Bunka - Origin & Purpose

Bunka - Origin & Purpose

Posted by Ramon Elzinga on


The history of the Bunka Bocho is embedded in its name as ‘bunka’ means ‘culture’ in Japanese and ‘bocho’ means ‘kitchen knife’.

Before the development of the Bunka knife and the opening of Japan to the rest of the world during the Meiji era was the Edo period of Japan. The Edo era was a time where purity was stressed in Japanese culture. True to the fastidious nature of the Japanese,this notion of purity had to permeate to even the use of cutlery with each type of traditional knife having its specific use in either cutting certain types of vegetables or seafood.

It was only during the late 1860s that Edo period laws against the consumption of ‘four-legged’ animals were changed and a new era of culinary culture began. Hullo wagyu!

This was where the Bunka came into prominence; the word ‘culture’ in Japanese could also mean ‘modern, efficient, clever, chic’ even ‘Western’. The Bunka was popularised amongst the younger generation as a game-changer, a knife that could be used for anything, no boundaries, no rules, only julienned daikon radish and pink ginger!

The Use

The Koi Knives’ Bunka has a total weight of 0.4kg. With a light handle yet a heavy blade the Bunka was designed to have a swing to it and uses gravity to its advantage when used for tasks that requires a degree of force behind the chop.

A signature characteristic of the Bunka is its ‘k-tip’, a‘reverse tanto’ angled tip, this sharper tip allows for finer tasks such as scoring vegetables, light butchering work, and removing the fat and sinew off meat.

The straight edge of the blade on the other hand is highly suited to rapid chopping styles such as tap-chopping and push/pull cutting techniques.

This heavy blade makes light work of mincing meat and chopping thin slices of vegetables, fruit, fish, meat and cheese. The thicker spine of 32mm paired with its specially designed dimpling on the blade also prevents high-starched vegetables from sticking to blade. The wideness of the blade is also optimal for assisting in scooping food up from the board.

A true and sturdy powerhouse of a knife in the kitchen!

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