Story of Japanese Knife Co.

Unleash Your Culinary Potential 

Handcrafted Knives x Extraordinary Creations 

Enter a realm unifying craftsmanship and tradition in extraordinary creations that embody Japanese culinary mastery.  In this enchanting world, the boundaries between art and utility blur, revealing skillful craftsmanship and time-honored traditions.  This exquisite fusion of form and function defines these remarkable culinary instruments.

Within the realm of Japanese knives, two remarkable artisans stand as pillars of excellence, their names whispered with reverence amongst connoisseurs and collectors.  These masters connect deeply to their predecessors, channeling ancient traditions and techniques.

Methods once employed in forging legendary samurai swords have been revived to create awe-inspiring culinary instruments that are as much works of art as tools of gastronomic mastery.

The attention to detail in every curve, edge, and delicate balance infuses these blades with a sense of purpose and finesse that cannot be mass-produced.

This is the art of the Japanese knife, a mesmerizing dance between creator and creation that elevates these knives beyond mere utensils into conduits of culinary inspiration.

Our knives travel from the heartland of Japan to the shores of the USA and beyond to the hands of discerning chefs and home cooks.  It's the reason we exist.  Our mission is shared by parent companies Japanese Green Tea Co. and Japanese Coffee Co., championing Japan's finest products globally for over 30 years.

We welcome you to join us on this extraordinary culinary odyssey, where tradition meets innovation, craftsmanship reigns supreme, and each cut carries the weight of history.

Discover the Masters:
Introducing the Three Legendary Knife Makers at Japanese Knife Co.

At Japanese Knife Co., we offer an extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in the mastery of two legendary knife makers: Mr. Sukesada UetaSugimoto Knife and Asano Kajiya. Our company takes pride in being one of the select few exporting their magnificent creations, enabling knife enthusiasts worldwide to experience their unrivaled craftsmanship.

Their knives are renowned for their razor-sharp edges, exceptional durability, and exquisite design.  Each knife reflects the dedication and passion of these masters.  Immerse yourself in the captivating narratives of Mr. Sukesada Ueta and Sugimoto Knife as you explore their extraordinary works, and elevate your culinary experience to new heights.

Mr. Sukesada Ueta 

Mr. Sukesada Ueta (刀工 上田祐定) is a legendary skilled blacksmith who specializes in creating high-quality knives. He was born in 1947 and has dedicated his life to perfecting the art of creating knives in the traditional Japanese style, using only 100% steel and an ancient ironmaking method known as "Tatara.(たたら)" This unique process involves using iron sand from various regions around Japan and heating it to a relatively low temperature (1200 to 1300°C) to create pure steel. By doing so, Mr. Ueta's knives boast an excellent cutting edge and a distinctive pattern on the blade and surface, a hallmark of Japanese knives.

In April 2016, the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency recognized his company as a "superior company." (中小企業庁より「優良企業」として「企業白書」に認定) With his extensive knowledge, experience, and passion, Mr. Ueta is a true master of creating traditional Japanese knives.

He specializes in creating authentic Edo-era style knives, using only 100% steel to ensure that each blade is durable and long-lasting so that it can be passed down from generation to generation.

He uses mochi-iron (餅鉄) and iron sand from various regions of Japan to make the steel used in their knives, using the traditional Japanese Tatara-style ironmaking method. This method produces steel with excellent cutting quality and a distinctive grain pattern. As a result, it is favored by many knife makers in Japan, who mostly use steel produced by the same association.

Mr. Ueta is one of the few knife makers who use a combination of different types of iron sand from various regions, making his knives unique in terms of their composition and quality. In addition, Mochitsetsu only uses Japanese iron sand rather than importing foreign iron or steel, further emphasizing their commitment to preserving traditional Japanese methods and materials.

Tatara-style ironmaking is a unique Japanese method with over a thousand-year history. The Tatara-style ironmaking method is renowned for producing some of the world's finest and most exquisite steel. His commitment to preserving this ancient and revered method speaks to his dedication to traditional Japanese crafts and techniques.

Mr. Ueta injured his finger on March 2nd 2023; due to it, he is not able to produce the knife for a couple of months. Please read about it here.

Media Appearances:

Mr. Ueta on PBS, This is America
Mr. Ueta on PBS Interview (This is America & World) - Nov 2015

  • US TV station PBS "This is America" interview (above)
  • Interviewed by Prime Minister's Office (首相官邸 取材協力)
  • Fuji TV's nationwide live broadcast Everyone's News
  • TV Show - Rurouni Kenshin Japan-wide
  • World Cutting Tool Conference 2013 (WCTC2013) 
  • BS Japan Furusato ha! 
  • Town Information Okayama's March issue "Place to Visit" featured
  • Yomiuri Shinbun Newspaper, Morning Edition
  • Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japanese-German Youth Exchange Project (NHK, RNC, KSB News)
  • Asahi Newspaper published on October 6, 2011
  • Mainichi Newspaper published on October 1, 2011
  • Participated in the 9th Okayama Prefecture Citizen Culture Festival, 2011
  • Asahi newspaper published on July 30, 2011
  • Featured on NHK News in June 2011
  • Published in the Yomiuri Newspaper on May 4, 2011
  • Broadcast on Yamaguchi Broadcasting in January 2011
  • Published in the Yomiuri newspaper on January 1, 2011
  • 25th National Culture Festival Okayama 2010 support project
  • Broadcast on KSB Setouchi Sea Broadcasting on October 18, 2010
  • Yudai Ueda lecture at Okayama University Grinding Processing Society
  • Yomiuri Newspaper published on August 29, 2010
  • And many more appearances

  • Sugimoto Knife

    Sugimoto Knife

    Founded in July of 1908 during the Tenpō era (天保), Sugimoto (杉本) is a company steeped in a rich history of blacksmithing and knife-making expertise. The company's founder, Kipei Sugimoto(杉本喜平), started the business in Tokyo. He used the ancestral knife-making skills passed down from generation to generation in his family. Since then, the company has continued to innovate and grow, becoming one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality, affordable kitchen knives in the early Showa period. 

    Sugimoto was officially established on July 1, 1948, and has since flourished with a capital of ten million yen as of 1994. The company is led by President and CEO Koji Sugimoto (杉本弘治). Sugimoto's headquarters is in the Chuo district of Tokyo, with additional branches in Nishi-Katsushika. The company has a long history of successful business ventures, dating back to 1895. The founder was born in Takefu, Fukui (福井県武生市), as the third son of a blacksmith, Kiyoji Sugimoto (杉本亀吉).

    Sugimoto craftsmanship

    Sugimoto has continued to expand and improve its operations throughout its history. In 1933, the company relocated its principal office and factory to Ueno, Taitō, due to the move of the central wholesale market from Nihonbashi to Tsukiji. In the same year, the company opened additional sales locations in Kamata and Omori. In 1948, the business was officially established to provide customers with high-quality products and excellent service.

    Sugimoto has a strong reputation for its exceptional products and services and continues to operate with the same dedication and passion it did over a century ago. With a commitment to tradition, innovation, and customer satisfaction, it is truly a company with a remarkable legacy.

    Sugimoto Knife


    Company Timeline

    • 1895: Kiyoji Sugimoto was born as the third son of Kamaki Sugimoto, a blacksmith in Takefu, Fukui. 
    • 1908: With his mother and siblings, Kiyoji Sugimoto moved to Tokyo and started manufacturing kitchen knives using the traditional blade-making technology he inherited from his family. Over time, with his technology and research, the company became a manufacturer of high-quality, affordable products in the early Showa period. (At that time, the company/s name was "Tokyo Blade Manufacturing Factory and Sugimoto Blade Store.")
    • 1933: Due to the move of the Tsukiji fish market from Nihonbashi to Tsukiji, the store was newly established in Tsukiji (current location). Sales outlets were also opened near the Kamata Station and the Omori Market. That year, to expand the business, the head office and factory were moved and newly established in Aobadai, Taitō-ku. Direct manufacturing and sales services then began.
    • 1944: All sales activities were closed due to the worsening of the Pacific War.
    • 1945: All was lost due to the war except for the Tsukiji store.
    • 1946: The current location became the head office, factories were established in Tokyo and other regions, and business resumed.
    • 1948: Kiyoji Sugimoto became president and established Sugimoto Blade Co., Ltd. At this time, using the traditional special techniques of Sugimoto, several types of Chinese knives using Japanese steel were completed and put on sale.
    • 1949: The complete set of high-quality Tsukabiki beef knives for professional use was completed, and sales started.
    • 1960: Kiyoji Sugimoto was appointed C.E.O. and President.
    • 1962: Sales began in first-class department stores in Tokyo.
    • 1970: All-handmade "S.H.M." marked professional beef knife manufacturing, and sales began.

    Asano Kajiya

    Asano Kajiya

    When you’re about to step into Asano Kajiya's workshop in Egira-cho, you expect to encounter the stoic world of traditional Japanese blacksmiths absorbed in their iron-forging craft. But then, something unexpected happens. You hear someone passionately explaining Samurai sword-making techniques in native French, leaving you momentarily confused. The clinking of metal on metal and the sound of Japanese being spoken brings you back to reality.

    A blacksmith emerges at the entrance, wiping the sweat off his forehead. His warm smile instantly puts you at ease. And with that, you're welcomed into the captivating world of Asano Kajiya’s workshop, a place that has given birth to countless Samurai swords and welcomed people from all walks of life - from curious children to global celebrities. Here, creative magic, diversity, and the time-honored craft of Samurai sword-making come together in a harmonious blend, crafting a truly unique experience.


    Established in 2004 in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture, and later relocated to Hashima City in 2006, Asano Kajiya, led by master swordsmith Taro Asano, envisions blacksmithing as more than a craft. It strives to become an "Entertainment-oriented Forge," expanding its activities to include inbound tourism, tourism-related ventures, social media engagement, and innovative product development.

    Asano Kajiya's commitment to showcasing the beauty of blacksmithing as an art form and entertainment is a testament to its dedication to both preserving tradition and embracing innovation. Its commitment to diversity and being accessible to the younger generation and people outside Japan is exemplary.

    It holds knife and sword-making workshops and has exchange programs with bladesmiths from all over the world (currently, there are apprentices from Memphis (USA), France, and Japan). They work and host knife-making workshops for both domestic and international visitors to the workshop.

    Kitchen Knives that are Born from「刀鍛治」(Samurai Swordsmithing)

    Asano Kajiya started their journey as a sword-making company, and they still continue to do so besides crafting kitchen knives. In Japanese, the word “Samurai” holds the meaning of “貴人に仕え、支える人”(a person that serves and supports the nobility). For Asano Kajiya, the nobility is the knife user, and every knife is hand-made with the hope of being able to support and serve the knife user in his daily cooking.

    Outstanding Precision in Cutting

    Each bladesmith at Asano Kajiya has a background deeply rooted in swordsmithing and is a master of Japanese steel, known as ” (Hagane). Their expertise allows them to perfect the sharpness of every Asano Kajiya kitchen knife at a molecular level, creating the sensation that the blade effortlessly draws itself into the ingredient.

    These blades are also designed to handle ingredients delicately, safeguarding their delicate fibers to ensure the preservation of maximum flavor and nutrients.

    Company Timeline

    • 1997: Began apprenticeship under the 25th-generation master swordsmith, Kanefusa Fujiwara.
    • 2004: Founded in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture
    • 2005: Conducted a public forging demonstration of Japanese swords in Canada.
    • 2006: Relocated the forge to Hashima City, Gifu Prefecture.
    • 2012: France (invited by the International Swords Association) Japanese sword public training
    • 2013: Provided instruction on forging techniques (Sponsored by Tamahagane Art) in Canada. 
    • 2014: Conducted a public forging demonstration of Japanese swords as part of the World Heritage Site Citadel de Besançon event in France.
    • 2017: Established the Japan-US Joint Development Research Institute (Seattle, USA).
    • 2018: Established the Japan-US Joint Development Research Institute (Seattle, USA).

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