A lot of my tableware has a figure of Daruma san as decoration.

aburakoshi, abura-koshi あぶらこし【油漉し】 for filtering used oil
kosu こす【漉す】 to filter
Usually a metal net.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Used Tempura-oil is collected for reuse these days.

amijakushi あみじゃくし【網杓子】ladle with a filter
skimmer, ladle strainer
kind of shakushi しゃくし【杓子】 ladle.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
They come with diffrent sizes of nets, for tempura or froth and scum on food etc.

arumihoiru アルミホイル aluminium foil
"alumi foil"
used for wrapping dishes and ingredients.

Bentoobako ― Lunchbox with Daruma Bentoobako 弁当箱, Lunchpaket
Bento and Ekiben Bento at the station. Lunchpakete und O-Bento am Bahnhof
..... magewappa bento box 曲げわっぱ

Bon, 盆 a tray Tablett

chawan 茶碗 tea cup and rice bowl

Coasters Bierdeckel

Cups and Mugs
..... Guinomi ぐい飲み Tea Cups Teetassen

Daidokoro 台所 (だいどころ) Japanese Kitchen

Gopan Rice Bread Cooker ライスブレッドクッカー「GOPAN(ゴパン)」

hachi 鉢 all kinds of bowls Schalen, Schüsseln

Handai はんだい wooden tub to prepare sushi rice

Hashi : Hashi, O-Hashi ... Chopsticks お箸 おはし
..... chopstick Rest Hashi oki ... chopstick rests 箸置き, Esstäbchen
..... box to keep the chopsticks, hashibako 箸箱
..... saibashi さいばし (菜箸) long chopsticks used for cooking and serving.
kajikibashi 鹿食箸 chopsticks to eat "mountain meat"  from Suwa Shrine
kattobashi カットバシ / カット箸 / かっとばし
chopsticks made from broken baseball clubs

Hocho, wabocho . 和包丁. Knife, knives (hoochoo, waboochoo) Japanisches Messer

Honenuki 骨抜きPincer, Pinzette

Hooroku ほうろく(焙烙) earthware pan
for special hooroku dishes like horokuyaki.
Hooroku 焙烙 / 炮烙 / ホーロク / ほうろくearhten roasting pot and Hooroku Jizo ほうろく地蔵 and a kyogen play, 炮烙割り "smashing pots"

Kaishi 懐紙Japanese paper for the tea ceremony, washi 和紙

kama 釜 stove, Herd
Old farmhouses use a large stove fired with wood.
. . . . . nukagama 糠釜(ぬかがま) stove fired with nuka rice bran.
The stove is used outside in the garden.
It keeps the temperature even for a long time and is best for cooking rice.. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Kashigata 菓子型 <> Cake Molds from wood
..... Kashigata 菓子型 Cake mold from iron
kata 型 mold, shape

Kashi bin 菓子ビン <> Glass for cookies

katsuobushi kezuriki かつおぶし削り器 cutter box for katsuobushi Hobel fuer Bonitospaene

Kitaoji Rosanjin A master of making pottery.

koohii kappu コーヒーカップ coffee cup

Kyuusu teapot 急須 (kyusu) for green tea

Manaita, Chopping Board まな板

Mashiko Pottery and Folk Craft Mashikoyaki 益子焼, mingei 民芸

Meoto Tableware for Couples Rice bowls :
meotojawan 夫婦茶碗 , chopsticks : meotobashi 夫婦箸, tea cups : meotoguinomi 夫婦ぐい呑み

Misokoshi みそこし (味噌漉し)strainer for miso paste

Nabe, pots and pand
..... Nabe ... だるま鍋 ... Cooking pots with Daruma

Oroshigane おろしがね (下ろし金/卸し金) metal grater
Some are even served together with a wasabi root at special restaurants to grate them as you eat. They can be quite decorative, I have one in the form of a little turtle.
There are special ones, for example for stone salt 岩塩専用おろしがね.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

sakazuki 杯/ さかずき small cup for hot sake
. . . Sakazuki 杯 small cups / 達磨タンブラー . Tumbler Daruma

sara, ban さら 【皿・盤】 plate, dish, Teller. of various kinds and shapes
. . . Sara - Plates with Daruma お皿にだるま
kawarakezara, kawakake sara かわらけ皿
unglazed dishes used since AD 400
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Shamoji しゃもじ ... Rice Spoon, Ladle , rice paddle
杓子 (しゃくし shakushi)

Shichirin 七輪 portable cooking stove

Shio Koshoo Ire ... Salt and Pepper Shaker 塩胡椒入れ

Shooyu sashi ... 醤油差し ... Soy sauce dispenser

Sudare すだれ bamboo mat for making sushi

Suribachi すりばち(擂り鉢/摺り鉢) groved grating mortar
..... surikogi boo すりこぎ棒 pestle

Take no kawa 竹の皮 dried bamboo leaves as wrappers

tonsui とんすい small serving bowl with a handle

Tokkuri ― Drinking Hot Sake with Daruma  徳利とだるま

chawan 茶碗 tea cup and rice bowl

Tsumayooji (tsumajoji) 爪楊枝 つまようじ <> Toothpicks-holder

Uchiwa うちわ flat fan
to cool food or help a charcoal brazier

urokohiki, uroko-hiki うろこひき/ 鱗引き remover for fish scales
uroko o hiku 鱗を引く remove fish scales
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. utsuwa 器 dishes, bowls, pots and plates .

Wasara paper dishes

Yakiami 焼き網 (やきあみ) net to grill food
double-nets where you can hold the fish to grill it on both sides
They are round or square or oblong, according to your barbeque set or grilling facilities. Some have two sides with a handle to squeeze fish or other food inside for easy turning.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yunomi 湯のみ(湯呑み) small tea cups. Becher
. . . Yunomi ― Drinking Tea with Daruma  湯のみとだるまさん/ Guinomi, chawan 茶碗

Zen, Tray, Dinner tray, box tray (hako zen) ...


Daruma Museum Japan

External LINKs


The Fine Art of Japanese Food Arrangement
By Yoshio Tsuchiya



Tableware / Cookware
Elegozen (Microwave Cooker) and more



Chuukanabe Pfanne für chinisische Gerichte
Handai Hölzerne Schale für Sushireis-Zubereitung
Makiyakinabe Pfanne für japanisches viereckiges Omelett (ev. tamagoyakinabe)
Manaita Küchenbrett
Misokoshi Miso-Seiher
Mushiki Dämpfer
Oroshigane Reibeisen für Wasabi, für Rettich
Otoshibuta Holzdeckel zum direkten Auflegen beim Kochen
Oyakodonnabe Pfanne für Ei mit Hühnerfleisch (oyakodon)
Saibashi Lange Kochstäbchen
Sarashi Baumwolltuch
Shamoji Reislöffel, spezieller für Sushi
Suihanki Reiskocher
Sukiyakinabe Pfanne für Sukiyaki
Suribachi Mörser mit Holzstößel
Tenpuranabe Pfanne für Tempura
Uchiwa Blattförmiger Fächer für Sushi
Zen Tablett zum Servieren für Einzelpersonen


Tools / my PHOTOS



Nabe pot and pan


Pots and pans (nabe)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Different types of NABE pots are used for boiling, simmering, frying or otherwise preparing and serving food.
They come in many materials and forms.

PHOTO : www.doguyasuji.or.jp
Different nabe from aluminium


atsuryoku nabe 圧力鍋 high pressure cooker


Chukanabe, chuuka nabe 中華鍋, 中華なべ.
Pan for Chinese cooking. The name is Kantonese.

CLICK for more photos

There is also the VOK, WOK with two handles.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

WASHOKU : Chinese Food, Chuka Ryori

The casting of iron woks in Guangdong, China, in 1840
Donald B. Wagner
One of the marvels of the traditional Chinese foundry industry was the cast-iron wok - the round-bottomed cooking pan used for stir-frying and a thousand other purposes in Chinese cooking. It can be a metre or more in diameter and only a few millimetres thick, and was in early times cast in iron with only about 0.2% silicon - yet it was generally grey-cast.
With many photos, read here:
source : www.staff.hum.ku.dk


Furaipan, フライパン, pan for frying, frypan


Irori nabe いろり鍋, 囲炉裏鍋
pot to hang over open fire

the most important item in a farmhouse with an open fireplace to keep warm and eat.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

The nabe comes with a round handle and wooden lid. Many are made of Nanbutetsu 南部鉄, Iron from Nanbu, now Iwate.
Nanbutetsu iron is also used for pots to heat tea water.


Ishinabe 石なべ、/ 石鍋 stone pan
for special food preparations and local dishes


Jingisu kan nabeジンギスカン鍋 Genghis Khan pot, to fry meat on the table with all around.
Comes with an iron plate to fry the meat on.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Jingisukaan nabe 成吉思汗鍋 (じんぎすかんなべ)
"Genghis Khan Stew"
kigo for all winter

This is a type where the food is boiled in hot broth. The middle is hollow and open.
Dschingis Khan Eintopf. Dschingis Kahn Barbeque.


Makiyakinabe 巻き焼き鍋 (まきやきなべ)
square omelete pan

Makiyakinabe (Japanese: 巻き焼き鍋; まきやきなべ, literally: roll-bake-pan) is a square or rectangular cooking pan used to make Japanese style rolled omelettes. It is also known as tamagoyakiki (玉子焼き器; たまごやきき, literally: tool to make omelettes).

CLICK for more photos of 玉子焼き器In Japanese cuisine rolled omelettes are made as rectangular thin omelettes and then rolled into a cylindrical or elongated cube shape using Japanese kitchen chopsticks. To obtain a roll with a constant diameter over the entire lengths, the thin omelette should be of rectangular shape. To obtain this shape a special rectangular frying pan is used.

The pans usually have a width of 10 to 35 cm, and are made of as for example aluminium or cast iron. The best type is considered to be heavy copper coated with tin, although care has to be taken to avoid damage to the pan due to the low melting point of tin. A cheaper, Teflon coated pan is available in many stores. The depth of the pans are usually from 3 cm to 4 cm. Their weights are usually from 0.5 kg to 2.5 kg.

There are three types of makiyakinabe: Kantō-type, Kansai-type and Nagoya-type. The Kantō-type pans are squared. The Kansai-type pans are tall-and-thin rectangles. The Nagoya-type pans are short-and-wide rectangles.

. . . . . Kantō-type (Kanto-type)
Width: 10 cm to 30 cm; usually 15 to 25 cm
. . . . . Kansai-type
Width: 10 cm to 30 cm; usually 15 to 25 cm
Length: 15 cm to 35 cm; usually less than 1.5 x of the width
. . . . . Nagoya-type
Width: 15 cm to 35 cm
Length: 10 cm to 30 cm; usually 15 to 25 cm

The makiyakinabe is usually used with a thick wooden lid which is used to help people flip the omelette. No one says you cannot use a platter instead though the task is said to be much easier with the lid.
... More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Misoshiru nabe 味噌汁鍋 pot for the daily miso soup


Nabemono (鍋物, なべ物)
Food eaten from the cooking pot

The pots are traditionally made of clay (土鍋, donabe) which can keep warm for a while after being taken off the fire or cast thick iron (鉄鍋, tetsunabe) which evenly distributes heat and is preferable for sukiyaki. The pots are usually placed in the center of dining tables, shared by multiple people.
Eating together from a shared pot is considered as an important feature of nabemono; East Asian people believe that eating from one pot makes for closer relationships.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

donabe 土鍋 earthen pot

kainabe, kai nabe 貝鍋 "shell pot"
The large shell of a clam (hotate) is used as a container to boil some broth and then fish or seafood right on the beach. Often with hotaru ika in Toyama.

kayunabe 粥鍋 , okayu nabe, pot for rice gruel
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


nabeshigi なべしぎ (鍋鴫) Sauteed eggplant with miso
all made in one pan


odennabe, oden nabe おでん鍋
in various forms, for making Oden.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Oonabe 大鍋 BIG nabe
Often with a round handle and wooden lid, to be placed over an open fireplace (irori) for communal cooking.
Also Ishigaki Nabe イシガキ大鍋
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

also tetsunabe 鉄鍋, iron pan
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Oyakodon nabe 親子鍋 for special egg dishes
The handle is in a right angle position.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Sukiyaki nabe すきやき鍋
pot for preparing sukiyaki food
usually made from iron.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

sliced beef and vegetables cooked at the table in a shallow pan
Sukiyaki (鋤焼 / すき焼き meat hot pot "Japanese steamboat"


suppon nabe 鼈鍋 (すっぽんなべ) suppon turtle stew
kigo for all winter

this denotes not only the food but also the special flat clay pot.
Suppon is a special kind of soft-shelled turtle with a long neck and feroucious bite. It is eaten to enhance male stamina.
The pot itself is heated up to 1000 degrees in a strong fire to cook the meat fast. To endure such a temperature day in day out in the restaurants the pot must be made of special clay to last.
its red blood is also served in a glas mixed with sake.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
snapping turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis
© More in the Japanese WIKIPEDIA !

suppon mo hane hoshige nari kaeru kari

even the turtle
wants feathers...
the geese depart

Tr. David Lanoue

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .


tenpura nabe てんぷら鍋, 天ぷら鍋
pot for preparing Tenpura

Tempura pot
comes with a special net-like contraption (tenpura ami) to let the fat drip off the food.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

agenabe 揚鍋 nabe for deep-frying
often with a thermometer to check the heated oil temperature


うchidashi nabe 打ち出し鍋
made from hammered metal, mostly bronze. Through the hammering, the surface of the inside is large and food is cooked faster than in flat-walled pots.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


yattokonabe, yattoko nabe やっとこなべ
pot without a handle. Held with a pair of pincers called "yattoko". They can be stacked easily.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


yukihiranabe, yukihira nabe 雪平鍋
Lightweight hammered pot, made of stainless steel, with wooden handle
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Food called NABE

dotenabe 土手鍋 "embankment hodgepodge"
oyster miso hodgepodge from Matsushima, Sendai. also from Hiroshima, another oyster area.
The miso is layered around the inner rim of the pot, hence the name "embankment".
made with oysters and vegetables, tofu can also be used.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
More reference

nabe ryoori なべ料理 Hodgepodge dishes
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
A lot of them get a better taste at home, if you fry some vegetable pickles (hakusai tsukemono) in a pan with sesame oil first. Put them into the cold water of the nabe, add the meat and last the vegetables.
For seafood and fish nabe, try to fry some takanazuke 高菜漬 hot pickles.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

jooyanabe (常夜鍋) じょうやなべ with pork


jizaikagi 自在鉤 pot hook, Kesselhaken 
to hang a pot above the open fire of a hearth (irori 囲炉裏).


Nabe – Warmes aus einem Topf

Im kalten Winter geht nichts über einen heißen Eintopf – nabemono – kurz Nabe genannt. Die Familie sitzt gemeinsam um einen dampfenden Topf, aus dem sich jeder nach Belieben bedienen kann. So unterschiedlich wie Landschaft und Menschen in Japan sind, so vielfältig ist auch die Nabe-Küche. Jede Gegend hat ihre eigenen Lieblingszutaten, die wiederum in jeder Familie ganz individuell abgewandelt und in einer Brühe nach Familientradition gegart werden. Am bekanntesten ist das Eintopfgericht Yosenabe. In dieser ­ Suppe werden Zutaten verkocht, die nicht mehr lange haltbar sind. Die meisten Winter­gemüse-Sorten werden als Zutaten im Eintopf sehr geschätzt. Das Gefäß selbst heißt Nabe, ebenso wie das Gericht. Wenn Nabe auf dem Speiseplan steht, braucht die Hausfrau nicht viel Zeit in der Küche zu verbringen, denn die Zubereitung erfolgt direkt am Tisch. Etwas Mühe macht lediglich die Vorbereitung: Gemüse, Fisch, Fleisch, Tofu und weitere Zutaten müssen in mundgerechte Stücke geschnitten und auf Servierplatten neben dem Topf appetitlich angerichtet werden. Die einzelnen Zutaten werden allmählich nacheinander in die köchelnde Brühe gegeben, sodass alles gleichzeitig gar ist. Gemüse mit langer Garzeit wie Rettich und Karotten gelangen zuerst in die Brühe, Chinakohl hingegen erst kurz vor dem Essen. Dies ist mitunter eine recht schwierige Angelegenheit und erfordert Übung. Aufgrund dessen gibt es stets einen Verantwortlichen für diesen Bereich, den sogenannten Kochtopf-Kommissar (nabe bugyo).

Wenn das Gemüse fast verzehrt ist, wird eine Portion Nudeln in die mittlerweile sehr schmackhafte Brühe gegeben. Auf diese Weise wird gewährleistet, dass auch tatsächlich jeder satt wird. Mitunter wird die Brühe auch mit Reis versetzt. Die heißbegehrte Reissuppe kann direkt mit Miso-Paste und Sojasauce nachgewürzt werden. Serviert wird Nabe meist aus einem Keramikkochtopf, der auf einem kleinen Gasbrenner in der Mitte des Esstisches steht. Diese Töpfe gibt es in vielen Größen und mit zahlreichen traditionellen Mustern. Sie alle haben einen Keramikdeckel mit einem hervorstehenden oberen Griff, der nicht heiß wird. Jeder Gast bekommt eine zum Topf passende kleine Schale, in die er die gewünschte Portion füllen kann. Es folgen mehrere Portionen, denn ein Nabe-Essen ist oft ein abendfüllendes Programm. Warmer Reiswein oder kühles Bier schmecken hervorragend zu diesem Gericht.

- - - Beliebte japanische Eintöpfe - - -

Shottsuru nabe
Dieser Eintopf ist eine Spezialität aus der Gegend Tohoku. Shottsuru bedeutet »salzige Sauce«. In diesem Fall handelt es sich um eine Fischsauce vom eingelegten Sägebarsch, dessen Hauptsaison von November bis Dezember ist. Sägebarsch diente im Winter lange Zeit als Haupteiweißquelle und wurde auf verschiedene Weisen haltbar gemacht. Unter anderem durch Fermentierung mit Salz. Während der Fang­saison kommt der Sägebarsch auch als Sushi auf den Tisch.

Im Seeteufel-Eintopf wird fast jeder Teil des Fisches verwendet, vom Rogen bis zur Haut und der Schwanzflosse, der Leber, dem Magensack und den Kiemen. Es ist eine Spezialität von Ibaragi.

Der Kugelfisch-Eintopf ist eine Art russisches Roulette. Wenn die giftige Galle und Leber des Kugelfisches nicht vorsichtig entfernt werden, kann es schon einmal zu Unfällen kommen. Deshalb benötigen Köche, die Kugelfisch zubereiten, eine spezielle Lizenz.

Auch Walfisch-Eintopf ist in vielen Küstengebieten nach wie vor beliebt. In diesem Eintopf wird frisches Walfleisch verkocht.

Der Eintopf mit Venusmuscheln ist indes wesentlich harmloser: Venusmuscheln, etwas Bauchspeck vom Schwein, viel Weißkohl und ein wenig Reiswein werden in die Brühe gegeben – und schon kann gespeist werden.

Kabeljau und Seebrasse sind die Hauptzutaten dieses Fischeintopfs. Er wurde zu Beginn der Meiji-Zeit von Ausländern erdacht, ihnen war roher Fisch suspekt und daher kochten sie ihr Sashimi in heißer Brühe. Wenn weißes Fischfleisch in heißes Wasser geworfen wird, schrumpft es zusehends: chiri-chiri - daher stammt der Name.

Der bekannteste Fleischeintopf mit Rindfleisch ist Sukiyaki.

Darüber hinaus gibt es einen Eintopf mit Schweinefleisch und Spinatblättern. Letztere werden vor dem Essen kurz in Ponzu-Sauce getaucht. Dieser Eintopf bedeutet übersetzt »Eintopf für jeden Abend« und soll somit die große Beliebtheit dieser Speise zum Ausdruck bringen.


hashimori no nabebuta funde naku chidori

plovers cry out
walk on the bridge guard's
cooking pot lid

Tr. Chris Drake

Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶

This winter hokku is from the 10th month (November) of 1818, when Issa was traveling around the area near his hometown. Large bridges were considered strategically important and usually had at least one armed guard stationed by them. In addition to taking care of security and looking out for wanted people, the guard (or guards), often from the outcast class, was in charge of upkeep and cleaning as well as collecting tolls if it was a toll bridge. One special duty was constantly watching the bridge to prevent would-be suicides from jumping off it.

In this hokku, the guard seems to have left the newly washed wooden lid of his metal cooking pot outside to dry on a mat or some other object at one end of the bridge. Some plovers from the riverbank drop by, and they cry out as if chatting with each other as they discover and walk on the lid. In waka and haikai plovers are usually portrayed as group birds, and the first syllable of their name (chidori) may come from their continual high cries to each other, which are heard as chii, chii (chee, chee in English). Issa may follow this theory, since he writes chi- here with a phonetic symbol instead of a character. Another theory is that the chi comes from the chi meaning 'thousand,' since the birds are so sociable. The juxtaposition of the open mouths of the excited plovers and the implicitly lidless cooking pot has an expansive resonance.

Chris Drake

. WKD : Plover (chidori) .

. WKD : Bridges and Haiku .

Related words

***** WASHOKU ... Tableware and Tools

- #nabe #pot #pan -


Manaita chopping board



Chopping board (manaita )

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


chopping board, chopping block, , mana-ita, mana ita
manaita まな板, 真魚板, 爼板, 俎板, まないた

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

MANA means either "true vegetables" 真菜 or "true fish" 真魚 (sweet water fish). In former times, all things to eat with rice like fish and vegetables were called NA no okazu 真のおかず. There are also these Chinese characters for MANAITA 俎板 俎. This comes from Chinese, a block where fish and vegetables were stapled before cutting. In China, it was customary to staple food on a board and present it as an offering for the gods, which were later eaten by men.

Mostly made of wood, but modern ones also made of plastic.
Wood must be sturdy and easy to dry, also with natural desinfectants. It should not get scratched easily by the cooking knife.
For Chinese cooking a strong hard wood is necessary, often keyaki is used.

Wood used for Manaita

イチョウ Gingko
朴 hoo no ki
柳 yanagi, willow
桐 Kiri, paulownia
ヒバ Hiba
ケヤキ Keyaki
スプルース supuru-su



manaita no koi, like a fish on a cutting board
to be helpless in a situation.


Itamae, 板前 いたまえ cook, chef cook
"the one before the board" ita no mae, ita mae
Also called "Ita San", Mister Board.

To become a sushi chef, for example, you have to undergo an exhaustive training. Sometimes it is just washing dishes and sharpening the knives and observe keenly (minarai 見習い) for two years.

ryoricho, ryoorichoo 料理長 is another word for a kitchen chef.

Iron Chef is a Japanese television program produced by FujiTV. The original Japanese title is Ironmen of Cooking (料理の鉄人, Ryōri no Tetsujin, Ryori no Tetsujin).

The television show began airing on October 10, 1993 as an hour-and-a-half show with preliminary contests between chefs, then final battles. After 23 episodes, it was shortened to a one-hour format, dropping the preliminary contests. The show ended on September 24, 1999, but had television specials until 2002. The series aired over 300 episodes.

The program has an eccentric flavor even for a game show. Its host is the flamboyant Takeshi Kaga, known on the show as Chairman Kaga (鹿賀 主宰, Kaga Shusai). Its production values are highlighted with extensive commentary made by two regular commentators and one to two guest commentators (who also serve as judges). The commentary presents thorough background information (e.g., ingredients, past history of contenders) to give a viewer context for what is happening in the kitchen; it also serves as entertainment, as friendly banter is shared among the four commentators.

While always a success in Japan, Iron Chef became a surprise cult favorite in the United States when it was picked up by the Food Network and dubbed in English. Much of the U.S. appeal was due to the dubbing, which gave the show a campy charm that evoked English-dubbed Chinese kung fu movies of the 1970s. Audiences also found amusing some of the over-the-top culinary concoctions regularly featured on the show.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Eiserne Küchenchefs, Eiserne Köche
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Worldwide use

Hackklotz, Hackbrett, Küchenbrett, Schneidebrett

Things found on the way


manaita hajime 俎始 まないたはじめ "first chopping board"
manaitabiraki, manaita biraki 俎開 (まないたびらき) first use of the chopping board
first use in the New Year : kigo



manaita no omote mo ura mo tsuyu ni iru

the rainy season begins too
for the front and the back
of my chopping board

Kikumari Junichi 菊鞠潤一
Tr. Gabi Greve

A normal kitchen board is used on two sides, one for fish or meat and one for vegetables.
Sometimes they are marked like this:

CLICK for more photos



manaita to hyakkai kenka kyuuri momi

a hundred fights
with my chopping board ...
kneading cucumbers

柏 Kashiwa
Tr. Gabi Greve

Cucumbers are rubbed and kneaded in salt before use for some dishes.


manaita ni uroko chirishiku sakuradai

on the chopping board
the fish scales are everywhere -
cherry sea bream
Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規
Sakuradai, tai and other sea bream and Haiku


manaita ni koban ichimai hatsugatsuo

on the chopping board
a golden thaler -
first bonito

auf dem Hackbrett
ein goldener Taler -
der erste Bonito

Takarai Kikaku (1661-1707)

The first bonito was especially expensive for the inhabitants of Edo.

Der erstenBonito der Saison, der als besonderer Leckerbissen im frühen Sommer mit Sonderschiffen von Kochi aus in die Stadt Edo gelangte, war besonders teuer.

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Mashikoyaki and Mingei



Mashiko is a small town in Tochigi Prefecture, but it is well known abroad through the famous potter Hamada Shoji. And through Yanagi Soetsu (Sooetsu) , who introduced the folk craft movement in Japan.

Mashiko pottery, mashikoyaki 益子焼
mingei, folk craft 民芸

CLICK for more photos CLICK for more ENGLISH information

"true beauty is not made ; it is born naturally"

The term mingei (folk art) was coined by Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961) in 1926 to refer to common crafts that had been brushed aside and overlooked by the industrial revolution. Yanagi's book "The Unknown Craftsman" has since become a classic.
source : www.e-yakimono.net

日本民藝館 Nihon Mingei-kan
Japan Folk Craft Museum in Tokyo

Mingei Museum in Tottori , 鳥取民芸美術館
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Hagi Pottery 萩焼 Hagiyaki

Like many of the great Japanese ceramic traditions of Western Japan, Hagi originated with Korean potters. Indeed, in the Momoyama era (1573-1603) and in the early years of the Edo period (1603 - 1867), ceramics like Karatsu, Agano, Satsuma and Takatori first saw their wheels set in motion when, willingly or not, Korean potters were brought back to Japan in the "pottery wars" of 1592 and 1597-98.
source : www.e-yakimono.net


CLICK for more of his work

HAMADA Shoji (1894-1978)

was the most well-known folk art ceramist of the 20th century. He studied under ITAYA Hazan and began a lifelong friendship with KAWAI Kanjiro when he was still in high school. Later on he befriended English potter Bernard Leach and philosopher YANAGI Soetsu; they started the folk art movement together.

HAMADA established his studio in Mashiko, Tochigi prefecture, and his mingei works have been held in the highest esteem in Japan as well as abroad. Hamada was designated a Living National Treasure in 1955.

Hamada Shooji 浜田庄司 <> Mashiko Potter and Mingei

Shōji Hamada (濱田 庄司, Hamada Shōji
December 9, 1894 – January 5, 1978
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


The pottery town of Mashiko has seen a lot of destruction from the earthquake on March 11, 2011.
Some important pieces by Hamada Shoji have fallen down and are now in sherds.

. Japan after the Earthquake  
March 11, 2011


TOMOO HAMADA 濱田友緒 (はまだ ともお)
In the footsteps of a genius grandfather

The perks and pressures of being the child of someone famous can be enormous -- doubly so if following in the family footsteps. In Japan, with its grand artistic traditions, this is not an uncommon phenomenon. The results, though, range across a broad spectrum, from glory (not always deserved -- think of political dynasties), to competency (often bringing wealth and fame anyway), or derivation (mere imitation that finds a market only thanks to the family's "brand name").

Shoji Hamada (1894-1978) was a founding member of the Mingei movement, a living national treasure and the person who saved Mashiko pottery from extinction when he settled there in 1924. It's even been said that much of what gets produced in Mashiko these days shouldn't be called Mashiko-yaki, but Hamada-yaki!

That may be pushing it too far, but it certainly shows the tremendous and unending influence this sophisticated "country" potter had on Mashiko. His son Shinsaku followed in the family trade and became a solid, gracious potter, yet never had the smack of genius that dad possessed. Hamada's top apprentice, the living national treasure Tatsuzo Shimaoka, found fame with a simple rope pattern that really had nothing to do with Mashiko, though he is a wonderful Mashiko-based potter.

Now, though, the winds of fortune are shifting. A new Hamada, Shoji's grandson and Shinsaku's second son, Tomoo (1967-), is creating a new style of Mashiko.
source : Japan Times, June 2004


My Teabowl by Hamada Shoji

(Photo TBA)

Anyway, I have a tea bowl for green powdered tea (chawan) in my collection, which was (probably) made by Hamada when he was staying in Hagi for a while on his way to Okinawa to study Hagi Pottery.

The bowl is 8 cm high and has a diameter of 13,5 cm, the foot 5 cm. It is hand-signed and has a stamp mark (asahi 朝日).
It has a handwritten inscription which I can not completely read, saying something like:

Seeking non-movement in movement
Autum getting deeper
at the village of Uji.

And a signature of the date (also not deciperable)

The painting of Daruma is very simple, almost as if painted by a child.
The pot feels pretty un-used, as if it had been on a shelf for all its life.

UPDATE one day later:
With the help of Robert we figured, this was not HAGI and most probably not Hamada. But behold, read to the end.

Asahi pottery (Asahi-yaki)
Michael Leach, the second son of Bernard Leach
. Hamada Chawan, a mystery unfolds


My Information

Noren ... Door curtains in Katsuama

Take ... Bamboo art in Asia

Take ... Bamboo baskets / photo


External LINK

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Related words

I moved to Mashiko from Minnesota to study with Hamada's student Tatsuzo Shimaoka.
I apprenticed with Shimaoka for 3 years.
***** WKD : Potter Lee from Mashiko

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Meoto Tableware



Meoto Tableware

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Teacups, rice bowls (夫婦茶碗 meotojawan, meoto wan) and other itmes in tandem for husband and wife are quite common and often a present for a wedding.

Read the story about the Takasago legend below.

CLICK for more photos CLICK for more photos

The pieces for the husband are usually a bit larger.
They may be of the same color or different colors and slightly different patterns.


Chopsticks for a couple, meoto bashi 夫婦箸

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Edo hakkakubashi meoto setto 江戸八角箸夫婦セット
chopsticks with 8 corners, from Edo.
They are so good you can hold a piece of tofu without dropping it.
Even now, they are made carefully by hand.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
CLICK for more photos

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Meoto Daruma and Takasago -    夫婦だるまと高砂


shincha kumu itsumo no meoto jawan kana

pooring new green tea
into our couple's cups
as usual

Oma Sachiko 小間さち子
Tr. Gabi Greve


mikkabi zen ni chooju no meotobashi

food tray of the New Year
with our couple's chopsticks
for a long life

Tr. Gabi Greve


yosenabe ya marumi o obiji meotobashi

月成 英信 / gendai haiku

Related words

***** Hashi, O-Hashi ... Chopsticks お箸 おはし

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Kaishi paper


Tea ceremony paper (kaishi )

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Kaishi 懐紙 folded paper, "pocket paper"

Japanese washi paper, folded and tucked inside the front of one's kimono, especially for use at the tea ceremony. It comes in a pad folded in half. It was kept in the overlap of the kimono.
When not in use, it is kept in a small brocade pouch,
kaishi ire 懐紙入れ.

. . . CLICK here for KAISHI Photos !

. . . CLICK here for KAISHI IRE pouches Photos !


Literally, "pocket paper".
A general term for paper used in the tea ceremony which is tucked in the front of the kimono. Used to clean the fingers after wiping the tea bowl, or used as a plate for cakes or sweets served during the ceremony.
Kurasuyama kaishi is famous and is used by the Imperial household.

Washi: Japanese handmade paper
source :  www.origami.as

Kurasuyama washi 烏山和紙


Kaishi from Mino Paper

Kaishi (Japanese paper) is used as a mat to put sweets on, or to wipe the edge of the bowl one has sipped from. People fold and tuck it inside the front or in the sleeve of their kimono at tea ceremonies. However, tea ceremonies are not only occasion to use kaishi. You can use it to decorate tables or plates, or as note paper.

Nowadays, common kaishi is mass manufactured by machines, but this kaishi is traditional handmade Japanese paper. It is a technical challenge to make it so thin. You can almost see though it. It has a natural pulp fiber pattern similar to Japanese classic paper. It is reminiscent of shoji-paper on paper panel doors in a traditional Japanese house. Using premium handmade kaishi is a sign of sophistication, and perfect for tea ceremonies.

Mino paper
The origins of Mino paper are believed to lie in the Nara period (710-794). It is produced by the nagashisuki or tossing method, much like the majority of Japan's handmade paper. This method weaves the fibers extremely tight, resulting in thin but durable paper not unlike cloth. Mino paper is often used in arts such as painting and calligraphy, as well as making gold leaves. It is also good for sliding paper screens often found in Japanese homes. There are 14 Master Craftsmen across 28 firms recognized for their skill and talent for producing Mino paper.
source :  www.everyonestea.com

. Tomobata Flag Festival .
Flags made from Mino paper


Washi, Japanese Paper 和紙

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Famous WASHI-producing areas in Japan

東山和紙  伊勢和紙  
 淡路津名紙  内山紙  
 出雲民芸紙  越中和紙  
 越前和紙  大洲和紙  
 近江和紙  小国和紙  
 小川和紙  桐生和紙  
 烏山和紙  山中和紙    
 笹紙  ちくさ雁皮紙  
 駿河柚野紙  保田和紙 
水俣和紙 柳生和紙
伊勢和紙 黒谷和紙

横野和紙 Okayama, Yokono


hatsu kaishi 初懐紙(はつかいし)"first kaishi paper"

first writing of a haiku (or other poems) on the thin Japanese folded kaishi paper.

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***** Tea Ceremony SAIJIKI

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Hoochoo knife


Knife, knives (hoochoo)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Japanese cutlery

Japanese food takes pride it the various ways food is cut for presentation. There are more than 50 types of knives for different occasions.

Even in a normal family kitchen, there is a rag for many different types of knives which the housewife needs for cutting.


There are a number of different types of Japanese kitchen knives. The most commonly used types in the Japanese kitchen are the deba bocho (kitchen cleaver. robustes Hack- und Wiegemesser ), the santoku hocho (all-purpose utility knife. Allzweckmesser), the nakiri bocho and usuba hocho (Japanese vegetable knives), and the tako hiki 蛸引包丁 and yanagi ba, yanagiba (sashimi slicers. Filetiermesser für Sashimi).

Japanese Cutlery Design and Philosophy

Different from western knives, Japanese knives are often single ground, i.e. sharpened in such a way that only one side holds the cutting edge. As shown in the image, some Japanese knives are angled from both sides, and others are angled only from one side, with the other side of the blade being flat. It was originally believed that a blade angled only on one side cuts better and makes cleaner cuts, though requiring more skill in its use than a blade with a double-beveled edge. Usually, the right hand side of the blade is angled, as most people use the knife with their right hand, with ratios ranging from 70-30 for the average chef's knife, to 90-10 for professional sushi chef knives; left-handed models are rare, and must be specially ordered and custom made.

Since the end of World War II, Western style double-beveled edged knives have become much more popular in Japan, the best example being that of the Santoku, a Japanese adaptation of the gyuto, the French chef's knife. While these knives are usually honed and sharpened on both sides, their blades are still given Japanese-style acute-angle cutting edges along with a very hard temper to increase cutting ability.

Professional Japanese cooks usually own their personal set of knives, which are not used by other cooks. Some cooks even own two sets of knives, which they use alternatively each other day. After sharpening a carbon-steel knife in the evening after use, the user normally lets the knife 'rest' for a day to restore its patina and remove any metallic odour or taste that might otherwise be passed on to the food.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Japanese Kitchen Knife ... 和包丁 ...

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Sakai near Osaka is a famous area for producing kitchen knives.


bataa naifu, butter knife
furuutsu naifu, fruits knife


bunka bocho, bunka boochoo 文化包丁 "culture knife"
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

deba bocho, deba boochoo 出刃包丁(でばぼうちょう) for fish
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

fugu hiki, fuguhiki フグ引き "blowfish puller" for fugu sashimi
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Filetiermesser für Kugelfisch


hamokiri boochoo, knife to cut hamo fish bones
鱧 . はもきり包丁
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katsuo bocho, katsuo boochoo かつお包丁 かつおたたき専用包丁
Used often in Tosa, to cut bonito

. . . CLICK here for Photos from a knife shop !

nakiri bocho, nakiri boochoo なきり包丁、菜切り包丁
for vegetables


Oroshi hocho, oroshiboochoo
( おろし包丁, "wholesale knife") and
hancho hocho (半丁包丁, "half-tool knife")

are extremely long, highly specialized knives used in Japan to fillet tuna and other large fish.

The oroshi hocho is the longer blade with a blade length of 150 cm (60 inches) in addition to a 30 cm (12 inch) handle, and can fillet a tuna in a single cut, although usually two to three people are needed to handle the knife and the tuna. The flexible blade is curved to the shape of the spine to minimize the amount of meat remaining on the tuna chassis. The hancho hocho is the shorter blade with a length of around 100 cm (39 inches) in addition to the handle. The hancho hocho is also sometimes called a maguro kiri ( マグロ切, "tuna-cutter").

They are commonly found at wholesale fish markets in Japan, the largest of which is the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. They may also be found at very large restaurants, but they are not found in the regular Japanese kitchen, unless there is a frequent need to fillet tuna with a weight of 200 kg (440 pounds) or more.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. . . CLICK here for Photos : マグロ包丁 Maguro Knife!

Tsukiji, the big fish market in Tokyo 築地市場, Tsukiji shijoo


santoku bocho, santoku boochoo 三得包丁(さんとくぼうちょう)"knife with three virtues", the ways to use, for fish, meat and vegetables

soba boochoo, 蕎麦包丁 to cut buckwheat noodles. It weighs about 1 kg to facilitate rythmical cutting of the noodles.
Cutting buckwheat noodles, sobakiri 蕎麦切り is a difficult job.
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takohiki タコ引 "octopus puller" to cut for sashimi
It is used in the Kanto area with a rectangular end.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Usuba boochoo, thin blade knife 薄刃包丁(うすばぼうちょう)
usually used to cut vegetables

yanagi bocho, boochoo 柳包丁 Yanagi Sashimi knife
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

ikejime いけじめ / 活けじめ / ikijime (活き締め / 生き締め /活〆) a method of preparing fish. It involves making a cut just above the tail and then the insertion of a spike quickly and directly into the hind brain thereby causing immediate brain death. A fish brain is usually located slightly behind and above the eye. When spiked correctly, the fish fins flare and the fish relaxes, immediately ceasing all motion. The blood contained in the fish flesh retracts to the gut cavity, which produces a better coloured and flavoured fillet. If fish suffer pain, then this method seems to minimize the pain.

Ike Jime has been successfully used manually in the tuna and yellowtail industries along with limited use in sport and gamefishing, and provides a rapid slaughter technique with concurrent quality benefits. Rather than cutting their throats and leaving them to die by bleeding, research indicates it is better to use ike jime and put the fish straight into an ice slurry. Fish being exported to Japan and certain other markets should not be allowed to die naturally, but should be killed immediately after being brought on board by using Ike Jime method.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


The traditional blade is quite different from its Western knives. First, it is a hand laminated blade with a very hard steel face (Rc62 to Rc64) laminated to a wrought-iron back. The use of very hard steel requires the soft back both for the damping qualities and to provide an element of toughness that the steel face alone would not have. Second, a traditional Japanese knife has a hollow face for faster sharpening and to make it easier to maintain flatness.

source :  Watanabe Blade Specialist


The Art of Slicing Fish and Fowl in Medieval Japan
By Xenia Heinickel
In Western eyes, the delicately cut piece of food is often regarded as central to traditional Japanese cooking. The skilful use of the knife is indeed one of the most prominent features of the Japanese kitchen, and mastery of various cutting-techniques is a matter of course to the Japanese chef as well as to the ambitious homemaker. However, the origins of this focus on the knife as the most favored kitchen tool are not well understood. The search for these origins leads us back many a century to the world of classical and medieval Japan and to one of the least known of the Japanese arts:, the art of slicing the meats of fish and fowl.

The first traces of this art are to be found in the classical or Heian period (794-1185 CE). Heian Japan was a large aristocractic-bureaucratic state in which the court nobles held an unrivalled position as the political and cultural leaders. The core and center of their world was the capital Heiankyo (modern Kyoto), where the Emperor’s court and other spacious residences were situated There the nobles led leisurely lives, with their days dedicated to the refinement of various arts, aesthetic ideas, and pastimes, one of which was cooking.

source : www.medievalists.net


Hoochoodoo, hocho do 庖丁道 the way of the knife

Handed down since the Heian period with elaborate rituals.

Fujiwara Yamakage 藤原山陰
Father of Japanese Cuisine

Chunagon Fujiwara no Yamakage (824 - 888)

He was the founder of the Shijoo school of kitchen knives users (chefs), 四条流庖丁式の創始者, uniting the rituals performed at Shinto Shrines for the Deity Iwakamutsukari no Mikoto 磐鹿六雁命 initiated by 末裔高橋氏 .
Founder of the ceremony for the use of kitchen knives, ritual of the kitchen knife.
Yamakage-style kitchen knife wielding was later named after him.

Yamakage ryuu Hoochoo shiki 山陰流包丁式, this is the most famous cooking tradtion of itamae cooks handed down till now.
Performed on April 18 at the temple Soji-Ji (Soojiji 総持寺) Nr. 22 on the Saigoku Pilgrimage to 33 Kannon-Temples.
As a child, Yamakage has been saved by Kannon from a deathly peril and this temple is often visited by mothers. It also never burned down and this Kannon is therefore good for praying from fire protection (hiyoke Kannon).
Yamakage was a famous cook, famous for his use of the kitchen knife. He cooked for the sculptor for 1000 days while he carved the Kannon statue. During the "Knife Ceremony" special cuts are performed on fish lying on a manaita cutting block.

Outside in the garden is a "mound of kitchen knives" (hoochoozuka 包丁塚).

Shrine Yoshida Jinja was founded when Fujiwara Yamakage enshrined the guardian God of the Heian Capital here in 859 A.D.

There is another hoochoo shiki in Chiba prefecture.
God of Iwakamutsukari no Mikoto in Takabe Shrine

Toward the end of the Yayoi period, the story of Iwakamutsukari no Mikoto, the first-ever kitchen chef, is told in the Nihon-shoki chronicles of Japan.

The 12th emperor, Emperor Keikou 景行天皇, visited Awa no miya 安房の浮宮 to pay his respects to the late imperial prince Yamato Takeru no Mikoto. There he was presented with a dish called "Umugi no Namasu 白蛤の膾(うむぎのなます)" (clams, or in some versions, abalone or katsuo bonito). He liked this dish and gave the cook the surname Kashiwade no Omi 膳臣(かしわでのおみ) and appointed him to Kashiwade no Otomobe to be his chef.
This first cooking chef was enshrined as the god of cooking at Takabe Shrine in Chiba.

包丁式は、高家神社で行われます。日本で唯一料理の祖神, 磐鹿六雁命を祀った神社です。

. . . CLICK here for Photos of Takabe Shrine and the Knife Ritual!

Special Soft Senbei in memory of this knife ritual

. Ankoo hoonoo hoochoo shiki 鮟鱇奉納庖丁式
ceremony to cut an ankoo
at the shrine Oarai Isozaki Jinja, Ibaraki

包丁式 四條祭 View the ceremony here
source : www.youtube.com
Click on the other video provided on the left side for more.

The word "kappoo 割烹" or cuisine contains the real meaning of Japanese cooking.
It is made up of the character "katsu," which means "to cut 割," and "hoo 烹," which means "to boil."

Kiru ... Ways of cutting Japanese food


There are a number of different types of Japanese kitchen knives. The most commonly used types in the Japanese kitchen are the deba bocho (kitchen cleaver), nakiri bocho and usuba bocho (Japanese vegetable knives), and the tako hiki and yanagi ba (sashimi slicers).

Different from western knives, Japanese knives are often forged in a way that only one side holds the cutting edge, i.e. the bevel is only on one side.

Read the details here
quote * Japanese kitchen knives

Things found on the way

. Knives from Echizen .
Takefu Knife village (タケフナイフヴィレッジ)


. Kumamoto Folk Art and Craft - 熊本県  .

Kawajiri hoochoo 川尻包丁 Kawajiri Hocho Knives (Kawashiri)

- quote -
Kawajiri Knives
Passed down for more than 500 years, Kawajiri knives trace their origins to swordsmith Naminohira Yukiyasu, who lived during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). In the Edo Period (1603-1868), the area’s ruling Hosokawa family emphasized Kawajiri as a center of development, resulting in the cultivation of crafts such as shipbuilding, woodworking and sword-making, many of which have been passed on to this day.

Kawajiri blades are characterized by a manufacturing method known as warikomi-tanzo, or cut-in forging, which is still used today. High quality steel is inserted into a base metal known as goku-nantetsu, or extra-soft iron, and thoroughly tempered by hand. The blades made using this method are sharp, durable, and have a dignified beauty. It’s said that it takes at least 10 years to master this technique and become a sword-smith.

Prior to World War 2, Kawajiri knives were manufactured in about 50 shops, but as of 2013, just two smithies take on the entire manufacturing process. However, their high quality still boasts a strong brand power, and requests are made from throughout Japan.

Kawajiri thrived as a trading port from its early days, and various crafts, including Kawajiri knives, have been passed down to modern times. Visitors can find numerous traditional crafts represented in the Kawajiri shopping district, with demonstrations of knife-forging presented at the Kumamoto City Handcrafts Promotion Center located right in the area.

- 熊本県伝統工芸館 Kumamoto Dento Kogei Kan
- source : Japan brand 3361 -


Hamono Matsuri 刃物祭り Knife Festival - Cutlery Festival

Seki Town, Gifu 関市岐阜
source : city.seki.lg.jp


- quote
Tokyo Uchihamono 東京打刃物 Hand-Forged Blades
Traditional Technologies and Techniques
1- During forge welding, borax is inserted between the ferrite and steel portions of the workpiece, then the materials are heated to approximately 900°C (1,652°F) and swiftly struck with a hammer in order to combine them. Care must be taken to avoid overheating the materials, as doing so may result in loss of steel content.
2- Following heating in the forge, annealing is achieved by placing the workpiece in coal dust or straw ashes and allowing it to cool naturally.
3- During quenching, a workpiece that has been heated in the forge to approximately 800°C (1,472°F) until it glows uniformly red is quickly cooled through submersion in water, this increases the blade's hardness.
4- Following quenching, the blade is heated again at a low temperature in the forge to temper it while the craftsman monitors its surface appearance. This imparts suitable toughness to the blade.

Traditionally Used Raw Materials
Steel, ferrite - 鋼(はがね)、地鉄(じがね)

History and Characteristics
According to the Nihon Shoki, one of the oldest and most important chronicles of Japanese history, blacksmithing was first carried out in Japan in 583, when smiths were invited to Japan from the Korean Silla Kingdom during the reign of the Emperor Bidatsu 敏達 (the 30th emperor of Japan, reigned 572-585). The Japanese supposedly learned how to forge steel from these visiting smiths.

Swordsmiths appeared as the samurai class rose to power. These craftsmen steadily improved their skills, eventually devising a method of forming blades with soft iron and attaching steel along the cutting edges. This created the soft yet sharp-cutting blades that are unique to Japan.

After Tokugawa Ieyasu established the Edo Shogunate in 1603, merchants moved to Edo from all over Japan. The names of metal casters and forging experts were also recorded among the lists of craftsmen who served the Shogunate.

The Edokanoko, one of the most informative general guidebooks to the city of the Edo Period, has a description about blacksmithing in relation to blades. It lists craftsmen who offered pointed carving knives (deba-bocho) that were formed through hammering. The guidebook tells us that swordsmiths also produced razors, kitchen knives and other bladed implements in addition to their main trade in swords.

Japan enjoyed a period of peace from the mid-Edo Period onward. During this time, an increasing number of swordsmiths changed their production focus, utilizing their smithing techniques to create the implements and blades needed for everyday life. In other words, many of them transformed themselves into town blacksmiths.

Following the fall of the Edo Shogunate and the Sword Abolishment Act of 1871, which prohibited ordinary people from carrying weapons, most of the remaining swordsmiths were forced to start making commercial and kitchen implements. They responded to the nation's Westernization (known as bunmei kaika, "the civilization and enlightenment movement") by applying their inherited skills to the manufacture of Western-style blades.

Tokyo Cutlery Industrial Association
- source : www.sangyo-rodo.metro.tokyo.jp

. Echizen uchi-hamono 越前打刃物 cutlery, hand-forged blades from Echizen .
Takefu Knife Village in Takefu 武生市


Miyabi Messer von Zwilling, Deutschland


hoochoo hajime 庖丁始(ほうちょうはじめ)
first use of the kitchen knife
kigo for the New Year


observance kigo for the New Year

. Tsuru no hoochoo 鶴の包丁 "cutting a crane" .
court ritual



aki nasu ya ura omote aru waboochoo

autumn eggplants -
the two sides of this
Japanese knife

source :  www.nhk.or.jp
Tr. Gabi Greve

Related words

History of Japanese Food Culture

Kiru ... Ways of cutting Japanese food

Chopping board (manaita まな板 / 俎板)

***** WASHOKU ... Tableware and Tools

Küchenmesser , Kochmesser #hoochoo #kitchenknife #wabocho