The Art of Japanese Knife Making

October 01, 2021
Miyabi japanese knife

It takes 42 days to make this knife, but it will convince you in about 2 seconds flat. 

If you’ve never experienced the best of Japanese kitchen knives, then get ready to reset your idea of sharp. Miyabi knives come from Seki in Japan, a place famous for swords and knives for more than 700 yearsMaking a Miyabi knife is a craft so demanding that it takes 42 days to produce a knife and 130 production processes that end with a blade that has 100 layers of Damascus steel, has a perfect balance and a sharpness that will astound you. 

The Miyabi story is not about a factory but about a level of craft that is more like a work of art. The word ‘miyabi’ describes ‘the elegance of things’. A knife for them is not just a knife, like a Rolls Royce is not just a car and Josh Emmett is not just a cook. Look at one carefully, pick one up and its balance will surprise you, and you will feel its presence.

Miyabi Japanese knife

Miyabi knives embody the traditional craft of Japanese knifemaking and the modern age. The core of the blade is a steel that is incredibly hard, allowing it to be honed to a much narrower degree and to keep its sharpness longer. It is then wrapped each side with 50 layers of Damascus steel, not only making it very resistant to rust and marking but giving it a gorgeous appearance. 

The attention to detail doesn’t end there; the premium range features full-tang handles enclosed in Birchwood, a wood that, because of its unique grain structure, was originally used to make the only wooden Fabergé eggs. It is inset with a Miyabi logo made with fifteen metal components. All this shows how a knife can be strong, balanced, functional, and stunningly beautiful at the same time. 

Of course, the result of all this detail becomes immediately apparent the moment you first cut with it. It’s a whole new experience and once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back but you will want to add more to your collection. Miyabi knives can be found in some of the country's favourite kitchenware specialists such as Smith & Caughey, The Homestore Auckland, Chef’s Complements, Total Food Equipment Christchurch, The Scullery Kerikeri, Milly’s Kitchen, Mooch, The Gilded Edge, House of Knives, Chef Shop, The Homestore Wellington, and Home Essentials to name a few. 

Miyabi Japanese knife set

Look out for the special starter sets which offer excellent savings over buying the individual knives. These have only just arrived back into the country after a 4-month absence due to huge global demand. 

If you’re a fan of, an award-winning site where you can see thousands of test kitchen-approved recipes and shop the kitchenware, you’ll expect they know their knives. Not only do they use Miyabi in their own test kitchen but they even flew to visit the Seki factory and see the production for themselves for their “Meet the Makers” video series. Watch it below.