It has been about a month since we updated our blog.
Blogging is a serious commitment. Some people do it every day, some people do it occasionally, and some people have never done it before. We decided to use blog in hopes that it might help us better communicate with our family, friends, customers and business partners. So, after a month of slacking, I finally took up my pen (or keyboard) because Jon wasn’t doing it.
Unlike Jonathan, I am not a knifenut and so I have a different perspective on our knife business... more of a lay person's point of view. I have never bought knives for myself or sharpened them by myself. However, my experience working with Jonathan has been wonderful for me in terms of learning about the business operation, getting to know our customers and business partners, and most importantly, reconnecting myself with the Japanese arts and crafts world.
I consider my biggest contribution to our company is being the communicator. I research all kinds of knives and stones in Japan and then contact the makers. All the makers I talk to are proud and accomplished craftsmen. They care deeply about their products and who buys them. This trait is something I really can relate to, as my parents are artists in Japan. My father always says that he would rather give his pieces to people who truly understand and love them than to sell them to representatives of huge malls who only care about business.
There is something special about hand-made crafts. All of our Japanese knives have their own unique character. My favorite parts of the knives are the buffalo horn on the handles and engravings on blades. I had never really paid much attention to these things before, but they really give each knife a distinctive appearance. Each one is truly a one-of-the-kind piece.
Every time I open a knife box and look at the knife, it really reminds me of my conversations with that maker. How the knives look (and i assume how they perform, too) strongly reflects each makers' personality. Does that make sense? For example, some knives (and their packaging, saya, catalogue, etc.) have a very delicate look, while others look very masculine and aggressive. One thing all of the knives we sell have in common is that they all look very sophisticated and clearly are aiming to be the best performers they can be.
So far, this has been my experience with the knife makers and their knives. I am very proud to be involved with the Japanese arts and crafts world, and to be able to introduce these amazing makers and companies to our customers in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. In so doing, I believe Jon and I are supporting Japanese tradition and culture.
Japanese knives can be a first step for every household to experience a little bit of Japanese culture and tradition first-hand. Not only are Japanese knives practical and generally "awesome", they also carry with the a history and culture that can change the way you view cooking and knife skills. We hope you will appreciate this little bit of tradition, culture, aesthetics, and craftsmanship that lives with you in your kitchen and becomes a part of your everyday life.
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