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Aritsugu store in Nishiki Market, Kyoto, Japan
Identifying text on an Aritsugu blade

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

Aritsugu was 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] During this period Aritsugu switched its primary production from swords to the pointed knives that were used to carve statues of Buddha.[4] In the late 19th century Meiji period, there was strong growth in demand for kitchen knives and cooking utensils developing in Japan because of 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, who took 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 teaches cooking, knife sharpening and use classes through the store.[7][8]

The main store has been located at the Nishiki Market in Kyoto since it moved in 1981[8] from Sakaimachi Street, where the shop was located for almost 400 years and where the company's offices are still based.[2][4]


  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. Archived from the original on 2010-02-06. 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). 1998-11-07. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. 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). Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  8. ^ a b "Kyoto Saga University of Arts" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2010-05-18.

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