Our Blacksmiths

We have selected a small number of select Japanese blacksmiths to work with at the Sharp Chef. Below is a short biography of the blacksmiths and their heritage and style:


Without doubt one of the most prominent Japanese blacksmiths with over 600 years of history. Sakai Takayuki are based in Sakai, Osaka Prefucture and use technology alongside traditional methods in order to be able to produce exceptional quality knives on a large scale. As such, they are popular all over the world and present in many professional kitchens.


Masutani is a small but super skilled blacksmith form Echizen with a reputation as an expert sharpener. When a blacksmith is famously known as an excellent sharpener, you know you knife is going to be a fantastic performer. 

All Masutani knives are under £100 and are easily comparable with most knives significantly more expensive. The quality of craftsmanship, materials and performance is second to none at this price.


Iseya knives are made under Blacksmith Yoshinori Seto. As one of the higher volume blacksmiths, Iseya produces knives in droves, supplying chefs and home cooks all over the world. These are excellent knives, well made, performing and lasting well for many years.

 Shigeki Tanaka:

Shigeki Tanaka is a young, passionate and highly skilled craftsman. Tanaka-San has gained his knife-making skill through training in Takefu, Fukui. With his exceptional craftsmanship, and unique yet traditional design, his knives offer something a bit different to the more common hammered Damascus knives.

Yoshimi Kato:

Yoshimi Kato is the Son of Hiroshi Kato, one of the greatest masters of this craft and teacher to many, including Yoshimi Kato and none other than Yu Kurosaki. Yoshimi Kato takes over from Hiroshi Kato (who has retired) making his own brand of knives.

Kato-san was once a Project Manager, and his planned and precise design and production shows a real eye for detail and drive for perfection. 

Made with the upmost traditions, painstaking methods and keenness for quality, Kato knives are absolutely stunning and a perfect gift for any chef or keen cook.

Nao Yamamoto:

Born in 1979. After serving several apprentice-ships in Takefu, Yamamoto-San has inherited his techniques from the masters. Nao Yamamoto is now incredibly successful, producing masterful knives that not only perform like precision pieces, but are stunningly crafted from the highest of quality materials.

His knife shaped fish bone was awarded Ars prize in 2013 at the All Nippon Knife Show in Kobe.

Takamura Knives:

In 1945 research into stainless steels was still fairly limited. At that time Takamura Hamono became a forerunner in developing the best quality stainless steel knives available and has since spent 60 years perfecting their blends. They have created many different steel types to find the perfect balance of edge retention and wear resistance. Their knives' unmatched cutting performance is recognized not only throughout Japan, but by famous chefs worldwide.



Tojiro offers excellent quality knives on a more modern higher volume scale by mixing modern machinery with traditional techniques. This achieves amazing quality, especially for the modest price, with levels of sharpness and durability aimed at professional kitchen use.

The values instilled in Tojiro's production, coupled with the value for money make them a no brainer. A very full range of excellent knives should offer you everything you need.