Japan, pre Meiji Era (<1868)
Blade Length and Width
Common length is 90mm-120mm. Width ranges from 1.8-3.5mm
Kawamuki translates to ‘skin peeler’, and although this might sound gruesome, the ‘skin’ is a reference to fruit and vegetable skins. In this way it can be understood as a vegetable peeler, ideal for in-the-hand-cutting and small chopping. The Kawamuki takes it shape from the Kama Usuba albeit much smaller. It originated as a single bevel knife, but it is more common to find double bevel today.
Tips for using the Kawamuki
The Kawamuki is generally considered the Japanese paring knife, although the shape is quite different, it functions much the same. If you prefer shorter and wider paring knives, with greater clearance under the handle for you knuckles, the Kawamuki is a great option. When using in your hands, select a knife that fits the size of your hands, paying close attention to the blade’s height and length. If you have smaller hands, the height of the blade may prevent you from easily cutting in your hands, whereas the length may be too short to peel the whole length of the ingredient.