It’s not easy to find truly handmade knives anymore. Most knives are mass produced in factories and really nothing to write home about. The Higo No Kami Knife, on the other hand is a knife that has a rich and deep history that epitomizes the Japanese culture and traditions.
For $20, A Knife like this is just too good to pass up, and the blade alone is worth every penny.
The Higo No Kami knife is a handcrafted Japanese knife that is forged from years of tradition and world renown blade crafting know how that dates as far back as Feudal Japan and the legendary samurai that once wielded such formidable blades.
Higo No Kami: The Last Traditional Handmade “Samurai Sword”
Owning a Higo No Kami knife is at the very core, owning a peice of rich Japanese blade crafting history. Not only do you own one of the best blades in the world that’s NOT mass produced in factories, but at a price that any individual will find affordable for their Everyday Carry or knife collection.
The Higo No Kami Knife Blade
The blade itself is hand forged in the same traditional way that the legendary Samurai swords, the Katana were created. The blade is made from Blue Paper Steel (Aogami, or in Japanese, 青紙), one of the hardest steels that provide lasting durability and a scalpel-sharp edge. The high carbon, chromium and tungsten within Blue Paper Steel is what makes the blade easier to sharpen and allow the blade itself to be sharper than mass produced knives.
Each blade comes out of the forge and is hand hammered and sharpened. No fancy equipment and no mass production.
Motosuke Nagao And Higo No Kami
While there’s a bunch of Japanese knives that look like the real deal, the only ones that count are those made by Motosuke Nagao, last remaining member of the Knifemaker’s Guild. He is the last craftsman that is permitted make the true Higo No Kami knife, and as he has no successor to continue the craft, the true Higo No Kami knives and the traditional way of Japanese knife and swordmaking may die with him.
What Is “Higo No Kami?”
“The term “Higo no Kami” means “Lord of Higo” in Japanese, in honor of the Lord of the Kyushu area of Japan, where the knife originated. Today, each Higo no Kami knife is still handmade by the last remaining maker in the guild, Motosuke Nagao.” – BladeForums
Traditionally, the Higo No Kami was carried by tradesmen and skilled laborers in Japan for use in their crafts. Woodworkers, Carpenters and even Cooks would carry the Higo No Kami as a part of their business. Today, no civilian in Japan, regardless of trade, may carry any knife with a blade length of longer than 6cm as an everyday knife and without reason. Cleavers and household kitchen knives longer than 6cm can be transported under the assumption and intent that it was either just purchased and being taken home, or in transport from one location to another (Chef going from one restaurant to another for work purposes). If an individual is found carrying a blade of any length without legitimate reasons (mostly for trade related reasons) they can detain the individual for further questioning, and probably confiscate the knife.
The One Knife You Should Have For Tradition’s Sake
Owning a Higo No Kami Knife is about as close as anyone can get to having a true Samurai sword without spending a small fortune. It’s not just having the knife either. When you have a Higo No Kami knife, you own a part of that rich, traditional swordmaking history that has survived since Feudal Japan to present day. From the Motosuke Nagao’s forges to your hand, it’s a hand made peice of history that one shouldn’t pass up on.
History For Less Than $30
The Higo No Kami, for all the tradition and history wrapped up into it’s blade, costs less than $30 on average.
It comes in varying blade sizes and handle finishes. The original handles are stamped brass or steel and have a simple rivet to pivot the blade open and closed. There is no locking mechanism save for the thumb rest at the base of the blade, and the knife itself might appear rough and unpolished. Trust me. It’s a hand made knife of the finest quality and there’s a lot more to this blade than meets the eye.