Aritsugu

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Aritsugu store in Nishiki Market, Kyoto, Japan

Aritsugu is a Japanese knife and cooking utensil producer and store, founded by Fujiwara Aritsugu in 1560, making it one of the oldest still existing knifemakers in Japan.[1][2][3]

Aritsugu was originally involved in the production of swords and was appointed a supplier for the Imperial House of Japan, before the requirement for new blades diminished due to a more peaceful era emerging through the influence of the Tokugawa shogunate during the Edo period in the 17th and 18th centuries.[1] It was during this period that Aritsugu switched its primary production from swords to the pointed knives that were used to carve statues of Buddha.[4] The late 19th century Meiji period saw a strong growth in demand for kitchen knives and cooking utensils developing in Japan thanks to a stable government and improved living conditions. Aritsugu used its experience in blade production to focus on this emerging market.[1][5]

The current proprietor of Aritsugu is Shinichiro Terakubo, having taken over from his father in 1956 when Shinichiro was 17 years of age.[5] He is the 18th generation to be involved in the running of the store since its inception.[5][6] Shinichiro also teaches cooking, as well as knife sharpening and use classes through the store.[7][8]

The main store is presently at the Nishiki Market in Kyoto having moved there in 1981[8] from Sakaimachi Street, where the shop was located for almost 400 years and the company's offices are still based.[2][4] A selection of the company's products are also available from the Takashimaya department store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Amanda Mayer Stinchecum (10 January 1993). "In Samurai Tradition, Kyoto Knifemakers Ply Sharp Trade". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Durston, Diane (2005). Old Kyoto: A Guide to Traditional Shops, Restaurants, and Inns. Kodansha International. p. 114. ISBN 978-4-7700-2994-2. 
  3. ^ "Nishiki Ichiba Food Market". FX Cuisine. 2006-12-01. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  4. ^ a b Amanda Mayer Stinchecum (25 January 1987). "SHOPPER'S WORLD; From Swords to Knives in Kyoto". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "京都の声 - Kyoto Magazine 7 November 1998 Issue 39" (in Japanese). J-kyoto.ne.jp. 1998-11-07. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  6. ^ Salat, Harris (2008-02-05). "Japanese Chefs Knives". Japanese Food Report. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  7. ^ "In-Shoku FoodYell Volume 5" (in Japanese). In-shoku.info. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  8. ^ a b "Kyoto Saga University of Arts" (in Japanese). Kyoto-saga.ac.jp. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  9. ^ "Aritsugu". Sunnypages.jp. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 

External links[edit]