研ぎ陣 - Meet our professional knife sharpeners
HITACHIYA originally began as a store that carried industrial cookware for hotels and restaurants in 1956, Tsukiji, Tokyo by Tsuneo Hirota (Masa's father). Masa was watching his father sharpening knives and he started it in the same year. Masa also helped his father make small knives, called "Takewari houcho' which was used for crafting bamboo. He used the samurai sword to make takewari houcho, cut the sword to 12" and crafted it. The samurai sword is double edged and the crafting knife is single edged. He learned how to sharpen both edges at the same time. Later years he started learning traditional ways to sharpen knives from Meister Fujiami-藤阿彌 and he perfected it with his passion. He called himself "samurai spirits", using the sharpening technique of samurai swords.
The knife sharpening is not simple work. Masa looks very carefully and determines how to sharpen the knife. Masa listens to the sounds of the blade very carefully and when it makes beautiful sounds, he knows the sharpening is perfect. It can't be done by machine, it can be perfectly done because manually sharpen on the stone. Masa uses 100% of his senses -HEARING,SIGHT and TOUCH, when he sharpens the knives.
Hiro Lennon started sharpening knives in 1995. He met the owner of Hitachiya, Masa Hirota in October of 2011 and was amused by the method of sharpening that involved samurai sword sharpening techniques. He became his apprentice, learned and inherited his technique. Since then, by incorporating the samurai sword sharpening techniques into his own techniques built on experience, he has been supporting Mr. Hirota in many areas. “I also fix knives that are brought in that have more work to do other than sharpening, such as disfigured, chipped or broken. I carefully look at each knife and manually fix them without using machinery. Depending on what needs to be done, it can turn into a long operation. It’s most likely just as how a doctor looks at their patients. While I work, I am in a “zen” state, where I am calm, neutral and have no self-consciousness. When that happens, I don’t think I’m spiritual in anyway but I strongly feel that I am facing something that is spiritual
TATSUYA YANOTatsuo Yano recognized the wonderfulness of Japanese culture when he came to America.
He started thinking of how he could share Japanese culture with people in America. He met Masa Hirota, owner of HITACHIYA USA and learned how to sharpen knives. Tatsuo was fascinated by his technique of knife sharpening-different from others which involved sharpening samurai sword technique. Using a variety of whetstones for a variety of knives, most damaged knives will be able to repair and become your special one again. To keep right angle and pressure is the key for making razor sharp blade. He said “Not only sharpness of blade, I look for the balance of knife and beauty of finishing”.
He carefully looks at the knives and determines what this knife needs to be done. Once he starts sharpening, he concentrates each stroke till he completes sharpening with his knowledge and experience, no compromise.
He said “When I see the customer smile that makes me keep going for a better job”.
“ART” of Traditional Knife sharpening
Sharpening a knife is not just simply about grinding and sharpening with a stone. Instead, HITACHIYA USA’s Professional Sharpeners will ask for the minor details about the knife to successfully sharpen and restore its life. The polishing and sharpening requires a handful of different skills. Our professional sharpener's quality of meticulous workmanship represents the pride of sharpeners who restore its life.
Specialized tools for food
Cut, design, presentation, and technique play an essential role in Japanese cuisine. The same could also be said of the materials utilized in our cookware. You will notice an enhanced difference in the taste and presentation of your everyday dish when using good quality tools.
We manually sharpen knives on the stone, not on the machine
With whetstones, you will get your knives much sharper than you would with other sharpening equipment.
And what's more, because of the fine and correct structure of the sharpened knife, the knife will retain its sharpness much longer than it would using other sharpening methods and ensure excellent cutting performance!
The best benefit of sharpening on the stone is we can listen and feel the knife, bring it to the best cutting performance!