Posted by Ramon Elzinga on


Japan, during the Meiji era (1868-1912).

Blade Width

Can vary widely between 4.5-9 inches (120-240mm), although 6.5” (165mm) is most often used.


A cross between a Gyuto and Nakiri, it was originally designed to suit new preparation styles that came with opening borders with the west. The name translates to 'Bunka' (cultural) 'Bocho' (kitchen), where it refers directly to the new cultural attitudes around cooking. It is similar in style and purpose to a Santoku, designed to suit multiple preparations including meat and vegetables. The main difference is its prominent pointed tip, and downward sloping spine referred to as a ‘reverse tanto’. This allows better dexterity when moving between larger cuts and smaller intricate tasks.

Bunka's favour traditional ‘Wa’ handles, even outside of Japanese cooking, something of an oddity considering its modern origins.

Tips When Using the 'Bunka'

Generally speaking, these knives would make a perfect third knife in any collection; after Gyuto and Petty. Functionally, it sits in between these two knives in shape, length and weight so excels in the tasks that fall between the two. When choosing a Bunka knife, pay close attention to the height and angle of the cutting tip and make sure that the knife feels comfortable in your hands, with good clearance for your fingers when the knife is resting on its heel.

It is well suited to chopping and slicing, but can be used for roll cutting smaller ingredients like soft herbs and vegetables.


If you want to add a Bunka to you knife collection you can see what we have available here - Bunka Knives.

Bunka Knife


The Image

Background Art by Yayoi Kusama

Knife Designed by S. L. Dolman | Koi Knives, SA

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