Interview With Master Blacksmith Shosui Takeda
When we opened The Cook's Edge in 2015, Takeda Hamono was the first blacksmith shop that we formed a partnership with and began to carry their knives. They continue to be one of the bestselling knife lines at the shop and for good reason; they are expertly handcrafted, lightweight, crazy sharp and beautiful to look at.
Takeda Hamono has been forging kitchen knives, sickles, axes, hoes, hatchets and hunting knives since 1920. The workshop relocated to Nimi, Japan in 1951, where it currently resides. Shosui Takeda is a third generation master blacksmith, who, with the help of a small team, creates knives that have taken on legendary status.
Unfortunately, the last time we were in Japan our visit was cut short by the emerging coronavirus and we were not able to visit Takeda Hamono. We are looking forward to our next trip when we can finally meet Shosui Takeda in person, and see the renowned Takeda Hamono for ourselves.
We were so pleased when Shosui Takeda took the time to answer a few of our questions so we could share more about him and his process.
Photo credit: https://takedahamono.com
Q: How old were you when you made your first knife?
A: I was 27 when I made my first knife at my factory, under the teaching of my father. I had experience working at the factory from ages 12-20 when I wasn't in school, helping to forge as an assistant to heat. I spent the money I earned on bowling and manga.
Q: Do you have a favourite knife shape to make?
A: I like everything I make.
Q: What do you think sets your knives apart from other hand forged knives?
A: Endurance. I know there are so many easy ways to make knives and get money but those are not the best ways to make useful knives for the user.
Q: How has your knife making process changed over time?
A: I have listened to many users of our knives. Development comes from knowledge gained through experience.
Q: Do you enjoy cooking? What is your favourite meal?
A: My wife does all the cooking for the family. I just slice tomatoes directly on the salad every morning with my Ko-sasa knife.
We have a restock of Takeda's knives arriving at our shop very soon, so keep your eyes peeled because they go quickly! *just arrived
Click the photo to see our current selection