Japanese knives: how to spot the real deal vs. a knock-off?

So, you've decided to upgrade your kitchenware, moved to a new house, or perhaps you've heard that Japanese knives make the perfect, personal gift? You're in for a treat! Japanese knives are not just tools; they're a gateway to a world of culinary craftsmanship, precision, and tradition.  Whether you're a passionate home cook, an adventurous chef, or someone who simply appreciates finer things in life, understanding the nuances of Japanese knives can boost your cooking experience to a whole new level.

Traits of genuine Japanese knives

Identify authentic Japanese knives by understanding their traits. Genuine blades boast diverse producers, ranging from artisanal forges to well-established giants. Recognising these traits is your first step to ensuring authenticity. Genuine blades often use proprietary steel or source from reputable Japanese steel producers. Familiarise yourself with these steel types to quickly spot authenticity.

Recognising genuine Japanese brands

Japanese blacksmithing consists of the vast spectrum of producers, ranging from factory-made knives to numerous small enterprises and individual blacksmiths.  Distinguish authentic Japanese brands from impostors. From Anryu to Yoshihiro, genuine brands preserve tradition and craftsmanship. Knowing these names is a tactic to guide you toward an authentic purchase.

What about Sakai Kyuba and Seki Kyuba? Are they Japanese?

Yes! They're as Japanese as you can get! Sakai Kyuba and Seki Kyuba are our white label brands. Due to geolocation exclusivity reasons, both blacksmiths' real names couldn’t be included in our knives. We weren’t willing to let go of his outstanding artistry that easily, so together with our blacksmiths from Sakai (Osaka area) and Seki (Gifu area), we created knives under our dedicated brand name “Sakai Kyuba 堺久馬” and "Seki Kyuba 席 久馬".

Warning signs of knock-offs

Arm yourself with knowledge about knock-off warning signs. Lack of origin information, unbelievably low prices, and generic marketing are red flags. Stay vigilant, and let these signs be your guide to avoiding imitations. Genuine Japanese knives command higher prices due to craftsmanship, heritage, and authenticity. Prioritise origin information to make an informed investment.

Look beyond branding to spot authenticity. Genuine Japanese knives often feature cultural elements and meticulous details. Scrutinise the finer points to ensure you're not just paying for a brand name.

For more cooking tips and exceptional Japanese knives, check our website oishya.com