Considered by many to be one of the best knife sharpeners in Japan, Shibata san has a huge influence in modern Japanese kitchen cutlery.
Here, he and Ikeda san have created what some experts are calling the sharpest knives they have ever seen straight out of the box. All the R2 knives in the Kotetsu line have a sloped nose, like a kirituske, giving them a bit of attitude as well. This is actually where they get their name. They are named after the Kotetsu, which was the first iron-clad destroyer in the Japanese naval fleet. It had a sloped bow for ramming other boats, which made it a feared opponent.
The use of R2 powdered steel not only helps these blades keep an edge for longer than other stainless steels, it is super easy to sharpen and takes an amazing edge. R2 steel is a hard PM steel designed for tool making. Shibata san has also ensured the knives have a slight rough finish (migaki), this helps break up surface tension with the food you are cutting, resulting in less sticking to the blade.
The octagonal handle is made from cherry, and is my personal favorite shape to make a handle. They are comfy, lightweight, and give the user a feeling of confidence while chopping.
Since opening the shop I am starting to build up a collection of knives for my customers to try out before buying. The 180mm bunka is one of the knives I also take home on the regular. I have no qualms about saying this knife is one of the best veg knives on the market. It is extremely fun to cook with, and feels great if you are used to a push/pull style of cutting.