Tools for the Japanese Table

Healthy and delicious, Japan’s traditional cuisine is winning followers around the world. Japanese tableware and cooking utensils are one factor supporting this unique culinary culture. From the traditional crafts that make eating more fun to the master craftsmen themselves and their innovative technologies, we introduce the backstories and the workplaces where culinary masterpieces are born.

Tōjirō Knives: Bringing the Tsubame Brand of Cutting Quality to Global Kitchens

Tsubame in Niigata Prefecture is a small city of 80,000 people, but it produces some of Japan’s leading metalwork products. Today Tsubame has teamed up with the neighboring city of Sanjō to produce the Tsubame Sanjō brand of products, taking advantage of the area’s advanced techniques and skill. We visited knife maker Tōjirō and the Tsubame Industrial Materials Museum to learn how the local metalworking industry has developed.
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Tea and Sake Copperware by Gyokusendō: Combining Tradition and Innovation

In Tsuiki copperware, copper plates are “raised” with repeated hammer strikes to create tasteful tea and sake utensils. With a history of more than 200 years, Gyokusendō traces its roots to the metalworking industry of Tsubame, Niigata Prefecture.
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Bjorn Heiberg, the “Savior of the Japanese Knife”

Razor-sharp Japanese wabōchō, chef’s knives created by skilled master craftsmen, are essential to the preparation of washoku. Bjorn Heiberg, who runs knife specialty stores in Osaka and Tokyo, fell in love with wabōchō after coming to Japan, and is spreading the good word about these remarkable knives to the rest of the world.
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