japanese market. Almost all of people have this knife in Japan. I think this is culmination of Japanese knife technology.

  • Categorized as YO-BOCHO basically
  • Double-Edge
  • Multiple usage, for almost all cuisines
  • Culmination of Japanese technology for knife

Products for single purpose

There are many kinds of Japanese Kitchen Knives, other than SANTOKU type. Let me explain about these products with purpose of use, in each items.


  • Single Edge
  • For handling fish


  • Single Edge
  • For slicing raw fish


  • Single Edge
  • For cutting vegetables


  • Double Edge basically
  • For cutting meat


There are multiple material used in Japanese Kitchen Knives. Each material has specific features. For daily usage, it’s important for user to understand each features.

For your easy reference, I have summarized features of each material. I hope it help you to make good choice in your life.

Feature of Material
  • Steel
    • Tough, Sharp, Possible to rust, Polishing required
  • Stainless
    • Rust resistant, Less Polishing requirements
  • Ceramics
    • Not Rust, Very Hard, Possible chipping
  • Titanium
    • Not Rust, light, Rather less sharpness

Producing Area

Although it is saying ‘Made in Japan’, there are many of production area in Japan. As for the knife and edged tool industry, there are some special production area in Japan.

When you get lost for your shopping of Japanese Kitchen Knife, please kindly check its production area. It would be one of information for making decision.

I would like to introduce famous 3 areas as producing area of this products.

Tsubame Sanjo Area

This area is famous as producing area not only for edged tools, but also metallic kitchenwares. This area is located in NIIGATA prefecture.

There is very long history. Manufacturer was opened in Muromachi era, approx. 600 years ago. And producing was developed in Edo era, approx. 400 years ago.


SEKI Area is the most famous producing area of edged tools in Japan. A lot of manufacturers are concentrated in this area. This area is located in GIFU prefecture

In 780 years ago, a sword-smith come to this area and opened his factory. As this area is good condition, rich water and soil, for manufacturing of sword, production was developed long time.


ECHIZEN Area is famous as producing area, not only for edged tools, but also metallic agricultural tools, like sickles, hoes, etc. This area is located in FUKUI prefecture.

Approx. 700 years ago, a sword-smith moved from Kyoto to this area, to seek better condition of his work. In Edo era (17-19th century), industry was developed under the protect by local government.

The 4 Best Japanese Kitchen Knife Brands

There are so many brands of Kitchen Knives in Japan. In this paragraph, I would like to introduce the best 4 brands of Japanese Kitchen Knives.

This is based on my investigation about evaluation in Japanese local markets. There are so many positive evaluation in Japanese webspace.


Quotation Sauce:TOJIRO webpage

TOJIRO is Manufacturer in Tsubame Sanjo area. This brand pursue sharpness and feeling of cutting edge long time. This brand is well known among the cook.

TOJIRO has sales network more than 50 countries. I suppose that products of this brand is available not only in Japan, but also various countries all over the world.


quotation Sauce:Kaijirushi webpage

Producer, KAIJIRUSHI has the largest share of kitchen knife products in Japanese market. SEKINO MAGOROKU is the brand name of high-end products of KAIJIRUSHI.

The brand name is coming from the name of very famous historical sword-smith in Seki Area. The products are based on course of history by sword-smith in this area.


Quotation Sauce:Yasuda Hamono webpage

SEKI KOTESTU is brand name of Manufacturer, YASUDA Hamono. The factory is located in Seki city. Brand name is rather famous than company name.

In production of SEKI KOTETSU, there are still a lot of manual procedure. A lot of craftsmen are working to produce kitchen knife and edged tool in their factories.


Quotation Sauce:Ryusen webpage

RYUSEN is a manufacturer in ECHIZEN Area. This brand pursue sharpness, beauty, and good feeling of usage, with a lot of manual procedures by the craftsmen.

The feature of the products is that Knives have beautiful pattern, called ‘RYUSEN-RIN’, coming from technique of the craftsmen.


I hope you could clear your question and get enough knowledge to find Japanese Kitchen Knife which is suitable to you lifetime.

In the end, I would like to summarize contents of this page. I really hope this article help you to have good life, thank you !

Japanese Kitchen Knife
  • Mainly categorized into two types
    • Wa-Bocho with single edge
    • Yo-Bocho with double edge
  • To find suitable products, checking 3 factors
    • Purpose of use
    • Material
    • Producing Area
  • The 4 Best Brands in Japan
    • TOJIRO
    • RYUSEN