What do all these Japanese words mean?

November 30, 2017

Sun = An old unit of measurement in Japan, similar to our inch, but divided into ten “bu.” Ten sun = one shaku, about a foot. 1 sun ≈ 1.193 in

Hocho = “Kitchen knife.” Also seen as “bocho.” Literally in Japanese it means “kitchen worker,” which is indeed what these knives are.

Fukugozai = “Composite material.” At Carter Cutlery, this refers to a core of white steel with SUS410 stainless steel on the outside.

Kurouchi = “Black hammered.” A knife that has the upper half of the blade unpolished. Very characteristic of traditional Japanese knives.

Wabocho = “Japanese kitchen knife.”

Santoku = “Three virtues.” A multi-purpose knife that can be used for both push- and draw-cutting of meat, vegetables and fish. Great for chopping and scooping, and easy to sharpen.

Funayuki = “Ship going.” Fishermen used these as they were versatile knives. Great for simple food prep, chopping, and draw-cutting.

Nakiri = “Veggie cutter.” Square end with upturn blade edge makes for push-cutting all kinds of greens with precision. Nakiris posses the unique characteristic of not reducing in length after years of sharpening.

Sujihiki = “Sinew puller.” A long thin slicer for cutting along the sinew to separate large hunks of meat cleanly.

Gyuto = “Beef knife.” Similar to a Western chef knife. Lengthy ones are used for slicing and carving meat, shorter ones for detailed work.

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