Category Archives: Uncategorized

A little bit about color stones and stratas

There are 2 main types of layers in the Kyoto mines, and each type contains several varieties of stone. The Tomae type has dozens of individual layers. The Suita type has several different individual layers. Within those layers are varieties … Continue reading

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How, why, who: grading awasedo in Japan

To begin with since the World War 2 a lot of the strictly defined relationships between maker/wholesaler/retailer have become fuzzy. It used to be before 1950 or so, that each had his own niche and that was where you remained … Continue reading

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A peak into the past and the future regarding Jnats.

In the past few years I have noticed a large influx of hard gray stones marked Oozuko (Ozuko) flooding the U.S. market that have come from one particular wholesaler in Kyoto. Although the Ozuko mine has been closed for 90 … Continue reading

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As The Mines Closed

      I am continually amazed at how many of these gray stones now new on the market are stamped Ozuku. Brand new stamps, brand new paper labels on what look like brand new stones all attributed to a mine that was closed in … Continue reading

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A bit about Nakayama

Nakayama is the most famous of the mines in part because; of the ancient history surrounding the mine, the previous owners marketing skills, and the extremely fine quality of the stones from that mine. Kato-san who owned the mine from … Continue reading

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Where’d they come from.

  Maybe you have read that the sediment that formed these sharpening stones mined for 800 years in the outskirts of Kyoto was spewed as dust from a volcano. I have not, nor do I have the means to prove for sure that the particles were spewed into the … Continue reading

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Blade Show in Yasugi

On the Japan Sea coast in western Japan near Matsue in Shimane prefecture is the small but important steel town of Yasugi, the home of  Hitachi Metal speciality steel works. Every spring a few square blocks of Yasugi are set aside to host a … Continue reading

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Shaveing in Japan

The very first time I ever shaved in Japan was New Years Day 1979 and it was in a public bath in a small city named Komastu, yes the tractor companies home base. It was a little tense at first, … Continue reading

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Sharpening notes Pt.1-?

Hello M. * I think it’s fantastic that you have inherited an authentic Japanese tennen toishi from your father. You might be the only one here who can stake that claim. The tomae strata stone that you have is from … Continue reading

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Ripping a board using japanese saws

In Japan long rips from a few inches to 20 feet or more are done with the board raised up about a foot or higher off the floor on blocks or shorter sawyer stands. A good dark sumi ink line … Continue reading

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