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 Post subject: Gihei knives info
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7887
Location: Madison Wisconsin
I often ask my distributors or agents to give me some background on knife makers we deal with. Since this little blacksmith shop is not well known I thought I would share what I have on them. I'll be visiting Sanjo City next year so I'll be stopping at all the shops up there that we do business with.

Here is what my guy wrote about Gihei. They've been making my Richmond ZDP189 knives for a few years and now I'm offering the HAP40 line with their name on them as well. I love their work.

After visiting a bunch of shops now it's incredible how many father and son or brother teams I've come across. It's really the norm with most of the blacksmiths we deal with to have related family members working together.



I got some photos from Gihei-Hamono and the size is too large
to send via. e-mail. Just would like to suggest to have share-folder
in DB. The invitation will be sent and you will see pictures uploaded
to the folder.

I have general information on the factory. Gihei factory has two
workers now: Mr.Atushi Hosokawa(forth generation) and his son,
Mr.Takashi Hosokawa(fifth generation). Mr.Atsushi Hosokawa started
to work in 1956 and Mr.Takashi Hosokawa in 1995. Mr.Takashi
Hosokawa's grand father, Mr.Kouhei Hosokawa, took over the name
'Gihei' from Mr.Toyosaku Sakai(second generation) and started his
factory in 1927. They don't know the first 'Gihei's name. The founder
should have started in the end of Edo era(~1865). As long as Mr.Takashi
Hosokawa knows, the third generation and earlier generation were making
lots of tools and kitchen knives in specially fall and winter. In Japan, we
had nicknames(or Ya-go) like ~Ya. (e.g. each Kabuki actors has those nick-
names(or stage names) like Narita-ya, Edo-ya, Otowa-ya, Omodaka-ya.
Audience call those names when the actor appears on the stage).
We call Gihei family as 'Shibata-ya' and we had three(at least) kitchen
knife factories in Sanjo. The founder was from old town, Shibata(now Shibata
city). Another Shibata-ya family knife maker is Mr.Sumio Kawamura* and
Hirotomo-kogyo, which closed the factory in 2007 or so. They are usually
good at thin blades such as Nakiri. Shibata-ya family had the symbol mark
of 'Horse' in common. Mr.Takashi Hosokawa doesn't know the reason, but,
as long as we could guess, the first 'Gihei' master named after old Samurai
worrier, Minamoto-no-Yoshi-Hira(源義平**)(1141-1160) around Kamakura-era
(the name, Gihei, uses same Kanji characters as Yoshihira) and he fought
on the horse so...Horse symbol should be related to it...(maybe?)

*His father learned how to make kitchen knives from second generation
of 'Gihei', Mr.Toyosaku Sakai. So Mr.Hosokawa and Mr.Kawamura are
not related directly. Mr.Kawamura makes kitchen knives under the name
'Yoshi-mune'.

**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minamoto_no_Yoshihira
**http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%BA%90%E7%BE%A9%E5%B9%B3

Now Mr.Takashi Hosokawa has been developing new knives
w/ good materials. They are trying to make different types of
kitchen knives w/ others to make users happy to use.

Hope it answers your question and you have a GD!



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 Post subject: Re: Gihei knives info
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
Posts: 7887
Location: Madison Wisconsin
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 Post subject: Re: Gihei knives info
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:18 pm
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Location: Madison Wisconsin
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