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Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/11 08:54
When I lived in Japan many years ago, I happned to aquire several Japanese hocho knives. These are the ones with the very fine steel which are beveled on just one edge, and have a handle of boxwood I believe.
I love and treasure these knives and have done my best to keep them sharp and clean, I use them every day.
Over the years dispite my cleaning and polishing, they have become somewhat dull and have develped dark stains I have used fine sandpaper on them that helps [ probably a no-no] but not to satisfaction.
I would like some help in really cleaning them to the extent possible. Sending them away is not an option.
Any ideas. ?
The knives are over 40 years old and have held up beautifully. I have choppers, sushi, general purpose knives and others, about 10 in all. Thanks.
by Peter (guest)  

Re: Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/13 18:53
The sandpaper isn't used as you say, I think. Polish kitchen knife at the grindstone is best. After a Japanese Meiji government,19 century Samurai no longer carry swords. Japanese sword smith made a great kitchen knives.

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=WwlFDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=jap...

Cheers
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/13 18:58
One more this is English link.

http://www.sakaiwada.com/english

by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/14 00:48
Thank you Kaoru san

I looked at the two links and read them carefully. I did find a little advise that I will consider, but I am not sure I want to use a grinding wheel unless it has the proper stone or buff polish on it.
Alternatively they say to ship them to Osaka. That is not an option as I would not want them to get lost in the mail. Maybe I could try one and see how it goes.
I do now understand that I need to sharpen them more aggressively. I have been to easy on them.
While I love these knives, because of the very high quality steel they start to rust immediately after use. This is usually not a problem but over the years the stains build up.

On second thought...perhaps Osaka is nice this time of year...haha
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/14 10:30
You can do it by myself like this.
https://youtu.be/dfW0VwJVHI0
https://youtu.be/AYGFxjiGnqw

What is "まくれ makure"?
http://oisiso.com/houtyou.html
http://siso-lab.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/1339725015.jpg
by Nalice (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/14 11:07
In Japanese households we commonly use the 砥石 (to-ishi: whetstone) shown more clearly in the videos that Nalice provided. And then once in a while, some people might have their knives professionally sharpened.

If you ever come to Japan again, or if you have a Japanese community in your area, you can bring along your knives to have them sharpened by a professional 包丁研ぎ (houchou-togi).
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/15 00:04
Thank you both for the helpfull insights.
I have several wetstones which work well but the stains I am referring to are on the flat of the blade. I think the video was most helpful but my Japanese is almost non-existant, but I got a lot from it anyway.
Uco...I expect that you have long since got rid of that plastic flower...yeah..I remember. Hope you are well.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/15 01:40
If you're talking about the plastic azalea I picked up at Honmoku, I'm still looking at it.

As for your stain, it seems that you don't have to worry about certain stains. Why not have a Japanese restaurant owner take a look at it? The link about hocho stains is just for your reference.
http://www.suisin.co.jp/toku02/2011-03/index.htm
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Care of Japanese Hocho Knives 2017/11/15 08:17
Uco san

You still have those plastic flowers...? I would have thought they would have been lone gone..good for you..they must have some fond memory attached to it.

While I am not worried about the Hocho blade stains, I sure would like them to be the best they can be. Unfortunately there is no Japanese community in New Hampshire [that I know of] so there is no one to consult with. I have found a guy with a grinding wheel and buffer. I will try that.
I see the new ones for sale and sure would want them to look like new.

There was a store on Isezaki-cho [Yokohama]that sold all kinds of Hocho's and had a display that I still remember. Covering one whole wall there were very small ones to outragiously oversize ones all lined up by size..I was impressed. As I could afford, I bought many of them there. The shopkeeper spoke very good english and we got to be what I would like to say, friends.

I also remember seeing a street food vendor using one, he wiped it every 5 seconds, it looked very beat up, I almost offered to but it from him but it was too awkyark ..and a little creepy. So I didn't.
Thank you all for your help.
Peter


by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

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