Ever since I was a young boy, I have been fascinated with blades. Why some blades would cut and others would not was a mystery to me that I felt compelled to solve. A chance encounter at age 15 with a karate instructor began my love affair with Japan. A trip to Japan when I was 18 years old led to an unexpected encounter with an amazing man, Sensei Yasuyuki Sakemoto who I would come to learn was the 16th Generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith and whose family custom forged samurai swords for some of Japan’s most influential feudal lords. In time, my relationship with Sensei Sakemoto led to a unique six year apprenticeship and upon its completion, I was asked to continue on in the 420 year old family bladesmithing tradition as the 17th Generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith.
I worked as a village bladesmith for 12 more years, constantly availing myself to other industry experts to glean what I could and spent many long hours in the forge putting my new found skills and knowledge to practice. I introduced my hand-forged Japanese kitchen knives to the Western market in June 1997 and achieved Master Smith rating through the American Bladesmith Society in June 2001.
In 2005, I moved to Oregon and have been busy plying my trade ever since. To date, I have forged and completed over 25,000 knives, all of which were faithfully crafted using the traditional techniques I brought with me from Japan.
I maintain strong ties to my roots in Japan, faithfully visiting Sensei Sakemoto and source all of my essential materials from there as well. These regular trips keep my fluent Japanese language skills up to par and keep me in the Japanese craftsman’s mindset, which I have found to be so essential to creating the world’s best knives.
Besides pouring my heart and soul into the creation of my blades and being dedicated to looking after all of my customer’s long term cutlery needs. I am now also setting aside time to pass on the knowledge and skills to the next generation by painstakingly training young apprentices who work under my direct supervision.
The tradition continues as Sensei Sakemoto passed the skills on to me so now I take great pride and pleasure in passing the skills on to the next generation.