The Mini Bunka | About Me

The Mini Bunka | About Me

Posted by Sam Flaherty on

The Mini Bunka is a Japanese Knife that holds within it multiple dualities. It has a heritage of both tradition and modernism. It has functionality and form.
Glamour and utility.

As can be seen from its name, the mini Bunka (sometimes know as the Wa-Bunka) originated from the full sized Bunka Bocho, the all-purpose
heavyweight Chef’s knife with the iconic K-tip. The Bunka Bocho was revolutionary during its time of inception when it was popularised in late 1860s
Japan after the Edo period laws against consuming four-legged animals were changed. It was during the Meiji Restoration period when westernisation and modernisation simultaneously stimulated cultural evolutions in Japan that the Bunka was invented.

The original Bunka Bocho (which translates literally to cultural knife) was designed as a physical manifestation of the cultural shift against the ideology of food purity. It was mandated by the previous Edo rulers that each type of food had to have its own separate knife for preparation. The Bunka was for the modern man or woman who cared not about these categories, the kitchen was no longer a place for rules but for celebrating food and life!

The Mini Bunka came soon after the full sized Bunka as a smaller but arguably more useful counterpart.



Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and herbs, the Mini Bunka can handle it all. Comparable to the Petty knife to the Gyuto, the Mini Bunka has the same blade profile as the full sized Bunka. It is thicker at the spine than the Petty and thus weighs heavier.

One might choose the Mini Bunka over the Petty to have a utility knife that echoes the Bunka Bocho as opposed to the Gyuto for both aesthetics and functionality reasons. The latter may include how one chops. For example: the Gyuto has a slightly curved cutting edge which makes it suitable for certain styles of chopping like rock-chopping; whereas the Bunka and its Mini counterpart has a flat cutting edge and is more suitable for the traditional push/chop or pull/slice either tip to heel or heel to tip.

The Mini Bunka is also heavier than a Petty which gives it a certain weight advantage when one may feel an infusion of confidence to have gravity on
their side when performing a chop. Its smaller size also gives it the added function of performing more intricate tasks such as deboning a chicken, coring broccoli or cauliflower, and cutting smaller fruits like strawberries.

It is fun, functional and its weight gives it an extra exquisiteness to use! 

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Japanese "Mini Bunka" Know How