About Masamoto Shiro-Ko Hongasumi 正本 本霞玉白鋼
The Masamoto Shiro-ko Hongasumi knives are forged in Japan from a combination of white carbon steel #2 and soft iron steel, and handled with magnolia wood and a water buffalo bolster. White steel’s pure carbon content allows for the sharpest cutting edge. The main difference between the kasumi and hongasumi line is found in the crafting process. More steps, higher level craftsman, and greater attention to detail are involved when crafting hongasumi knives, and they therefore are more refined than kasumi knives.
Minosuke Matsuzawa, the founder of the Masamoto Sohonten Company started making knives in 1866. It was his dream that his family would come to be remembered as knife craftsmen throughout the generations. Now, five generations later, Matsuzawa’s vision has been realized and professionally crafted Masamoto knives have become widely regarded as the finest knives made for professional use.
Purpose of Hamokiri
Hamokiri knives are used for slicing shallow cuts and pieces of hamo fish (pike conger) fillet. In order to serve hamo fish, it is important to make shallow cuts into the fillet to crush the small bones. The reason why hamokiri knives are so large, is because of the way the fish is prepared. Not only do these knives need to fillet the fish, it also needs to honekiri the fish. Honekiri (literally translates to bone cutting) is a type of cut where the knife crushes a fish's long hard bones by making 1mm cuts in the flesh without cutting the skin underneath. If this procedure is not done carefully and well, the meat becomes minced and the quality of the fish and flavor are ruined. Hamo is most popularly consumed in Kyoto. Before there was adequate transportation of fresh fish, it was difficult for the inland city of Kyoto to get fresh fish especially during the summer. Hamo was one of the few fish that had a strong enough vitality, that fisherman can transport to Kyoto alive. To this day, hamo remains one of the most popular type of fish to eat in the summer in Kyoto. Outside of Kyoto, hamo is not all that popular and typically deemed as a difficult fish to use and eat. Therefore, it is usually fried into tempura or grinded into paste to make kamaboko (fish spam cake) if eaten at all.