A collaboration with premium Wagyu beef at the knife gallery of Sakai Takayuki, one of Japan’s leading knife brands
Jan 25, 2023
FOOD NEWSA collaboration with premium Wagyu beef at the knife gallery of Sakai Takayuki, one of Japan’s leading knife brands
One day in 2019, two Indians came to visit the factory of Aoki Hamono, a knife maker in Sakai, Osaka. For some time now there have been many fans from overseas coming to visit. So in 2022, a “Japanese Knife Gallery” was built for Sakai Takayuki fans from Japan and abroad to view the special knives. The opening event of the Aoki Hamono gallery attracted distributors who are spreading the Sakai Takayuki brand around the world as well as craftsmen contributing to knife making and even representatives from other knife makers in Japan. The opening event featured a demonstration of slicing premium cuts of Japanese Wagyu beef as well as a succession of course menus. The participants’ eyes were peeled during this opportunity to see the highest quality Wagyu beef sliced with the highest quality knives.
Wagyu beef is one of the most expensive meats in the world, and for good reason. However, when breaking down this product, chefs and consumers need proper hardware to sample the world-famous beef at its best.
Wagyu is revered for its high-fat content that is evenly distributed throughout the meat. This proliferation of tasty fat gives Wagyu beef an intense marbling and locks in flavor. The meat must only be cooked at a very low temperature to melt the fat so it stays incredibly tender. However, this unique beef requires a unique approach to preparation.
To understand the true character of Wagyu beef and its nuanced flavor, it should be sliced in ways that allow it to be enjoyed in moderation. Then there is its unique structure to navigate.
Knife making in Sakai City, Osaka, has a history of 600 years, and Aoki Hamono Seisakusho is one of the leading knife manufacturers in Sakai. The quality of the detailed finish is a traditional skill that has been passed down from generation to generation, and it is produced by high quality craftsmanship. Aoki Hamono’s knives now cross the ocean and are exported to more than 100 countries. The knifes that have been trained and polished without compromise are loved by many famous chefs across the border.
Mysterious space decorated with more than 600 specially ordered works
When you open the gallery door, it’s an extraordinary space. There are about 600 knives on display, and the mysterious world of knives is spreading. Also, the coffee served in the shop is made with an original blend. The knives displayed on the wall are all handmade, custom-made knives. None of them are the same, and some have pictures engraved on their blades.
The sculptor is Ms. Kubota Michiko, an employee of Aoki Hamono. She has been involved with the gallery since its inception and also made the interior decoration. This time, we asked Ms. Kubota about the highlights of the gallery.
One highlight is a tuna knife just after opening the entrance. This is one and only knife in the world, with a cherry blossom engraving on the blade. Cherry blossoms are scattered around the knife, and I prepared the decorations such as gravel below.
The engraved knife corner at the bar counter is also one of the highlights. There are 28 Deba knives lined up, and each one is engraved with a different pattern.
The word “Be a pioneer, be a challenger” is written on the wall behind it. I wrote it with the meaning of “Become Sakai’s one and only knife shop in Sakai’s knife industry.”
Communicating the appeal of knives to the world
The Sakai Takayuki Knife Gallery plans to hold events inviting chefs and exchange meetings with artisans on a regular basis. From this place, the appeal of “Sakai Takayuki” will be communicated to the world. The Sakai Takayuki Knife Gallery, where the chef and the craftsman can interact with each other through knives, is available by reservation on its website.