My mail box has quickly gotten filled up with orders and inquiries, I am having trouble getting back to them within a reasonable time frame.
I will need to focus on responding to the accumulated existing orders/inquiries. You can of course make the purcahse of the cart site listed items,
but forgive me that my personal assistance will be temporaliry unavailable for a while.
Japan Tool Shopping Cart Page OPEN~~~~~!!!
Japan Tool has finally, fi~~~nally, fi~~~~~~~~~~~~nally managed to prepare some easy to choose items to be available thru the shopping cart system. I had to make so~~~~~~~~~ many people wait (or give up...) for the simplest orders for the past few years, but not anymore!
I limited the listing to selected tools and stones that most likely doesn't require my personal assistance in choosing. All the tools listed here should be quite clear in identifying the suitable usage, so for these items, I believe the you will not have to worry whether you are making the right choice.
On the other hand, I will probably not list too many natural stones (at least not the very best ones) here as natural stones require much personal assistance for the right stone to land in the right hand For example, a razor stone landing in the hand of a knife sharpener = disaster. Having said that, I will try to list little by little, explaining the stone's character to the detail as much as possible so that you will be able to judge whether it is suitable for your preference/usage.
It is ideal if I can personally consult with each users, interviewing the needs and preferences to decide what stone to offer, but as this takes so much time, unfortunately I cannot do this for too many people at one time. So despite the lack of my meticulous consultation, I figure that many would still be happy if there are at least a few options available from time to time on the shopping cart page, knowing that they are at least chosen by Japan Tool for the mentioned purposes. I'll try my best to keep at least one option (a few if time permits) listed for each category of tools, i.e. the straight edge razors, wood working tools (or various flat beveled tools) and knives.
For the time being, there will be only one person taking care of the incoming orders, so forgive us if there will be a bit of delay in the shipping. Once I know that there's too much demand for one man to operate, I will try to reorganize so that the shipping speed will be quicker.
Lastly, none of the tools shown here are listed only because they are famous or sell well. They are the tools that I myself use, love and hence recommend! I hope you will enjoy my selected tools.
Japan Tool Closed to Catch Up
I am so sorry that I cannot open my main site to take new orders. I am at the moment too busy processing returning people's orders alone, I just don't have the time to respond to new inquiries.... I will probably have to be indefinitely closed, but instead, I will try to upload more items on my shopping cart page so that you can make the purchase without having to wait indefinitely for me to reopen.
As for people who have already placed the orders, forgive me if I take a while to deliver~! I will do my best to get the babies to you as quickly as possible.
Sept 22nd, 2011
Queensland Pink Snapper Sashimi Platter on Natural Glaze Tokoname Round Plate (2014 March)
Tokoname nagural glaze large plate. I ordered two of these to the potter since I love the first one I got so much, intending to sell the two on my cart page..., but the two came out so~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ nicely..., I ended up not being able to part with either of them....
My Shigefusa Kitaeji Usuba.
A good usuba makes Katsura-muki (thin peeling) so much easier. If you will order an Usuba and wish to try Katsura-muki, I will share with you all the knacks and points which by knowing them will pretty much instantly enable you to peel as thin. It's almost a fail safe way.... Normally apprentice chefs practice this for at least a few months.
But once you know these points, unless you are very very clumsy with your hands, you shall be able to produce nice and crunchy tsuma (hairline daikon shreads) which tastes so much better than the peeler or machine made ones which tend to feel rubbery as opposed to crunchy, without having to practice so much, not nearly as much.
In my opinion, it's about knowing these points that matters, not about amount of practice or how dexterous you are. If you cannot find out these points (it's quite difficult to find out I think...), no matter how long you will practice, your skill will most likely not improve past certain point, and eventually conclude that this is only for the pros, which is to~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~tally not the case!
Cutting in between the bones, this way, the edge will not chip.
This is the only time I use a Deba to actually cut thru the bone. But when done correctly, i.e. without twisting/wiggling the knife while cutting, the edge will usually not chip, at least not with Shigefusa, Heiji, or Tsukasa. Having said that..., occasional small chipping is inevitable!
Flowers from the garden. Aussie natives mainly!
My Shigefusa Kitaeji 330mm Yanagi-ba. The cutting board is Ichou. Oh speaking of which, I an now introducing fantastic quality Kiri cutting boards. These are amazingly low priced.... You shall be quite surprised if you will check the prices. If you are in need of good J style cutting board, pls visit this page.
Tojiro Solid Kiri Manaitas
Preparing Matsu-kawa style sashimi. Matsu = Pine tree, kawa = skin, refering to the pine tree skin which fish skin resembles. In my personal opinion, this pink snapper's skin was far better than that of regular snapper's. Much softer and gelatine like and very tasty. You can also see that the color of the skin is very vivid pink as opposed to grayish colour of snapper's skin (refer to the following photo of the snapper sashimi platter that I did last time.)
Snapper Sashimi Platter on Tokoname Flat Plate
Filleting and decoration done by my wife, while I worked on the Daikon tsuma (I got my new Shigefusa Kitaeji Usuba!) A 3.8kg snapper! The tokkuri and the guinomi are Bizen, by Isezaki-san.
Tokoname tends to produce great pieces for very affordable prices. I will be listing a few naturally glazed Tokoname plates on my shopping cart soon.
We did another King Fish party over the Easter holiday, a three day course. The dishes came out quite nicely, so I thought I should share some photos with the knife/cooking fans out there.
This time, I tried my best to make the presentation as nicely as my ability will allow. Made the tsuma doing katsuramuki. I actually don't own an Usuba, so I had to do it with my trusty Heiji Santoku, but it came out okay. I placed an order to Shigefusa for an Usuba for myself after this....
An obviously farmed King Fish (so fat!!!!), but it is actually my favorite, as the wild ones have less fat. My palate isn't too sophisticated.... Hahaha.
Only AU$10 per persons per dinner~~~! Can you believe?!?!? So as you can see having proper tools will enable you to not only enjoy cooking like this, but will save you so much money, and also best of all, if you don't live close to good J restaurants, but can get good fish, you can enjoy nice J seafood dinner whenever you'd like. I just moved to a remote country side city called Taree, 4 hours north of Sydney (and lovin' it here!), so I can only do this when I get to go to Sydney Fish Market bi monthly or so, tagging along with my wife for her business trip. Hahaha.
Nicely filleted, with very little meat left on the bone. Thanks to my former Azuma chef teaching me how to fillet.
Slicing in between the spines to cut the bones into smaller pieces. This is to fit the bones to the pot for cooking Ara-meshi.
Here I am cutting the flesh in between the bones which is running diagonally, exiting thru the dorsal fin, that is why the knife is moving away to the top left side away from my left hand. Do you see what I mean? The important thing is not to hack the bones right in the middle because that would cause much damage to the edge no matter how good the knife is.
Same thing when cutting the head. The lower jaw requires no force. Just cut thru the center.
The fish seeking its revenge by trying to bite off my finger....
Now the upper jaw. Up to about half way, you can cut if you can slide the edge in between the joint that's running in the middle.
But from here, you have to cut the spine in half, so...,
If you do it nicely, there will be absolutely no chip on the edge.
Pull the skin, not the flesh.
Fish rose on the left.
A bottle of sake from sakenet.com. Takahasi-san, the proprietor is a very reliable sake seller. The quality of his sake sellection is quite impressive. Aussie sake fans, pls do try his sakes if you haven't already. Tell him Yamashita sent you, and he will probably take good care of you.
This carppazio we had for second night entree was delish! It was even better than the first night's sashimi.
And this herb marinated grill.... This was simply awesome!!!! Lakes Folly Chardonnay tasted much like a Bourgogne Chardonnay, I thought it was similar to Chassagne Monrachet. It's a rare elegant style Ch in Oz. It was still very vibrant despite the age.
We often play chess over a nice slow dinner.
Current Shigefusa Knives in Stock (as of Apr 16th, 2012)
Kasumi Yanagi-ba 270mm 42000JPY
Kasumi Wa-gyuto 270mm 46400JPY
Kasumi You-gyuto with Rosewood handle 240mm x2 57500JPY
Kasumi You-gyuto with Rosewood handle 210mm 48700JPY SOLD
Kitaeji Gyuto 210mm with Rosewood Riveted Handle x1 87500JPY SOLD
Kitaeji Gyuto 240mm with Hou Handle x 1 63200JPY SOLD
Kurouchi Nakiri 165mm (Japan Tool customized/polished with natural stones to much higher standard than original Shigefusa kurouchi spec, slightly used so a bit less than regular price, pls ask for more detail.)
Below are sample photos. Not necessarily showing the above available knives.
Heiji Swedish INOX Santoku 195/210mm
My most recommended knives for daily usage out of all J knives. JT best selling knife as well. I own a pair of these two Santokus (thin and thick) myself and use them basically every day. 22500/25000JPY each. OUT OF STOCK, about 2 months wait.
"Mumon Touryuu (A Dragon Passing Thru the Gate of No Gate)" Tamamoku Stainless Knives
38 layers, VG10 high quality stainless steel, single piece tang, high quality treated layered wooden handle. This is one of my most recommended stainless sekisou (multi layered) knives from this price range.
#1 240mm Gyutou + 150mm Petit Pair AU$280/JPY23100 x1 pair AU stock
"Kyoto" Tamamoku Stainless Knives
63 layers, Mo-V stainless steel, single piece tang, high quality treated layered wooden handle. Similar to Mumon Touryu in construction style, but with finer tamamoku pattern. This is my most recommended stainless sekisou knife from this price range. Many many types (sujihiki, nakiri, boning, Chinese clever, bread, paring, pealing, western deba = double beveled deba, etc.) are available from this series, and I will start introducing them as soon as the situation in J settles down.
#2 210mm Gyutou AU$220/18500JPY Order
#3 270mm Gyuto AU$352/29200JPY => Fund raising sale price AU$318/ 26300JPY x1 JP stock
#4 175mm Santoku AU$192/29200JPY => Fund raising sale price AU$175/14500JPY x2 AU, JP stock
#5 150mm Petit AU$165/13700JPY => Fund raising sale price AU$148/ 12300JPY x1 JP stock
Tsukasa Knives in Stock
1. Rentetsu Soe-nata 140mm, rosewood handle/case, black hilt 81500JPY (Photos to come)
2. Rentetsu Soe-nata 140mm, rosewood handle/case, silver hilt 81500JPY (Photos to come)
3. Rentetsu Yama-kogatana 105mm, leather case, black ferrule 68000JPY x2
4. This is perhaps currently the most expensive kitchen knife in Japan. There was a 20% price increase so it will be even more expensive for new orders.
210mm Kitaeji Santoku
300mm Kitaeji Yanagiba
Santoku: The most useful knife in a home kitchen in my opinion. This is the best selling kitchen knife shape in Japan. If you'd check the knives used by J housewives or husbands, I'm pretty sure that more than 90% would be santokus. Altho J and W foods are different I still think that santoku being the most useful knife applies to western food preparation too if you want to cook well balanced food using various ingredients. The extra height of the blade compared to a gyuto makes a huge difference in ease of use when chopping vegetables, because you don't have to tuck your fingers in or hold the handle with your finger tip (especially if you have larger hands) to avoid hitting the cutting board to let the heel of the blade touch the cutting board. Do you see what I mean? Seriously, if you don't have a santoku pls try one, again it is my most recommended knife. SOLD
New product from Heiji
I will start taking orders for these knives soon.
Heiji Swedish carbon steel Ko-deba 125mm with J cedar saya + Oz jarrah pin (JT made).
You'd need a larger deba if you want to fillet something like the king fish shown below, but unless you're a chef you'd rarely get to fillet such large fish, right? So for most of the cases a ko-deba ("ko" means "small") in between 100~150mm is more useful.
Left: Heiji Kodeba (in stock), Right: Shigefusa Kodeba (this one is what I am using.)
My recent project, with Wildlight Studios custom made glass knobs by Tracy.
Wildlight Stuidos website
Since this is my hobby, as all of you who have contacted me before should know, I spend lots of time explaining things, interviewing the needs, and for searching the right tools, especially the natural stones (this is the toughest! especially the stones for razors!!!), it takes so many email exchanges to just sell one item. As you can see, I don't sell things thru shopping cart and that sort of things.
I haven't decided how to cope with this situation yet, but I really don't want to raise my price to control the numbers of contacts, so please be patient until I can get back to you and deliver your ordered items. At the moment, delivery from Jp is basically mannaged by my father alone, and he's doing it completely as a favor, and packing these fragile tools and stones, filling out the EMS form, going to the PO to have it delivered, takes so much time and effort, so again please be aware that the delivery might/will take a while (much logner than regular retailers) depending on the item and the situation.
Lastly, sometimes when someone sends me an inquiry, it seems that I can read their messages, but they can't read mine. If this is happening to you (ie don't hear any replies from me), basically I always reply, so I suggest checking your email server or whatever that might be blocking the message to be delivered.