Mutual Trading is the only official authorized importer and distributor of Takamura knives in the United States.
The city of Echizen in Fukui prefecture has a 700 year history of hammer forged knives and has gained the trust and respect of professional chefs. Isamu Takamura established Takamura Cutlery in the postwar era, when stain-resistant knives were rarely produced in Japan. Most knife manufacturers today outsource a lot of their work but Takamura handles every step of their knife-making process, which explains the unique and exceptional quality of their craftsmanship.
The blacksmiths of Takamura Cutlery dedicate their whole body and soul to perfecting the most minor details that the customers may not even notice at first glance. As a result, they have given birth to knives that have been rated highly by top chefs all over the world. They are especially regarded for being one of the first cutlery manufacturers to use High Speed Powdered Steel (HSPS), a blade material that is currently gaining popularity for its superior quality and performance (also known as R2, which is a term that was coined by the steel manufacturer while Takamura was testing out different materials).
Mr. Takamura, the second generation owner of Takamura Cutlery insists that good material choice, forging process and sharpening finish are the three pillars of what makes a good knife. “If you leave out one component, you cannot make a quality knife”, he says. He also asserts that there is no secret to HSPS. Anyone can get their hands on this material, but no one can replicate their technique in forging or sharpening each knife.
According to Mr. Takamura, a good knife naturally and instantly puts a smile on your face when you experience the blade’s sharpness. He also feels that that smile has the power to change one’s cooking into something wonderful.
Takamura Cutlery believes that when an ingredient (whether it be a carrot or turnip) cuts through completely before the edge of the knife even touches the cutting board, it cannot be called cutting or slicing- rather it should be called fracturing or splitting. Meaning that the cells have broken down because of the thickness of the spine and not the sharpness of the blade. They want their customers to experience true cutting with their knives; being able to slice through an ingredient completely only when the edge of the knife comes into contact with the cutting board.
The Criteria of a Good Knife by Takamura Cutlery [pdf]
Interview with two Takamura brothers (Hideo and Terukazu) at Star Chefs Congress 2013
Behind the scenes at Takamura Cutlery
One of Takamura Cutlery's knives ranked number one in a consumer test report by Smartson in Sweden. They are gaining popularity in European countries such as the United Kingdom and France as well.
Chefs whose favorite knives are Takamura at StarChet 2015
Congraturatiions to Mr. Toshiaki Takamura for being awarded "Modern/Contemporary Master Craftsman" status by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor & Welfare.
We are proud of to be working with Takamura Cutlery to bring some of the best Japanese knives to New York and the US! He is quoted in this article, saying that he would like to continue making knives for as long as his body can move.