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. 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. 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.
The current proprietor of Aritsugu is Shinichiro Terakubo, having taken over from his father in 1956 when Shinichiro was 17 years of age. He is the 18th generation to be involved in the running of the store since its inception. Shinichiro also teaches cooking, as well as knife sharpening and use classes through the store.
The main store is presently at the Nishiki Market in Kyoto having moved there in 1981 from Sakaimachi Street, where the shop was located for almost 400 years and the company's offices are still based. A selection of the company's products are also available from the Takashimaya department store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.
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- Nishiki Market - Aritsugu (Japanese)