Aritsugu is a Japanese knifemaker that has stood the test of time. The company was founded by Fujiwara Aritsugu and built its reputation as a key manufacturer of Japanese samurai swords in the 1700s. As the war ended, Aritsugu channeled its strengths in blade production to knives and cooking utensils for the kitchen.
Today, Aritsugu remains a family-run endeavour, headed by 18th-generation proprietor Shinichiro Terakubo. With the establishment of additional stores in Tsukiji Market in the 1920s, Aritsugu has gained much popularity among fish vendors, chefs, and tourists alike.
Aritsugu is focused on forged Kitchen knives.
Best known for
Aritsugu is best known for its versatile Japanese Knives, especially its long-bladed knives excellent at fileting eel and fish for sushi-making.
There are two main types of Aritsugu kitchen knives: Single-edged and double-edged.
Under the single-edged line, two of the most popular knives are the Yanagiba and the Deba. The Yanagiba is used to slice raw fish for sushi and sashimi dishes, while the Deba is used for fish butchery.
For the double-edged line, the popular knife type available is the Gyuto knife which is used for cutting larger foods such as meat. The other famous double-edged knife of Aritsugu is the Sujihiki slicer. This long narrow blade smoothly slices through meat or vegetables.
While Aritsugu features knives with AUS-10 stainless steel and Go-Kinko steel, most of its blades use two types of high carbon steel - Shirogami II White Steel and Aogami II Blue Steel.
Both developed by Hitachi Metals Ltd, Shirogami II White Steel is a pure high carbon material, while Aogami II Blue Steel is a steel variant using the same pure high carbon with trace amounts of Chrome and Tungsten. Both variants make for hard knives that hold a strong edge but will need to be maintained well to prevent rusting.
Aritsugu uses handles from both Eastern and Western influences, from traditional Japanese Magnolia wood to Western resin with rivets.
Sharpening & Maintenance
The best way to maintain a knife is determined by the steel hardness grade and the angle of the knife edge.
Aritsugu knives have a hardness grade of 61-64 HRC and an edge of 15 degrees. As such, hone the knife at its original angle using the Japanese Approach.
Regular honing removes the need for sharpening, which must only be done occasionally. A whetstone is the most recommended material for this purpose.
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