There is something absolutely sacred about a knife, isn’t there? A knife carries a significance that transcends far beyond the physical object that it is. For most of us, knives embody emotional, historical and sentimental importance. Think of the Swiss Army knife you’ve had since you were a kid (the one your father or grandfather gave you). Or the filleting knife that was your Dad’s, that he used when he was a teenager on camping trips. Or the cleaver that’s been in your kitchen for as long as you remember, and has cut through more carcasses than you could possibly count.
Everyone is obsessed with knives on some level or another. For those who enjoy spending a lot of time in the kitchen, knives are the crucial tools. They’ve got it all. At their best, they represent utility, practicality, efficiency, strength, beauty, and of course, danger.
We’ve always been fairly pleased with the reliable German knives in our kitchen. They’ve served us well for more than a decade now and show no signs of falling down on the job. But recently, the shine has been taken off them, so to speak, because we learned where the best knives in the world come from. The Germans do many things well, but when it comes to knives, they’ve got nothing on the Japanese.
Japan has a history of sword making, and from that derives a passion for crafting the best of all sorts of blades. From the incredible focus blacksmiths have on creating the absolute best steel, to the master craftsmen who make the handles, all the way to the sharpeners who hone and polish the knives to perfection, Japanese knives have no rival.
The passion that Olivia Go and Ivan Fonseca have for Japanese knives is simply infectious. Their store, Tosho Knife Arts, sells nothing but the best knives Japan has to offer. All of them are hand made. None are mass produced. And all require the skill of a master sharpener to keep them at their best. It’s something Ivan has spent much of his life becoming an expert in.
After spending some time with them in their shop, we were convinced. We bought a knife from Olivia and Ivan and we can say it is the best kitchen knife we’ve ever used. This blade can peel the skin off a ripe tomato. None of our German knives can do that. Of course, our Japanese knife could also probably sever a finger with efficiency as well. Luckily nothing like that has transpired as of yet, but it must be said the danger of that happening only adds to the thrill of using this incredible knife.