Every year we invite some of the talented craftsmen who create these beautiful knives to our store to celebrate their work. We hope this opportunity opens the door to greater appreciation of their knives through meeting the makers.
Through these events, patrons are able to speak to the makers one-on-one (with Japanese translators), have in-store name engraving, and free food and drinks!
I happened to stop by during their 3rd anniversary party. There was free sushi, beer, and snacks! Plus, several of the knife makers were visiting from Japan, just chatting with the customers and staff. I got the chance to speak with Yu Kurosaki, and even get his autograph! Really pleasant folks - I can't wait for their next party.
So cool! I went to the store to meet the makers from Japan. I ended up buying my mom a Yoshimi Kato bunka. One of the makers, Shungo Ogata, offered to engrave the knife with her name in Japanese characters. He and the staff worked together to find the best way to translate her name, then Mr. Ogata engraved the knife - by hand - right there at the counter. Needless to say, my mom loved her personalized knife!
My friend - a big fan of Yu Kurosaki - was so jealous when I told her that I met him in Portland last year. She calls him "the Justin Bieber of Knife Makers." As far as I can tell, he's one of the biggest names in the knife making world. Meeting him, he was totally not what I expected - friendly, humble, and willing to humor my rusty Japanese. After chatting him and the other makers up, I left with a shiny new knife and a great story.