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Higonokami

Higonokami VG10 Stainless Steel Clad Folding Knife

Higonokami VG10 Stainless Steel Clad Folding Knife

Regular price $69.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $69.00 USD
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Own a piece of Japanese heritage with the Higonokami VG-10 Stainless Steel Clad Folding Knife. This exceptional tool features a "Warikomi" blade construction, where VG-10 stainless steel is uniquely layered to create a strong, durable blade with a sharp, V-shaped cutting edge. The double-edged design allows for use by both left and right-handed individuals, making it a truly versatile everyday carry knife.

The Higonokami name represents a legacy of craftsmanship that stretches back to the late 19th century. Originally hand-forged by skilled artisans in Hyogo, Japan, these knives were renowned for their meticulous construction and practical design. Today, Nagao Kanekoma Factory, established in 2021 by the fifth generation of the Nagao family, carries the torch as the sole producer of genuine Higonokami knives. This VG-10 version offers excellent stain resistance while maintaining the classic Higonokami heritage.

Detail

Handle length: 10.0cm / 3.9in
Handle: Stainless Steel

Care & Use

  • Handwash only
  • Please be careful when opening and closing the blade. Higonokami recommends pushing the Chikiri (tail) with your thumb to open the blade safely
  • Keep it dry
  • Avoid cutting through bones
  • No metal scrubs or abrasive detergents
  • Store safely
  • Sharpen as needed
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The Enduring Higonokami Knives

The Higonokami folding knife boasts a rich history deeply rooted in Japanese craftsmanship. In its early days, these knives were meticulously crafted by hand in Hyogo, a region renowned for its metalworking tradition. Each piece was a testament to skilled artisanship, with blades forged from a combination of steel and iron, housed in beautifully decorated sheaths of brass or black-dyed iron. These sheaths were often adorned with intricate carvings depicting landscapes, figures, or nature, reflecting the artistic flair of the makers. The production process was slow and deliberate, with a single craftsman typically making only a handful of sets per day.

A turning point came in 1894, when a hardware wholesaler in Hyogo was inspired by a folding knife from another region. He envisioned a more practical and affordable design for everyday use.  His design featured a folding blade and sheath operated by a small lever on the blade itself. He named it after a former province, now Kumamoto prefecture, where many of his customers resided, a decision that proved instrumental in its success.  This knife, later known as the Higonokami named after the Kumamoto region, became a popular choice throughout Japan once the Taisho Emperor purchased one himself. The design itself evolved over time, with blade shapes transitioning and sheath styles changing.  However, the industry faced challenges later on, including competition from mass-produced utility knives and social campaigns discouraging knife ownership. This ultimately led to a decline in manufacturers, with only a single maker remaining today who can use the original Higonokami trademark.

Brand History

In 1894, a hardware wholesaler named Mr. Tasaburo Shigematsu sought to create a more practical and affordable design inspired by a folding knife he encountered.  The resulting Higonokami knife, named after the former province where many of his customers resided, featured a folding blade and sheath operated by a small lever.  This innovation, coupled with the growing popularity of the design, led to the formation of the "Higonokami Knife Union" in 1899.

The union embodied the collective spirit of these artisans, with the Nagao family at its heart.  Komataro Nagao, the founder, established a company to produce knives in Miki City before transitioning to Higonokami production.  Following generations, Shigeharu Nagao secured the Higonokami trademark, while Akira, Motosuke, and the current generation's Mitsuo Nagao continued to refine and develop the design.  In 2021, Mitsuo Nagao took a significant step by formally establishing Nagao Kanekoma Factory Co., Ltd., solidifying the company's legacy and ensuring the future of this cherished craft.  Today, Nagao Kanekoma Factory stands as the sole producer of genuine Higonokami knives, carrying forward the legacy of these dedicated artisans.