Yu Kurosaki Spotlight
A name in the Japanese knife community that doesn't need much of an introduction, Yu Kurosaki.  Starting to make knives in his teens, it wasn't until 2002 when Yu was 23 that he began his 12 year long apprenticeship under Hiroshi Kato and Katsushige Anryu. While being open that there were many times that he thought the blacksmithing life wasn't for him, and it didn't come naturally, after years of hard work and success leading to a reinvigorated passion for cutlery Kurosaki-san was the youngest smith to ever be granted the Master Blacksmith Designation from the Takefu Knife Village. He shortly after opened his own shop a stones throw from the Takefu Knife Village in Echizen where he still works out of today. Staying close to his roots and inspiring young apprentices while giving himself the space to experiment and explore to possibilities of knife making.

There are a lot of things to be said about Yu's work. We find him to be one of the most innovative and daring smiths that we work with, never seeming scared to change his techniques, finishes, designs and try new materials. This can be seen on his coveted Fujin line, based around the mythology of Fujin, the Japanese god of wind.

And the latter can be seen in his more recent Gekko line, which has been a line experimenting with offset designs, convex grinds (which are historically out of character for Yu's work) and new steels such as HAP40 and VG XEOS more recently.

While there are some staples in Kurosaki-sans work like the more affordable Senko line, seen here with wenge & turquoise handles but come in many variantions

And of course the Fujin line that he has been making for some time. I never expect to see the same knife from him for too long before he is off on another adventure, though regardless of how wildy different his knives can look, they are unmistakable from across a room if you've become familiar with his work.

Another standout feature of Kurosaki-sans work is their performance. His work often featuring a high, hollow grind really is the pinnacle of performance, effortlessly ghosting through the hardest carrots, and sliding through onions while leaving everything intact ready for the cross cuts of a dice. Not only is grinding knives this thin exceptionally difficult, but it wouldn't be possible without the double blade forging technique that we can only assume he picked up from Hiroshi Kato, as the same technique can be seen by Yoshimi Kato who he trained alongside, but we believe this to be a technique specific to the Echizen region, which has a rich 700 year long history of blacksmithing which all began when a traveling knife smith from Kyoto named Kuniyasu Chiyozuru happened upon Takefu, but thats a story for another blog post. 

With all of Kurosaki-sans success, he has never sacrificed integrity of his products and maintains one of the highest levels of fit and finish that we see at the shop. With perfectly ground bevels, rounded spines and choils, not a hammer mark out of place and razor sharp edges. We consider ourselves very lucky to work with such a talented, humble smith, offer his knives in our shop, and are constantly excited to see what he comes up with next!