Nigara Hamono, a 350-year-old knife company
Since the days of Samurai, they stands out in the world of Japanese knife-making for a couple of unique reasons. Its rich history, dating back to the early Edo period when the Nigara family crafted swords for the Tsugaru clan, has undoubtedly shaped the cultural DNA of Nigara knives across eight generations. However, having a renowned fifth-generation blacksmith, Mr. Kunitoshi Nigara, recognized as a national treasure in Japan, is another distinctive aspect. His works, commissioned by prestigious shrines and even the US Army after World War II, have earned him numerous accolades and royal honors.
Yet, what truly distinguishes Nigara Hamono is best understood through the perspective of its current eighth-generation blacksmith, Mr. Tsuyoshi Yoshizawa. In the workshop, alongside his younger brother and two young craftsmen, Tsuyoshi draws inspiration to create exceptional knives for the world. Two key factors contribute to Nigara's uniqueness.
Firstly, Tsuyoshi's father and the current president of Nigara, Mr. Toshiju Yoshizawa, brings a distinctive flair to the family business. The second factor is Nigara's deep expertise in steelworks, extending beyond traditional sword-smithing. The family has ventured into construction steelworks, steel beam technologies, and historical metal structure restorations, earning them the title of steel gurus. When Tsuyoshi seeks to create a specific Damascus finish for his blades, he doesn't approach external steel companies. Instead, he taps into the family's divisions where experts devise in-house solutions, utilizing techniques commonly found in steel frame production.
With a mastery of steel manipulation and a boss who appreciates pop art as much as heat-treating steel, the eighth generation blacksmith at Nigara, Tsuyoshi, is crafting works that set the brand apart in a league of its own.